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What you should know about the NHS Net Zero Building Standard

2 October 2023

In February 2023, the NHS launched the NHS Net Zero Building Standard, which provides up to date technical guidance designed to support the development of sustainable, resilient and energy efficient buildings that meet the needs of patients both now as well as in the future.

From 1 October 2023, all investments in new NHS buildings and major upgrades to facilities that are subject to HM Treasury business case approval process and are at pre-strategic outline business case (SOC) approval stage will need to include use of the NHS Net Zero Building Standard.

The Standard itself is the overarching document that must be applied to every aspect of the design and business case stages. It has been designed to be used throughout the project lifecycle, from preparation and briefing, through to handover and in-use. (RIBA stages 1-7).

A notable aspect of the NHS Net Zero Building Standard is the specific requirement to identify and appoint a Net Zero Carbon Coordinator, to oversee design and performance compliance and to report on performance at relevant business case stages. This new role requires a suitably qualified professional who will manage the net zero carbon design, monitoring and performance compliance responsibilities for your projects. As part of the Net Zero Building Standard there are document terms and Compliance Tools that you should familiarise yourself with.

Below is a list of what these are and what you should know:

Your journey to net zero – key points to note

  • From 1 October 2023 you must ensure that your investments in new buildings and any major upgrades to facilities (that are subject to HM Treasury business case approval process and are at pre-strategic outline business case (SOC) approval stage) comply with the NHS Net Zero Building Standard.
  • Business case approval at every stage will require verification of project performance and reporting against the Standard’s requirements, so it is essential to embrace the process from project start up and continuously, thereafter.
  • You must appoint a qualified individual who can take on the Net Zero Carbon Coordinator responsibilities for these projects.
  • There are three Compliance Tools that go with the Standard and these must be used as the principal reporting mechanism.

Leading the way – Making what could seem complicated, easy.

Here at Drees & Sommer UK, we have a team of health sector experts who are passionate about supporting our clients in meeting their objectives, ensuring that at all times there is a focus on improving the patient experience, from the earliest stages through to project commissioning and operation.

Our Business Case Practitioners work logically through the HM Treasury 5-Case Model process, ensuring that the Strategic Case is clinically compelling, with realisable benefits. The team are familiar with the new requirements of the NHS Net Zero Building Standard.

As part of our bespoke solutions, we are best placed to take on the role of Net Zero Carbon Coordinator. Our team of energy & sustainability experts are already working with clients to ensure that the net zero carbon performance of their projects are a top priority.

With the new Net Zero Carbon Coordinator becoming compulsory for each building project, we can use our expertise to guide you through this new process and make sure the road to net zero is as easy as possible.

See more about our work in Health here.

Find out what Net Zero Carbon Services we have here.