Building Better Healthcare Awards 2013: Your guide to the SUSTAINABILITY category


Two awards up for grabs in recognition of efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the healthcare sector

This week our guide to the 2013 Building Better Healthcare Awards focuses on the Sustainability class, which has been expanded this year in recognition of the continued efforts of NHS trusts to reduce their carbon footprint and futureproof facilities.

There are two awards up for grabs within this category - Most Innovative Use of Energy and Best Carbon Reduction Initiative.

The award for Most Innovative Use of Energy will be presented to a product, process or service that has utilised alternative forms of power to reduce energy use and cut costs within the healthcare estate.

The judges will be looking for an entry that has been successfully implemented in a healthcare setting and which shows innovation and a measurable positive impact on energy consumption.

Entries must show proven benefits and positive outcomes in terms of reducing energy consumption and must make an overall contribution to the wider sustainability and carbon reduction efforts of the organisation involved.

Examples of projects covered in this category include the introduction of combined heat and power (CHP) plants, ground source heat pumps, or solar shading or solar panels.

The second award is for Best Carbon Reduction Initiative . This covers any effort to reduce the carbon footprint of a healthcare organisation, whether that be through green transport plans, improved procurement activity, better building management, or recycling projects.

In this cases the judges will want to see a measurable reduction in the carbon footprint of the organisation attributable to the particular intervention and how this could be replicated across other trusts.

Entries can relate to products, processes or service developments and must show value for money in terms of return on investment.

Entries will need to sum up the impact of the intervention in 500 words or less, being sure to address how it meets the criteria the judges have set out for the specific category. Click here for the criteria for the Most Innovative Use of Energy award and here for the Best Carbon Reduction Initiative award.

This overview of your entry is your chance to grab the attention of our judges. Therefore, failure to cover all of the points laid out in the criteria could result in your entry not making the shortlist. The judges can only make their decision based on the information you put in front of them.

The written entry for this category should be accompanied by images illustrating the technology or the processes used.

Previous winners of the Sustainbility class include Houghton-le-Spring Primary Care Centre, which broke new ground in becoming the first building in the UK to achieve a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating for sustainability as early as the initial design phase.

Interventions included a bespoke thermal wall to provide natural ventilation, PV and solar-thermal panes, ground source heat pumps, a wind turbine, rainwater harvesting and electric car plug points.”

The judges said of the entry: “This was a client that demanded that sustainability and environmental performance were paramount from the very earliest stage of the design process, leading to this development being the first to get a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating. The building also meets the needs of its users and when we talk about sustainable NHS services, this is going to help create a benchmark for the future.”

In 2011 a sustainability award was presented to The Christie NHS Trust for its approach to lighting in its new treatment centre. The scheme achieved targets in excess of 60 luminaire lumens per circuit watts in most areas, achieving 'Best Practice' level in the Designed Energy Efficiency Rating scheme and generating a tangible reduction in cost and ongoing carbon emissions. The scheme reduced the installed load by 28.61kW; a significant saving of more than 38%, which equates to 112,000kWhs per year.

Kevin Oxley, the head judge in the class, said of the decision to award the prize to the trust: “Often we look at energy efficiency solutions and are very much driven by reducing carbon and energy and saving money. This project delivered far greater efficiencies for the organisation, demonstrating additional improvements to the quality of the environment in which patients are being treated. It showed how quality and efficiency can go hand in hand if you get the right solution.”

The judges will be looking for similar entries this year, so if you think you could qualify for one of these awards, click here to read more about this year’s event and all the categories, and to submit your entry. The closing date is 28 June and each entry costs just £99 plus VAT. You can enter as many categories as you wish, but entries must be adapted to suit the particular category being entered.

Click here to see all the winners from 2012 and the reasons they were singled out for praise by our judges.

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If you need further help or advice on your entry call Jo Makosinski on 020 7193 8083 or email There are also some exciting opportunities to sponsor awards and to exhibit at the champagne reception that will be held prior to the awards ceremony. To discuss a tailor-made package, or to book your seat at the ceremony, contact Stephen Fontana by email at or call 020 7193 1641; or Ali Badr or call 020 7193 6654.