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NHS building decarbonisation to aid construction workload recovery.

NHS trusts were first asked to come up with green plans back in 2022 and those proposals are coming to fruition with the procurement of a major new £300 million Decarbonisation of Estates framework (Project ID: 23173474).

A prior information notice was issued in May last year and responses are being reviewed by NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), which is consulting on the scheme. Glenigan’s construction industry research suggests that tenders are due to be invited imminently with work on the framework set to begin later this summer.

Retrofit roll-out

At the heart of the Decarbonisation of Estates framework is a major programme of retrofitting as part of central government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which aims to reduce emissions from all public sector buildings by 75% compared to 2017 levels (Project ID: 23258419).

Market engagement has taken place on the scope of the NHS framework, which began last year with seven key areas. These are insulation, solar PV, renewable heating installations, windows, LED lighting, building management systems, and air conditioning, cooling, and ventilation.

Pagabo plans

Other frameworks have already been set up to tap into this growing area. These include the Decarbonisation Solutions for Health Framework set up by the public sector procurement body Pagabo (Project ID: 23241412).

The framework is expected to see spending of an estimated £1.6 billion spread across four value-based lots.

This will cover work up to £1 million, projects from £1 million to £5 million, £5 million to £15 million, and schemes expected to cost £15 million or more.

The work covers projects including – but not limited to – installation of specialist heating, cooling & ventilation systems, installation of renewable energy sources, fabric upgrades, installation of energy-saving lighting, and replacement of inefficient glazing.

The framework starts operation in May 2024 and can only be used by healthcare schemes with Great Ormond Street Hospital serving as the healthcare sector-specialist contracting authority.

A total of 47 contractors have landed places on the deal from specialist players such as mechanical & electrical contractor Briggs & Forrester to regional main contractors including Hobson & Porter to national outfits like VINCI.

Trusts go ahead

Some individual NHS trusts are already procuring decarbonisation projects.

In Scotland, NHS Orkney has, for example, now moved on to the second year of an energy improvements plan. Expressions of interest for the £2.25 million second stage have been received and are being evaluated (Project ID: 24084148).

Retrofitting work will include external insulation, loft insulation, replacement windows and doors, replacement heating installations, Solar panels and heat batteries at NHS Orkney facilities on North Ronaldsay, Westray, Stronsay and Sanday.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is transitioning all heating systems at its sites in Ashton Centre, Cullingworth House and Woodkirk from fossil fuel to electric, through the use of air source heat pumps (Project ID: 24005155).

This project will also include installation of solar panels to help with the electrical requirements of heat pumps. Glenigan’s construction market research suggests work will begin in September.

Healthy workload

With billions of pounds of work set to come on stream over the next 12 months, retrofitting and decarbonisation in the health sector looks set to provide a boom for the industry.

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