Energy performance and health assets: The only way is Essex
Energy performance tackled through private sector participation?
Like all public buildings, health assets are faced with increasingly stringent energy performance norms. Regulations pertaining to the control and reduction of CO2 emissions, use of environmentally friendly sources of energy, control of consumption and waste of energy or improvement of recycling and waste management cycles are but a few of the challenges presented to public infrastructure in general, and which may create critical difficulties for complex assets such as hospitals.
The multiplicity of technical options combined This explains the substantial number of tenders that appear across countries and that focus on the provision of innovative solutions for power and heating for hospitals. The complexity and technicality -which often fall outside the strict scope of abilities available in the health sector- also explain the attractiveness of outsourcing solutions.
Many of these tenders relate to complex contracting instruments such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) where the contracting authority does not buy an asset but rather a stream of services which can typically include innovative ad-hoc design, building, financing, operation and maintenance. The sharing of risks and rewards is a defining trait of these contracting arrangements.
Other global contracts are possible, mixing different phases of a project to ensure more coherence as well as optimize the understanding of the whole project rationale and value-chain, in order to best respond to complex technical needs for instance.
This is the case for the Mid and South Essex (MSE) NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom which issued on 2nd January 2021 an invitation to tender for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. A two-phase 15-year contract running up to 2036 aims at supplying the design, supply, build, installation, test and commissioning phase then leading to the operation and maintenance phase.
At a time where world leaders focus on greening infrastructure, responsible for nearly 40% of the global carbon emissions, this project illustrates the practical commitment of public decision makers to contribute with environmentally-friendly public assets, which entails massive transformation for health infrastructure.
To know more about greening the infrastructure projects’ lifecycle, read the recent general overview provided by the BBC: click here