Foleshill Health Centre

The start of something new

Foleshill Health Centre is the first Passivhaus building for NHS England.

Energy consumption in the first-year matches design predications with no ‘performance gap', and costs half that of a traditional building over 25 years.

Our design aids the regeneration of Foleshill and provides a calm and reassuring space for patients and staff.

Reception & waiting room

Front entrance

Built on a former swimming pool, the site nestles between a row of Victorian terraces and a faded industrial estate. A ‘temporary’ surgery had existed in a pub car park for over ten years, and had struggled to provide healthcare services for the 10,000 people in the catchment. After the millennium new housing began to be constructed, and in 2016 an application was made to replace the ailing GP building with something new.

We envisaged the new community surgery as the catalyst for regeneration in the area. And as architects we're keen to deliver every possible benefit for the people who use the building and live in the area. Our aim is to always think beyond excellence in construction and develop benefits for the wider community as a whole.

We are really excited to see patients move into this fantastic efficient modular build. The services that will be provided from this building will ensure we continue to provide high quality, safe and effective care for the local residents of Foleshill.

Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group

The Design

The new Foleshill Health Centre is the first Passivhaus medical building built for the NHS. It provides a healthy, controlled environment where temperature, energy usage and air quality are strictly controlled. We developed internal spaces using analysis of usage and movement flows and provided landscaped gardens, electric charging points and sustainable transport options – including disabled parking next to the entrance.

Our conviction to shift the orientation of the original building and set the entrance facing the road produced significant benefits. Not only did this create a restful symmetry and open space between Foleshill and the building opposite, but avoided the formation of anti-social spaces to the rear of the building allowing consulting rooms to face outward onto secluded gardens. 

Original orientation and positioning of car park

With car park re-positioned to the side

Side elevation drawing

View from side of building

Treatment room

From the construction site at Foleshill, only 2.48% of waste went to landfill (1,063 tonnes) with 97.5% recycled (41,847 tonnes). 

The 2021 sustainability impact report from Sustainability Partnerships

Hailed as the UK’s greenest GP surgery and a major milestone for Passivhaus and modular construction, Foleshill Health Centre is the most energy-efficient public building in the NHS estate.  On-site for 25 weeks, using off-site modular construction and targeting BREEAM Excellent rating; Foleshill Health Centre has two storeys, five consulting rooms, two treatment rooms, offices, a reception area and a waiting room. Costing £3.3 million, it is a public capital funded scheme for the NHS.


This landmark development followed a rigorous cost benefit analysis that formed a key contribution to the business case for Foleshill. The analysis demonstrated how Passivhaus buildings will save the health system nearly £0.5m in operating costs over the 25 years after completion and how low energy design could play a significant role for the NHS as they move towards net zero emissions by 2045. 

Tooley Foster have produced an overview of this research in a recent publication, ‘Reducing the cost of Healthcare Buildings with Passivhaus'. It captures detailed cost and energy usage data from two NHS health centres built in 2008 and 2014. Then compares these figures against projected data for the same buildings, but this time constructed to the Passivhaus Classic standard.

You can download the PDF here.

Project team

Peter Ranken

Director of Sustainability & Certified Passivhaus Designer

Connor Randall

Architectural Assistant & Certified Passivhaus Designer

Rod Lau


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