Alder Hey set to become Europe’s ‘greenest’ hospital
20 January 2011
Knowledge Transfer Partnership with School of Built Environment aims to create environmentally sustainable hospital.
Alder Hey treats over 200,000 patients each year, employs around 2600 staff and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hospital activities inevitably impact on the environment and, as a healthcare provider that promotes well-being, they have an important responsibility to minimise this impact and ensure resources are used efficiently.
As energy and other prices continue to rise and ‘green’ legislation begins to hit home, organisations that have failed to embrace sustainability will face a costly battle to provide effective services. That’s why the long term vision of the team behind Alder Hey’s iconic Children’s Health Park is to create one of the most environmentally sustainable hospitals in Europe.
The UK Government has committed to take action in reducing energy use within large organisations including NHS Trusts and has introduced the Climate Change Act with a target to cut carbon emissions. In line with this Act, the NHS has agreed to achieve a number of carbon reduction targets, which include a 10% reduction by 2015, the year after the opening of the new hospital.
With this in mind, the Children’s Health Park Project Team are giving careful consideration to how the new health park will be as sustainable as possible.
Project Team member Piotr Rosinski is the School of Built Environment’s KTP associate, supervised by Laurence Brady, Dr Alison Cotgrave and Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a. Piotr is a specialist in engineering and renewable energy and has worked on a number of commercial and healthcare sustainability projects, including the design of efficient lighting systems for Royal Bristol Children’s Hospital. His expertise is already proving extremely valuable as the hospital aim to ensure that their ‘green’ vision is achieved.
Peter says: “The Children’s Health Park has got the potential to be one of the most energy efficient and sustainable hospitals in Europe. Essentially we are aiming to build a sustainable health park where energy use, carbon footprint and recycling are critical factors. We will focus on innovation and the use of the best technology to provide the most efficient and cost effective practices.
“This may include generating heat and power simultaneously with low levels of pollutants, taping into geo-thermal heating and cooling, while considering the importance of local geology. We steered our bidders to consider the use of an aquifer as part of the cooling and heating systems to provide sustainable combined heat and power generation.
“It doesn’t stop there as we will also be looking at all aspects of the physical building, from high-performance glazing to the solar angle of the actual buildings. We want to use as much natural ventilation and natural lighting as possible throughout the health park.
“It is about being green and lean financially, while ensuring the Children’s Health Park is affordable as an NHS facility. Creating a sustainable hospital will itself produce financial savings and environmental benefits for the future.”
The Project Team is also working closely with The Prince’s Foundation, the charity headed by HRH the Princes of Wales. The Foundation exists to improve the quality of people’s lives by teaching and practicing timeless and ecological ways of planning, designing and building.