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A picture of health

A hospital under construction in Glasgow is achieving impressive waste management and sustainability targets, reports Daniel Kemp

The New South Glasgow Hospitals development is the largest NHS project in the UK and is targeting BREEAM Excellent status as well as a series of other stringent sustainability and waste management targets.

It is being built on the site of the city’s Southern General Hospital, and will provide Glasgow with one of the country’s most advanced healthcare facilities.

Consultant WSP and main contractor Brookfield Multiplex had to achieve high standards of environmental performance.

WSP consultant David Bownass says: “Sustainability is at the heart of this new development. The project team included a dedicated WSP sustainability manager, as well as a BREEAM assessor and a waste management adviser.”

The Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board specified that the project had to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. A number of “stretching” energy and carbon targets were set for the project before it began.

Bownass explains: “All of the targets were discussed early in the design process at a sustainability workshop.”

Requiring particular attention early on were the energy and carbon targets, which stipulated no more than 80kg of CO2 per sq m produced per year, when typical hospital levels are 140 kg.

“Part of the solution to meet this target was to use an onsite combined heat and power plant,” says Bownass. “We are using natural gas to provide low-carbon heat and electricity for the hospital. The design of the building has been optimised to ensure its fabric is of a high standard and that low-energy building services are used throughout.”

Minimising and managing waste was perhaps the biggest single focus of all, with Brookfield Multiplex setting a corporate target to divert 83% of waste from landfill.

“We used WRAP’s Net Waste Tool throughout the design phase to identify how much waste could be reduced by,” says Bownass.

“The project team used an innovative on-site sorting system, and managed to improve the landfill diversion rate to above 90%.

“This not only improved the recycling rate and reduced the costs of sending waste to landfill, but it also meant that materials for re-use were identified and saved for use elsewhere on the site.”

The team took a designing out waste approach, with five principles: designing for re-use and recovery; offsite construction; materials optimisation; waste-efficient procurement; and deconstruction.

“We held a workshop in conjunction with Brookfield Multiplex at the project outset, and by considering these aspects at the start we were able to embed them into the design process,” Bownass says.

The current projection for NSGH is to have just 1,700 tonnes of waste going to landfill, 80% less than the industry baseline of 8,200 tonnes: “We expect a potential cost saving of 5% on the standard industry waste disposal cost of £5,840,909 for a hospital of this size,” Bownass predicts.

Brookfield Multiplex chose to use a bespoke version of building advice group BRE’s SMARTWaste tool, where waste levels are tracked along with the destination of the waste.

“This tool shows our progress towards the BREEAM target of 90% landfill diversion waste and where improvements can or need to be made,” Bownass explains.

A version of this article first appeared in MRW’s sister title Construction News

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