Foleshill Health Centre is the UK’s first PassivHaus primary care healthcare building, breaking valuable new ground in the NHS drive towards zero carbon. It provides GP premises for 10,000 patients.
The project’s challenges are reflected in its gestation period, with Outline Business Case receiving approval in August 2018 and Final Business Case (FBC) concluded in July 2020. NHS England and Coventry & Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group then gave conditional approval in July 2020. This was followed by an 11 month flourish of offsite and on site activity, from finalisation of design development drawings to procurement, offsite fabrication and erection of modular sections on site by December 2020 and onsite completion in May 2021, without any significant Covid19 related delays. Conclusion of a ground-breaking 619m2 2 storey 14 module building to PassivHaus standards in such a short space of time is testimony to the collaborative team working of all parties up and down the supply chain.
Despite the post business case speed at which design was finalised, it developed over a number of years of Early Contractor Involvement and underwent independent Design Quality Indicator assessments; the last facilitated by Rider Levett Bucknall in November 2018, involving 9 stakeholder groups to integrate their opinions on Value, concluded that with scores in excess of 5 out of 6 across all ten Sections the project “has the potential to be a very good public building”.
Value in this BREEAM Excellent project derives from cost and energy reductions over its lifecycle compared to a traditional building. Initially higher construction costs are offset by energy savings creating a 2.5% reduction in life cycle costs within 25 years and further increase to 8.6% over 40 years. Annual energy consumption will be just 31kWh/m2 GIA compared to 98kWh/m2 for an equivalent traditional build health centre.
Speed of onsite construction has been critical with foundations laid on the brownfield site in November 2020 and the 14 modules manufactured offsite by Portakabin, built and fitted out in 7 weeks, were lifted in to place over 2 days in mid-December 2020. Project completion scheduled for May 2021 was achieved. Once the FBC approval was given the entire team were geared up to “get it done” successfully and safely. The offsite fabrication not only shaved 13 weeks off of a live comparison traditional construction programme but delivered the added benefit of the modular design being made offsite in a safe Covid controlled environment further increasing the health and safety benefits of a controlled manufacturing environment and reduced site operations.
A best value contribution to speed of delivery of design, procurement and construction has been use of the existing NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) modular framework which accords with the Construction Playbook.
This breakthrough NHS project stands out from the crowd as an exemplar UK health care solution, demonstrating a different way of creating innovative low carbon emission assets and gaining from application of MMC and offsite manufacturing, which can be shared with the CE movement.