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Sustainability Statement for Healthcare Development

After a request from a client a sustainability statement was developed in conjunction with a planning application for a major Health Care development, the following key issues were outlined.

2.0      KEY ISSUES   

2.1      Land Re-use

A sustainable approach favors the use of “brown-field” sites. The site is deemed as “brown field” by the Local Planning Authority, and as such the development does not occupy previously undeveloped land.

Use of “brown field” land will contribute towards a “very good” BREEAM rating.

2.2     Energy / Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Image result for wikimedia solar thermal

The project intends to incorporate renewable energy sources in the form of “low flow” hot water solar panels; this will be used to meet 10% of the buildings power needs under the “Merton Rule”.

It will be possible to generate 10% of buildings energy needs solely from heating water.

The building design makes excellent use of natural light; this will keep energy consumption from light low during daylight hours.


Use of materials with good thermal properties will minimize energy loss through a reduction in escaping of heat.


Image (Left): Barelyhere [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This will be achieved by the following methods:


1.    Limit Internal Temperature rise due to solar gain.

2.    Achieve “U Values” higher than those stated in Building Regulations,and insure good continuity of insulation throughout the building.

3.    Low Energy Lighting

4.    Low heat loss from air flow.

5.    General Adherence to guidance given in BREEAM and Buiding Regulations with regard to Energy Efficiency.


2.3      Materials


Sustainably sourced materials will be used where possible, for example FSC[iii] wood will be used in construction. Where ever possible materials with low embodied carbon will be used, and construction waste will prevented from the design stage onwards.


2.4      Water


A “very good” BREEAM rating will lead to the installation and commissioning of water saving devices, or rain water harvesting. More information: Water Saving Features

2.5      Pollution and Flooding

In order to minimise impact on surface water drainage systems in the area, the project will include Sustainable drainage features within its design, examples may include feeding surface water in to existing SUDS schemes in the area, and having permeable car parking areas and soak-aways for roof born rainwater.Environment Agency Flood Risk maps show that the site has a 99% chance of not flooding.[i

2.6      Natural Environments


Where possible the ecology of the site will be preserved and efforts will be made to increase bio-diversity. Submitted plans for the project show the planting of trees as part of the landscaping process, these in time may become habitats for new species.


2.7      Waste

With waste-disposal charges rising year on year waste management will be very carefully considered. Areas sufficient for pre-treatment of waste will be included within the project.

Clinical Waste and General Wastes will be handled separately and the appropriate licenses will be sought or existing licenses modified.

3.0    Building for Life Criteria 

Environment and Community

Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafes?

NA - The development’s sole purpose is to meet the public’s need. This may not apply directly the local area, due the specialized care offered, occupants may come from further afield.

Is there an accommodation mix that reflects the needs and aspirations of the local community?

NA - Accommodation is provided for a very specific group of people in mind. Its design is based upon the accommodation of patients with a need for rehabilitation .

Is there a tenure mix that reflects the needs of the local community?

NA - The buildings tenure will be agreed upon between the NHS .

Does the development have easy access to public transport?

Yes - The Hospital Site is well served by public transport.

Does the development have any features that reduce its environmental impact?

Yes - The development has many features to reduce it environmental impact these a specified in the above document (S10-012)


Is the design specific to the scheme?


Does the scheme exploit existing buildings, landscape or topography?

Yes - The Building is an extension of the existing building.

Does the scheme feel like a place with distinctive character?

NA - The building is Utilitarian in character, which is in line with its intended end use, and the character of the buildings surrounding.

Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around?

Yes - The building is designed as a residential wing of the existing facility; it will have relevant signs and directional notes in order to make for easy navigation.

Are streets defined by a well-structured building layout?

Yes - Streets will be unaffected.

Streets, Parking & Pedestrianisation

Does the building layout take priority over the streets and car parking, so that the highways do not dominate?

Yes - The building foot print eclipses existing car parking. However, car parking spaces equal to those removed are shown on the proposed development plan.

Is the car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene?

Yes - Car parking is integrated with a landscaping scheme, and is designed to be aesthetically pleasing.

Are the streets pedestrian, cycle and vehicle friendly?

Yes - A cycle store is provided within the remit of the new development. Pavement will provide safe passage for pedestrians.

Does the scheme integrate with existing streets, paths and surrounding development?

Yes - The proposed layout ties in well with the existing layout.

Are public spaces and pedestrian routes overlooked and do they feel safe?

Yes - Pedestrian routes will replicate the experience of other pedestrian routes within the hospital grounds, that is a safe pleasant experience.

Design and Construction

Is public space well designed and does it have suitable management arrangements in place?

Yes - Visitors are free to use the adjoining open areas, hallways etc will be maintained in accordance with NHS guidelines.

Do the buildings exhibit architectural quality?

Yes - The buildings architectural qualities reflect it intended purpose, that is a building design solely focused on meeting its intended purpose.

Do internal spaces and layout allow for adaptation, conversion or extension?

Yes - The building is an extension of an existing facility. Subject to available space and funding the building could be extended / altered to suit a variety of needs.

Has the scheme made use of advances in construction or technology that enhance its performance, quality and attractiveness?

Yes - Cutting edge materials will be used in the construction of this building. Priority will be given to materials that reduce the operating costs of the development, whilst minimizing its environmental impact.

Do buildings or spaces outperform statutory minima, such as building regulations?


 Example Projects

Sustainability Statement - Nottingham

Acting on instructions from a repeat client, SWEL are to prepare a sustainability statement for a car show room in Nottingham.

The car show room is a new build, and will incorporate a wealth of sustainability features.  The report submitted complements existing plans and specifications, whilst meeting requires for content set by the local planning authority.

Sustainability & Energy Statement - Bristol

The proposed development sees the conversion of a a terraced house into two flats. The sustainability statement was produced and covers the carbon reduction (40%) as required by Bristol City Policies, and also looked in to Cycle Parking and Refuse Storage.
Sustainability Reporting - Barking
In order to assess energy consumption for the development detailed SAP calculations were undertaken. To derived TER and subsequent DER. As well as high levels of fabric energy efficiency the scheme is to use combine heat and power. This will not only provide very low carbon emissions, it also provides scoring benefits under NOX emissions, and low carbon technologies sections of the Code for Sustainable Homes.