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Primary Care Centre, Houghton-le-Spring everyone’s expectations. The centre

expects to see a 33% reduction in CO2 emissions over the course of its life by using new technologies, including an innovative ventilation system designed to provide a guaranteed internal temperature of below 25°C all year round to ensure that both patients and staff are comfortable.

As Steve Elkin, Wilmott Dixon’s Scape

National Framework Manager explained: “The health sector is a people intensive business where high technology equipment is constantly in operation. That’s why it’s crucial for any new buildings to be designed and constructed in such a way that mitigates the vast amounts of carbon produced. “For this particular project, the key to its success was the close collaboration between Scape, Willmott Dixon and Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust. By working together from a very early stage to determine the best possible solution for the budget available, the team was able to deliver something unique in terms of design and functionality.” Key features of the building include solar panels to heat water and photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. Ground source heat pumps create natural heat for the building, with any excess heat being exported to the neighbouring sports centre. Exposed concrete soffits are designed in such a way as to meet infection control requirements. Finally, electric car plug in points are located in the car park, and a rainwater harvesting system is in place to meet the demands of WCs being flushed. “There are so many features that make this building sustainable,” continued Steve. “One of the outstanding highlights

for me is the building’s ability to naturally regulate its airflow and temperature all year round, cutting down on expensive running costs such as heating and air conditioning. An added benefit of dividing up the airflow within the building’s design is the reduction in risk of airborne diseases moving from one area of the building to another. “This project has been a real success from start to finish, and it just goes to show just what can be achieved when a number of parties come together with a shared vision. We hope this project will be a blueprint for future health projects around the country in showcasing sustainability at its very best.” Steve added: “We’re just heard that another of our Scape schemes, Oakham Church of England Primary School in Rutland, has been singled out for its approach to sustainability in the Leicestershire Property and Construction (ProCon) awards. We’re delighted to have received this accolade, and that our approach to sustainability in projects across all sectors is achieving widespread recognition.”

Building on the success of these projects, Willmott Dixon has secured over £100m of healthcare contracts recently, many through the Scape framework. And Scape has taken steps to refocus its Scape Zero offer, to really showcase the benefits of this approach to other potential clients. Mark says: “The Houghton-le-Street project is a superb example of an efficient project that’s run smoothly from the early procurement stages through to completion. We’ve used the lessons learnt from this scheme to reposition Scape Zero, which is our specialist service aimed Local Authorities. It provides them with an

easy way to achieve zero carbon performance on school buildings through the three standard whole building designs for primary and secondary schools.” The three Scape Zero designs have been fully researched, tested and modelled by Atkins, one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies, to ensure their energy usage is carbon negative. In the construction phase, this involves integrated architectural and engineering design, plus the use of highly insulating materials and renewable energy. In the fit-out phase, the most energy efficient heating, lighting, electrical and catering equipment is installed. And once the building is in use, ongoing assessments take place to establish where exactly energy is being used to make sure energy efficiency is further optimised. Mark adds: “We’re delighted with the success of this initiative. Every Scape Zero school building constructed to date is either carbon neutral or carbon negative, with many of the facilities contributing energy to other sources by transferring heat to adjacent buildings or supplying power to the National Grid. “There is a whole range of targets that public bodies now have to meet as part of the Government’s wider commitment to reducing the UK’s carbon footprint. Through innovative approaches such as Scape Zero, we’re enabling Local Authorities and other organisations to play their part in achieving the bigger ambition.” For further information about what Scape has to offer, visit


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