New Harlow hospital hopes to be carbon neutral

Health / Mon 24th May 2021 at 09:51am

A NEW hospital in Harlow is set to be among the first in the country that does not have gas boilers.

It means that the hospital will not rely on gas boilers for heating and hot water and instead on more renewable sources of power. These include ground source heat pumps, solar panels and ways to minimise the use of electricity in the first place.

The hospital is currently drawing up final design plans for the new estate – set to be the green fields close to what will be junction 7a off the M11.

However concept images have been revealed – giving some indication of what the hospital may look like. The current site uses 14 million kWh gas for heating and hot water each year – which equates to about 2,600 tonnes of CO2.

The new site will directly emit 0 kg CO2 for the same purposes.

This is equivalent to saving 13 million miles in a family car or more than 1,400 return flights from London to New York.

The plan is for the new hospital to be set in greenfield land to the east of Harlow forming an important and integral part of a planned new community.

The design of the new hospital is also set to serve as an anchor to the new and existing garden town communities in and around nearby parts of Hertfordshire and north Essex.

Construction is set to start in 2023 and last three years.

The existing Hamstel Road hospital site has been allocated for around 550 homes.

CEO Lance McCarthy said: “We want the new Princess Alexandra Hospital to be carbon neutral and we want it to be sustainable and we’re planning on it being the first all-electric hospital run in the country. We also don’t want it to feel like it is a hospital.

“We want it to feel like a warm calming relaxing environment and we will be using the most modern methods of construction so that we can make it as repeatable as possible so we can make it as flexible as possible and so that we have the ability to be able to expand.”

Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates, said: “Net zero carbon is really important but basically it is a design that allows all of the energy that is created in the building to be recycled into the building.

“We’re talking about things like ground source heat pumps, we’re talking about having our own substation on the site, we’re talking about photovoltaics on the site to generate our own electricity.

“We’re talking about how we can minimise the use of electricity in the first place. I can’t tell you how complicated it is because hospitals are actually massive users of electricity.

“So it’s from everything we use right the way through the supply chain. Through to how the building’s designed and right the way through to how we generate energy and use energy on the site.”

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