Surgical hub

Green schemes power new surgical hub in Cambridge

Cambridge University Hospitals’ new surgical hub is being driven by innovative green initiatives to help cut carbon and reach net zero.

The hub specialises in orthopaedic surgery and has been built to create a new centre of excellence that can reduce waiting lists.

The green measures deployed include cutting down single-use plastics, a restocking and ordering system that ensures nothing is wasted, and a pilot investigating the use of reusable surgical gowns.

A combination of photovoltaic solar panels and three large heat pump modules control the heating and cooling around the building.

Computer-controlled power electronics provide the balance between the heating and cooling to ensure efficiency and resilience across all weather conditions.

                                  Video credit: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Energy and sustainability manager at Cambridge University Hospitals, Richard Hales, said: “The hub’s heating and cooling system has been built with energy efficiency at its heart.

“The system is innovative not just for its practical modularity and direct connection to approximately 80kW of roof-mounted clean solar energy, but also the way the whole system is managed sets it apart.”

Cambridge’s net zero journey will be further boosted by a state-of-the-art solar panel project to supply renewable energy to Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals next year.

The scheme is expected to reduce Cambridge University Hospitals’ carbon footprint by around 400 tonnes per year.

The surgical hub’s clinical lead, Fred Robinson, who is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, added: “I’m very keen that we are genuinely on a trajectory to net zero. I think we all feel that’s very important.

“Because, as we know, healthcare contributes around 5% to the country’s carbon emissions, so the more we can reduce that, the better for us all.”

Image credit: iStock

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