Gloucestershire Royal Hospital takes a step closer to net zero

Vital Energi are implementing a range of low-carbon energy solutions at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in an £11.2m contract which will reduce Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s carbon footprint by approximately 1,400 tonnes a year and deliver financial savings.

As well as being the most visible part of the hospital site, the 11-storey concrete Tower Block building, which was built in the 1970s, is one of the most visible buildings in Gloucester, dominating the skyline.

Vital Energi are carrying out comprehensive upgrades to the external fabric and windows of all four sides of the Tower Block, from the ground floor up to the 11th floor, which will significantly reduce heat loss through the building fabric and glazing units, resulting in lower energy usage and reduced carbon emissions.

The Tower Block upgrade works will enhance the patient and staff experience through increased natural light, improved ventilation, and reductions in external noise levels, and the two-toned façade panelling will drastically improve the aesthetics of the building.

The existing windows will be replaced with modern, contemporary tripled glazed windows throughout, and the heating systems will be improved too, which will help to optimise the temperature across the building.

The project also includes the installation of a 200kW air source heat pump, which will provide low carbon heat to the hospital, as well as upgrades to the heating and hot water controls systems which will further reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.

“We launched our Green Plan last year with the aim of making our NHS hospitals carbon neutral by 2040 in line with national policy. That’s a hugely ambitious goal and this programme is a significant step in that journey."

Jen Cleary, Head of Sustainability, Gloucestershire Managed Services

Development Engineering Manager, Rolf Hudson, is playing a key role in the design and delivery of the project.

“We’re really pleased to be working on our second round of PSDS (Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme) projects with the Trust, assisting their journey to net zero carbon by 2040 under a new long-term energy performance contract. We’ve designed an optimum solution which will significantly reduce the hospital’s carbon emissions and energy bills, as well as providing increased levels of staff and patient comfort,” said Rolf.

“We have an extensive track record of delivering complex infrastructure upgrades within hospital environments, and are working closely with hospital staff to ensure energy services are maintained at all times, and the patient experience is not affected.”

Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled at securing this additional money. This investment will not only provide significant environmental benefits but will also enhance the aesthetic appearance of the Tower Block and bringing with it all those softer associations such as improved morale, staff recruitment and retention and a better public perception of our hospitals.

“This investment comes on top of an existing capital programme of more than £100m which is enabling us to realise our vision for centres of excellence at our Cheltenham and Gloucester acute hospital sites. We want to provide the very best care possible with patient outcomes as good as anywhere else in the country.”

The project received grant funding from PSDS Phase 3a and will be delivered through the Carbon and Energy Fund Framework (CEF), which has been specifically created to fund complex energy infrastructure upgrades for public sector organisations.

The construction and engineering works are due to commence on site in March 2023.

Read about the first phase of the Trust’s decarbonisation works here.