UK’s first Passivhaus-certified health centre expected

Portakabin is set to deliver the UK’s first Passivhaus-certified modular healthcare centre for client Community Health Partnerships.

Believed to be the UK’s greenest healthcare modular building, the Foleshill Health Centre in Coventry is on track to take just nine months from contract award to completion in Summer 2021 and will be a major milestone for volumetric modular construction.

CHP chose the Passivhaus approach for its overall sustainability ethos with low running costs, health benefits and total costs of operation and construction lower than conventional buildings thereby ensuring vital resources are available for healthcare delivery.

The Portakabin and CHP team will receive Passivhaus certification this Spring. The health centre will also achieve BREEAM Excellent standard, but with necessary adaptations to ensure ventilation can be manually controlled to deliver vital high air flow rates for treatment rooms.  

The building will be heated via an air source heat pump, with no fossil-fuel used on site and photo voltaic panels generating some of the energy for the Foleshill facility. Continuous fresh air with heat recovery will be provided and the windows can be opened as required – a key benefit during the current pandemic. The centre will also boast low energy lighting, electric car charging points and secure cycle storage to encourage sustainable modes of transport.

Annual utility running costs for the building are expected to be a third of the cost of a traditional build, giving significant savings over its lifetime.  

Penny Carey, Sustainability Lead at Portakabin, said: “Offsite Passivhaus is not new, but the repeatability of a volumetric modular approach is and has enormous benefits when budget planning within the healthcare sector.

“Foleshill has given us a template for our volumetric modular approach, which can be repeated, not only in healthcare, but wherever airtight, low cost, low energy buildings are needed. Our specialist team of in-house architects, building physicists and engineers can work with architects’ designs to create a highly cost-effective and efficient modular solution.”

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