Scotland’s first £65m net zero hospital looks to become pioneer

The Balfour Hospital in Orkney is fully electric, with heat pumps and EVs used to cut down its emissions

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Scotland’s first net zero hospital in Orkney looks to become the trailblazer for the rest of the country and industry.

The £65 million Balfour Hospital is a fully electric building with heat pumps being used to generate all the hot water and heating – backup oil generators are in place to account for emergencies.

The hospital is relatively small with under 50 beds but is considered large with its positive impacts on the environment.

Maintenance team lead, Paul Bradley, said: “We can produce the hot water needs and offset some of the electrical needs by using Orkney’s natural resources, even at low temperatures we can produce heat and hot water which will help to keep all the patients comfortable during their stay here.”

Solar panels are installed across the roofing to help reduce the reliance on the grid and NHS Orkney has taken the step of introducing a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) to cut down transport emissions.

The land surrounding Balfour is being developed to offer more green spaces for staff and patients and the food available in its restaurants is locally sourced to limit the emissions from its supply chain.