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Foleshill Health Centre

Location: Coventry
Completion Status: Completed Occupancy: August 2021
Architect: Tooley Foster Consultant: AECOM
Contractor: Portakabin Client: NHS, Community Health Partnerships
Certification: October 2021 Certifier: WARM
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2023 UK PAssivhaus Awards FinalistEnergy efficient buildings could save the NHS millions! Becoming the UK’s first certified Passivhaus health Centre - could this exciting prefab modular development provide affordable & speedy delivery without compromising on building performance? Finalist in the 2023 UK Passivhaus Awards non domestic category.



Health estate makes up 4-5% of England's carbon footprint. Foleshill Health Centre in Coventry is the first NHS building to achieve Passivhaus certification, striving to redefine healthcentre design in the UK. The award-winning building contributes to the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus ambitions, providing an affordable design framework that can be replicated at speed and scale across the whole of the NHS estate and the UK.


The Passivhaus certification of Foleshill Health Centre confirms that very energy efficient NHS health buildings are now here, and even better, the long term cost of ownership is lower than the conventional alternative.

Peter Ranken, Director of Sustainability, PHT member Tooley Foster


Key Stats

Completion date: June 2021

Certification date: October 2021

No. Units: 1

Treated Floor Area (TFA): 479m2

Construction type: Prefabricated SIPs

Foleshill Health Centre, Image credit: Beth Walsh


Although Foleshill Health Centre was designed to cater for the expected 10,000 patients in the local Coventry area, the brief was developed with greater ambitions in mind. PHT members Tooley Foster have created a model which could be replicated for future healthcare buildings, with key aims to:

  • Provide healthy indoor environments to benefit patients and staff.
  • Improve energy-efficiency of traditional healthcare facilities.
  • Offer a financially viable solution over the building's lifecycle.

As a tried and tested standard with monitoring data spanning more than three decades, Passivhaus was deemed the robust and reliable route to meet this challenging brief. Through cost modelling and research, the design is predicted to save the NHS approximately £450,000 in operating costs over 25 years following construction. Since the health centre was opened to patients in August 2021, post-occupany monitoring has revealed:


Foleshill Health Centre cost comparisons between Passivhaus and other standards. Credit: Tooley Foster. Quote: Energy consumption at Foleshill is equivalent to an average 4-bed house but it is four times the size. The energy consumption is less than a third of a similar size conventional health centre - Peter Ranken, Tooley Foster



Research report: Reducing the cost of healthcare buildings with Passivhaus

PHT members Tooley Foster and AECOM, along with CHP, have carried out research to demonstrate the importance of implementing Passivhaus design for future carbon reduction and financial savings for the healthcare sector.

By compiling detailed research of two existing NHS buildings, the document aims to show the energy savings that could have been achieved if both buildings had been constructed to the Passivhaus standard.

Download the report

Foleshill Health Centre Passivhaus Costs V Standard Costs. Image Credit Tooley Foster/ AECOM


This is a very exciting project that paves the way for future sustainable developments which will make a valuable contribution to the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus target for net zero by 2045. Health estate makes up 4-5% of England’s carbon footprint, so it is vital to find ways forward to reducing this.

Malcolm Twite, CHP’s Executive Director, Property Performance


Applying Passivhaus to a prefabricated modular design was paramount to the success of the project, not only in terms of speed but also due to the high-quality delivery that the methodology ensures. The off-site approach lends itself to meticulous detailing to achieve excellent airtightness levels, eliminating draughts and associated heat losses within the overall structure. This in turn decreases unnecessary energy usage, and therefore drastically reduces both environmental impact and energy bills.

Foleshill Health Centre. Image credit: Community Health Partnership. Quote: This pilot project is pushing the boundaries of offsite construction within the public sector as well as what can be achieved with MMC (Modern Methods of Construction). Foleshill is showcasing the flexibility of MMC and is a bold and brave step toward creating a legacy of buildings that will help the construction industry proactively tackle climate change - Lee Connolly, Portakabin


Constructed in just 25 weeks, the scheme is made up of 13 prefabricated modules, each engineered off-site using a standardised SIPS panel system. Once transported to site, the prefabricated panels were assembled atop the raft foundation and reinforced concrete slab, and were then adapted to accommodate increased insulation to meet Passivhaus standards.

