Sustainability best practice in PPP: Case study of a hospital project in the UK

Zhou, Lei and Smith, Andrew James (2013) Sustainability best practice in PPP: Case study of a hospital project in the UK. In: PPP Body of Knowledge International Conference, 18-20 March 2013, Preston, UK.

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Globally, sustainable development has been given high priority for the Government agenda in order to achieve a balance of social, economic and environmental factors. The UK government realise the importance and criticality of sustainable development and they intend to use the public procurement power to demand more sustainable public building development to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Public Private Partnership (PPP) is an effective procurement tool for the government to deliver the provision of public services. In the UK, the most common PPP form is Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Up until March 2012, a total of 717 PFI projects have been delivered to sustain social and economic development in the UK (HM Treasury, 2012). There is potential to use PPP to incorporate the sustainability agenda and support low carbon economic development. However, little research has been conducted to demonstrate the benefits and advantages of the PPP procurement system incorporating sustainable development. This paper aims to demonstrate best practice in sustainable development through PPP (PFI) procurement system in the UK. It initially illustrates the relationship between PPP and sustainable development and then uses a case study of one of the largest PPP hospital projects in the UK, utilising interviews and secondary data to show evidence of how the sustainability issues have been addressed within the procurement process and the advantage and limitations of using the PPP procurement system in delivering sustainable development. The results show best practice across different strands of sustainability through contribution to local employment and the local economy, a high percentage of waste recycling, dust and noise reduction and technical innovations such as green roofs, natural ventilation and a focus on occupant comfort.

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