THE new South Shore Primary Care Centre in is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in Blackpool, according to bosses.
As well as housing three GP surgeries, a large pharmacy and a range of NHS clinics and services, the architects’ brief for the Lytham Road centre also had to meet NHS carbon emissions policy by saving on heat, light and water.
However, its green credentials are so cleverly hidden, most visitors would be hard-pressed to spot them.
So a series of displays has been placed around the building to highlight all the ways in which the building is self-sustaining.
Dr Paul Kelly, from Highfield Surgery, said the Patient Participation Group (PPG) said: “There has been a positive environmental impact just by moving services from old clinics, and GP practices into the centre.
“Having the space to provide more treatments, and doing so closer to where people live, means fewer trips to hospital.
“There are solar panels on the roof, to harness sunshine and turn it into electricity. What we don’t use is returned to the national grid, which pays us for it, and that helps keep bills down.
“There are infra-red sensors in all the rooms which detect when the rooms are not in use and automatically switch off the lights.
“We also have a heat and power recycling unit and lots of insulation in the walls and ceilings, which means much lower emissions and bills.
“There’s a network of natural ventilation throughout to help to keep it cool.”
Dr Kelly explained how the initiatives began even before the building was constructed.
He added: “Lots of building materials from the old South Shore hospital were re-used.
“Old bricks and concrete were crushed and used as a base for the new building.
“The foundations even include a water drainage system which protects us against flooding and makes sure the site is well drained, so it doesn’t get waterlogged in bad weather.
“Rainwater isn’t wasted either – it’s collected and used to flush the toilets.”
PPG chairman John Moxham said looking after the environment was vital.
He added: “Patients can view the information points in the main reception, pharmacy and waiting room areas in the centre, and we hope they will inspire everyone to think about how they can make small changes to their carbon use.”
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