The structure was wrapped in external mineral wool insulation, with a rainscreen cladding. Polystyrene insulation was  implemented to join up external walls, ensuring a thermal bridge-free structure between walls and the ground. The roof features a ply insulation standardised roof panel with timber parapet. Amazingly the entire building became watertight in only 3 days!

The entrance is marked by a dual-purpose timber structure, providing an interesting architectural feature and shading to the glazed waiting room. The remainder of the scheme has a simple form factor, housing five consulting rooms, facing mainly west for increased privacy, and two treatment rooms with accompanying waiting rooms and reception areas to the southeast.


Foleshill Health Centre © GB Partnerships


Prefabricated SIPs, mineral wool insulation


Raft foundation with reinforced concrete slab


Ply insulation standardised roof panel

Foleshill Health Centre, Image credit: Heavy-Duty Time-Lapse
Foleshill Health Centre, Heat pumps © Tooley Foster Foleshill Health Centre, airtightness layer  © Tooley Foster


Foleshill Health Centre Construction detail © Tooley Foster    

Building Performance


Due to fluctuating humidity levels in healthcare buildings, implementing an effective ventilation strategy is critical to prevent the spread of viruses. A key design challenge was unifying the Passivhaus methodology with the NHS health technical Memorandum HTM03-01 ventilation rates, requiring specified air changes for specific rooms within all healthcare facilities in the UK. This was achieved by detailed room by room ventilation analysis to meet these stringent demands.

The consultation rooms are ventilated at 30m3/hour/person according to Passivhaus guidance of 3 persons per room. The Treatment rooms each contain separate MVHR units with standard at 90m3/hour/person, with boost rate of 10ach (394m3/h) for treatment purposes and include manual controls for when minor surgeries are performed.

Foleshill Health Centre Consultation Room, Image Credit: Beth Walsh Foleshill Health Centre Treatment Room, Image Credit: Beth Walsh

Foleshill Health Centre, Reception. Image credit: Community Health Partnership. Quote: We are proud to have the UK’s greenest health building in our community. It provides a calm and reassuring environment for our patients.’ - Dr Mesbahuddin Syeed, GP at Foleshill Health Centre


As the first step towards the NHS' aim to become the world’s first net-zero national health service, it is hoped that Foleshill Health Centre will revolutionise efficiency & comfort in UK healthcare design. With the first Passivhaus Hospital in Frankfurt recently certified (June 2022), we look forward to seeing how these pioneering schemes influence the future of healthcare design on the path to net-zero.


Key team

Project Client: NHS, Community Health Partnerships

Architects:  PHT member Tooley Foster

Main Contractor: Portakabin

Infrastructure consultants: PHT member AECOM

Certifier: PHT Patron WARM

Foleshill Health Centre © CHP



2023 UK Passivhaus Awards: Foleshill Health Centre poster 2023 UK Passivhaus Awards: Foleshill Health Centre - presentation

"We are really excited to see patients move into this fantastic efficient modular build. The services that will be provided from this building will ensure we continue to provide high quality, safe and effective care for the local residents of Foleshill."

Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair NHS Coventry & Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Foleshill Health Centre, Image credit: Beth Walsh


Unless stated all image credits Community Health Partnerships



Further information

Foleshill Health Centre

Community Health Partnerships: Foleshill Health Centre

Previous PHT story: Is this the future of healthcare design? - 21 January 2021

Previous PHT story: The case for MVHR -29 April 2020

Building Better Healthcare: Passivhaus design 'saves the NHS millions'

Passivhaus Civic & Cultural

Passivhaus Benefits

Delivering a net zero NHS

Passivhaus Frankfurt Hospital


2023 UK Passivhaus AwardsBack to 2023 UK Passivhaus Awards