Sean Hickin

‘Robust Hospitals’ film released

A University of Cambridge research project to devise and test refurbishment strategies to improve energy efficiency and resilience of NHS hospital buildings has released their key findings in the new ‘Robust Hospitals’ film.

The NHS generates some 18 millions tons of carbon and carbon dioxide per annum, around 30% of public sector emissions, of which 22% comprises energy used to light, heat and cool its buildings. Stringent targets have been set for energy use reduction, with a 15% efficiency saving required of the NHS between March 2000 and March 2015. The Government is committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 26% below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 60% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate (De2RHECC) project, led by Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge Architecture department, investigated economical and practical strategies for the adaptation of the NHS Retained Estate to increase its resilience to climate change whilst meeting the onerous emissions targets. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department of Health, the research team examined resilience to summertime overheating of NHS hospital buildings, and devised and tested refurbishment strategies for a sample of type buildings.

The broadcast-quality film of their results, directed and produced by Peter Cook of Screenspace Productions, received an inaugural showing during the launch of the PublicHealth@Cambridge research network and may be streamed or downloaded from Further details of the research project can be found on the project website (

 (Photo by: Sean Hickin)

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