Reference: Resilience of ‘Nightingale’ hospital wards in a changing climate (2012) Lomas, K.J., Giridharan, R., Short, C.A. and Fair, A.J.

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Abstract or summary

The National Health Service (NHS) Estate in England comprises more than 30 Mm2 with 18.83 Mm2 of acute hospital accommodation on 330 sites. There is concern about the resilience of these buildings in a changing climate, informed by the experience of recent heatwaves. However, the widespread installation of air conditioning would disrupt the achievement of ambitious energy reduction targets. The research project ‘Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate’ is attempting to estimate the resilience of the NHS Estate on the basis of current and projected performance, using an adaptive comfort model. This paper presents results relating to a 1920s traditionally built block with open ‘Nightingale’ wards, a representative type. The paper demonstrates the relative resilience of the type, and illustrates a series of light-touch measures that may increase resilience while saving energy.