UK’s greenest health centre opens its doors to patients

Development of Foleshill Health Centre in Coventry completed in just 25 weeks using modern methods of construction

The new Foleshill Health Centre is one of the greenest healthcare facilities in the UK

The UK’s greenest health centre has opened its doors to patients.

Built to meet Passivhaus certification; the £3.3m Foleshill Heath Centre in Coventry is a partnership between the DHSC-owned Community Health Partnerships (CHP), and NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and houses Foleshill Surgery, a GP practice which is part of Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance.

The surgery has five consulting rooms and two treatment rooms and serves an area of Coventry with high health needs.

And it is one of the most-energy-efficient buildings in the NHS estate; constructed in just 25 weeks, significantly quicker than a traditionally-built facility.

It was built with Portakabin modules specially designed to international Passivhaus sustainability standards and is a major milestone for volumetric modular construction.

The modules were designed and manufactured by Portakabin at its manufacturing facility in York.

Using exacting standards of engineering to tolerances of 1mm; the Portakabin team delivered precise control across every aspect of the project, from product design to manufacturing, measuring every resource used and any waste generated.

The units were then transported to Coventry and reassembled, becoming watertight in just three days.

The building has been constructed to Passivhaus sustainability standards

The final fitout, plus adding the insulation and the roof were completed on site.

Foleshill already has an energy performance certificate (EPC) ‘A Rating’, making it one of the most-energy-efficient health building in the UK.

The annual utilities running costs are projected to be around a third of the cost of a traditional build, giving significant savings over its lifetime.

There is a small heating system using air source heat pumps connected to small radiators, solar panels are provided on the roof, and all the lighting is provided by energy-efficient LED lamps.

This pilot project is pushing the boundaries of offsite construction within the public sector as well as the perceptions of that which can be achieved with Modern Methods of Construction

The development has been delivered through partnership between CHP and NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) without the need for debt funding or joint ventures and using the NHS SBS procurement framework.

Delivery partners included Portakabin (main contractor), Tooley Foster Architects (Passivhaus specialists), AECOM infrastructure consultants, and Arden Estate Partnerships (development management).

“This is a very-exciting project which has taken a lot of work to get over the line,” said Malcolm Twite, CHP’s executive director for property performance.

“It paves the way for future sustainable developments which will make a valuable contribution to the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus target for net zero by 2045.”

What is Passivhaus?

Passivhaus is the leading international low-energy design standard.

Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling.

They are built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany and are certified via an exacting independent quality assurance process.

The reception area in the new building

Lee Connolly, head of project design and engineering at Portakabin, said: “This pilot project is pushing the boundaries of offsite construction within the public sector as well as the perceptions of that which can be achieved with Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

“Foleshill is showcasing the flexibility of MMC and is a bold and brave step toward creating a legacy of buildings that will help the construction industry proactively tackle climate change.”

Dr Sarah Raistrick, chairman of NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We are really excited to see patients move into this fantastic, efficient modular build.

“The services that will be provided from this building will ensure we continue to provide high-quality, safe and effective care for the local residents of Foleshill.”

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Portakabin (more information, website)

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