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Energy Centre at Royal Lancaster Infirmary scoops national construction award

14 March 2024

  • Making improvements
  • Hospital services
  • Royal Lancaster Infirmary
  • Delivering outstanding care and experience
  • Creating the best culture and conditions for colleagues
  • Making the best use of our resources

RLI Energy Centre exterior shot UHMBT.PNGThe Energy Centre at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) has won a national award in the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s Capital Services Team and suppliers, scooped the award for Best Non-residential New Build. The Capital Services Team worked with companies including IHP/Vinci, CCL Solutions, AJP Structural Engineers, Gilling Dod Architects and Lancaster City Council building control on the build.

More than 900 leading construction industry figures attended the LABC Building Excellence Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London to celebrate best practice, quality and exemplary standards in construction. The LABC awards focus on professional skills and competence, as well as exemplar projects with categories for ‘People’ and ‘Places.’

A panel of industry experts judged a selection of the highest quality projects, professionals and teams from around England and Wales to showcase solutions to complex technical or construction issues, site constraints and technical innovation. The awards highlight the vital contribution public sector building control teams make as part of the project team, ensuring safe, sustainable and high-quality construction projects.

RLI Energy Centre at UHMBT Bowerham Pupils 2.PNGThe RLI’s Energy Centre is a secure and cost-efficient facility, contributing to the long-term sustainability of UHMBT. Housed within a thermally efficient building shell, the centre incorporates state-of-the-art technology for enhanced reliability. The scale and complexity of the project required extensive coordination by the Capital Services Team, with regular reviews and meetings to develop the design.

Lorna Stimpson, LABC Chief Executive, congratulated the team and said: “I firmly believe that one of the best ways to see more good work is to praise building excellence and publicly acknowledge organisations, companies, designers, site managers and tradespeople who go that extra mile.”

Shaun Helme, Capital Projects Lead for the UHMBT Capital Services Team, said: “We’re delighted to have received this award on behalf of the Trust, and would like to thank everyone involved in this exciting project for their professionalism and dedication. The Energy Centre is incredibly efficient and has made the RLI site much more resilient and sustainable. All of this has knock on benefits for patients, colleagues and the local community as it is more environmentally friendly and is saving money for the NHS.”

Andy Lamb, Capital Projects Lead, Paul Coward, Capital Projects Lead and Mark Hampton, Capital Services Manager, all played a huge leading role in the delivery of the project. Mark has retired and Andy has moved on from the Trust. Ripley St Thomas Academy and Bowerham Community Primary School helped lay bricks to the final wall in June 2021 and Bowerham Community Primary School also named the three new boilers in the Energy Centre. Which are Sir Billy Boilington, Bubbling Betty and Sizzling Sam.

Shaun Helme Capital Services UHMBT 2024.jpgThe Energy Centre houses three energy efficient steam generating boilers, providing a reliable source of power for the RLI site, and also helps to save energy.

The resilience of the site has been secured by the new Energy Centre and if, for any reason, the gas system fails, there is a back-up system which uses diesel oil to enable the site to run for four weeks. The Energy Centre was needed because the old boilers and boiler house had come to the end of their natural life and needed to be replaced with energy efficient steam-raising boilers to ensure the safe running of the hospital.

There is also a gas-powered combined heat and power (CHP) unit that was installed in 2020. This engine powers a generator which produces electricity back to the grid for the hospital’s use. The waste heat (exhaust gas from the engine), is used to produce steam via a waste heat boiler. This then goes into the heating and hot water system.

In addition to this, the steam goes to the hospital’s Sterile Services Department to sterilise surgical equipment and to the Catering Department to provide power for cooking and to sterilise the dishes in the dishwashers. It also goes to Medical Unit 1 and Medical Unit 2 as well as the Centenary Building where it generates hot water and heating. Instead of gas to heat the water, the system uses steam to heat the water via plate heat exchangers.

The site of the new Energy Centre backs onto the Lancaster Canal next to the current boiler house.

There were 22 winners and six highly commended entries chosen by a construction industry expert panel.