Multi award-winning Foleshill Health Centre in Coventry, the UK’s first Passivhaus health care building, opened to primary care patients one year ago on 9 August. 

The £3.3 million project is a partnership between DHSC-owned Community Health Partnerships (CHP), NHS Coventry and Warwickshire with Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance (the GP tenants). Foleshill Health Centre is a two storey, 619m² building serving up to 10,000 patients in inner-city Coventry. The new GP surgery has five consulting rooms and two treatment rooms; we continue to receive positive feedback from both staff and patients who use the building daily. CHP chose the Passivhaus approach because of its overall sustainability ethos with low running costs and health benefits.

Work began in August 2020 on 14 specially designed Portakabin modules, which were transported, assembled, and watertight in three days in December 2020 with the facility completed in June 2021.

Foleshill - A flagship Green NHS building

Foleshill not only leads the way for carbon emissions reduction in this type of building but demonstrates its potential for repetition and upscaling across the future health estate.

This is the first time that NHSE/I has approved this type of energy-efficient Passivhaus building for the NHS in England.  It is an example for the rest of the NHS showing what can be done using the most modern, innovative volumetric building methods – a benchmark for how health buildings can be sustainable in the future. 

Foleshill contributes to the GreenerNHS carbon net-zero target and supports its aim to be the world’s first net-zero national health service. Foleshill Health Centre has an EPC A rating (12) close to net-zero CO2. It is expected to be BREEAM Excellent.

Passivhaus and Sustainability features support low energy consumption

The highly insulated Health Centre is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  It is full of sustainable features including photo voltaic panels, no fossil fuels on-site, triple glazing, LEDs, filtered air, etc. It took only 10 months to build during the pandemic using modern methods of construction, 30% quicker than a traditional health care building.

Foleshill leads the way for carbon emissions reduction in the NHS. Energy consumption at Foleshill is equivalent to an average 4-bed house but it is four times the size.  The energy consumption is less than a third of a similar size conventional health centre.

Foleshill in the Spotlight – a Green future for the NHS

Many NHS leaders have visited Foleshill demonstrating what can be achieved for the NHS; visitors include Simon Corbyn, Amanda Pritchard, NHS PS staff, the NHS E/I National estates and facilities leads, and estates teams considering commissioning a Passivhaus facility to learn more.  CHP staff continue to give presentations at NHS, IHEEM and sustainability conferences.  Foleshill appears as a case study in Greener NHS, Government and building sector publications.  In addition, CHP will be publishing a ‘lessons learnt’ report on Foleshill in the Autumn on this award-winning building.   

NHS England unveiled a photography exhibition at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 “Care for the future: delivering the world’s first net zero health service” viewed by political leaders and delegates from across the globe. Dr Syeed, a GP at Foleshill Health Centre, features in this exhibition now travelling the country, representing both primary care and sustainable NHS healthcare facilities. 

Dr Mesbahuddin Syeed, a GP at Foleshill Health Centre in Coventry, features in this exhibition. He said, “We are proud to have the UK’s greenest health building in our local community. It provides a calm and reassuring environment for our patients.”

View exhibition online: ‘Care for the future: delivering the world’s first net zero health service’
Portrait Photographer: Justin Lambert

Julian Humphreys Project Lead for Foleshill at CHP, said “I am delighted to have led the delivery of the greenest healthcare building in the UK, the building presents an opportunity to demonstrate what can be achieved to improve the energy performance in healthcare buildings and therefore contribute to the wider NET Zero NHS objectives.”

“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 MMC (Modern Methods of Construction). 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.”  said Lee Connolly Head of Project Design and Engineering at Portakabin.

CHP are proud to work with our NHS and delivery partners on the first UK health building built to meet Passivhaus standards.  This innovative, sustainable building will continue to provide high quality care for the people of Foleshill, in a modern, innovative 21st century primary care building.

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