Our built environment is responsible for 40% of the UKs carbon footprint and 78% of CO2 emissions in London. It is therefore no surprise that 98% of NHS workers believe our public health service should be more environmentally friendly. In order for the NHS to meet their target, Trusts must adapt their estates to drastically reduce their carbon footprint, both at the construction and operational levels.
One alternative, in offering a far more cost-effective and environmentally conscious alternative to traditional methods, is modular construction. Its offsite factory process is more efficient, requiring up to 67% less energy to deliver a building and producing lifetime energy savings of up to 90%. NHS Trusts will also incur savings with modular structures due to their ability to be repurposed across different sites or temporarily expand capacity during periods of increased pressure.
Another option for NHS Trusts is to explore new opportunities such as leasing surplus or underused space to better optimise use of its resources. Indeed, lettings platforms, like Kajima’s BookingsPlus, have been used in non-lockdown periods to help support community venues and schools to generate revenue and maximise space usage.
Saving on energy usage is a huge part of achieving sustainability and NHS facilities should take advantage of cutting-edge smart building technology such as building sensors which monitor and automatically alter energy usage based on occupational density and facility requirements, saving money and reducing emissions.
Making these investments now is sure to pay dividends – not just in improving the sustainability and efficiency of public health buildings, but in reducing costs and enhancing outcomes for patients. Now is the time to invest in the NHS of the future.