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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G061327/1
Title: Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate (DeDeRHECC)
Principal Investigator: Short, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Lomas, Professor K Eckert, Professor CM Clarkson, Professor J
Noakes, Professor C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Addenbrookes Hospital Bradford Teaching Hosp NHS Found Trust Department of Health
Hemel Hempstead General Hospital Uni Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
Department: Architecture
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2009 Ends: 28 February 2013 Value (£): 896,583
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Construction Ops & Management
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Environment
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Mar 2009 Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Department of Health (DH) and the NHS are particularly exercised by climate change. Whereas the occupants of other building types might consider raising their comfort temperature thresholds a little in summer and suspend the use of mechanical cooling, NHS patients' well being and safety may well be compromised by higher summer temperatures. In fact the DH and the NHS are hit by a double whammy, the pressure to reduce energy consumption, colliding with the pressure to protect their patients and staff from overheating, the dangers of which were manifest in recent years' summer heatwaves. Innovative low energy design strategies and techniques will be required both for new buildings and, most importantly, for the existing building stock, the 27,701,676 square metres of the NHS Retained Estate. However there are many barriers to the implementation of such innovative interventions in NHS buildings, patient safety being paramount. Worries include the inability to achieve stable temperature control and safe ventilation (the airborne transmission of pathogens is an emerging science as our colleague Dr.Cath Noakes freely admits), the proliferation in the use of medical equipment adding heat to hospital interiors and the mechanics of modern contractual arrangements which place private companies in charge of the Facilities Management of health buildings, which, unsurprisingly, given the penalties they face, are ultra-cautious about adopting change.This project, 'Design and delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate' (DeDeRHECC), will investigate these conundra to come up with economical and practical low energy refurbishment strategies for existing hospitals. It will derive a closer definition of resilience in the context of an acute hospital and, most particularly, the criteria set for hospital environments for the various categories of space found in hospitals; non-clinical, patient rooms, diagnostic and treatment, even operating theatres. The team is sceptical that these all align into a cherent requirement and will review UK and US criteria. Using four sets of hospital sites drawn from the project's four participating major NHS Trusts, it will 'catalogue' basic hospital building types from this sizeable sample of NHS stock, identify those most frequently occurring, assess their current resilience to climate change and propose appropriate solutions or clusters of interventions for each 'type'. It will model these ideas so that relative energy savings can be quantified and their resilience to warming external temperatures determined. It will cost them. It will calculate the lifetime running costs and energy savings and assess Value for Money. It will also examine the procurement environment in which these innovative solutions need to be delivered, the protocols by which refurbishment projects are designed, approved and implemented. Their delivery will incur risks. The project will take innovative risk assessment tools for change, developed for engineering design, and apply them to these future large and medium scale construction projects. It will develop processes to make the integration of these innovative, low energy interventions into hospital refurbishment projects smoother and more familiar to those who will be delivering them. It will produce guidance and worked examples in text and web form and, most significantly, as a DVD film of participants discussing the challenges, their anxieties, the ideas and how to deliver them. Accompanying animations will communicate the strategies and communications vividly and quickly to very busy people.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk