London hospitals wear their hearts on their green sleeves

Forward-thinking hospitals in London have recently piloted BRE’s new BREEAM In-Use (BIU) scheme for the healthcare sector with excellent results, demonstrating their commitment to healthier patient & staff environments, lower running costs & sustainable buildings and management practices.

As part of an on-going campaign on green issues across the whole of the NHS (www.nhssustainabilityday.co.uk) and a one day event to be held at St. Bart’s Hospital on May 21st (Healthcare in Focus), both Bart’s & Great Ormond Street Hospitals have recently piloted the BREEAM In-Use methodology on their buildings.

BREEAM In-Use is designed to support building managers, owners and occupiers in reducing the running costs and improving the environmental performance of their existing non-domestic buildings. Recently adapted for the healthcare sector, BIU allows clients to find out how well they are doing currently in terms of sustainability and then have a clear pathway for improvements.

‘The major benefit is to the Trusts in terms of running costs and the patients in terms of a more comfortable, healthy environment in which they can heal and recover. Surely this kind of assessment can only be a good thing for patients and this has been recognised by Bart’s & Great Ormond Street Hospitals’, said James Fisher, who leads the Existing Buildings Team within BREEAM.

In terms of the assessments themselves, Bart’s put three of their buildings through the methodology; an Outpatients’ facility and Pathology & Pharmacy building both in Whitechapel, as well as a new-build project in the City. They scored just under 50% across the assessments on all three projects, with the new-build scoring 63% for occupier management and reaching the ‘Very Good’ category.

Fiona Daly, Environmental Manager at Bart’s Health NHS Trust said:

“Bart’s Health NHS Trust took part in the pilot BREEAM In-Use Healthcare Scheme as part of our overall strategy to reduce the environmental impact of our existing estate. The scheme provided an independently certified review of how efficiently our assets are being operated and managed. We found it easy to use and were very pleased with the results. Following the success of the pilot we have incorporated the BREEAM In-Use certification mechanism into our EPC contract specification going forward.”

Great Ormond Street used BREEAM In-Use to assess the environmental performance of their Octave Bonar Wing to identify potential opportunities for improvements and to benchmark them. They scored an average of 56% across all three parts.

Brendan Rouse Energy Manager at GOSH said:

“The tool was straight forward to use and the result of our audit was certificated by BRE which will allow us to quantify future improvements and to demonstrate our existing performance using third party accreditation. This tool has the potential to allow us to measure the impacts of our different work streams such as our upcoming energy performance contract, waste management initiatives and broader sustainability strategy under one assessment, saving time and avoiding duplication.”