Liverpool, United Kingdom
City population: 1060068
Duration: 2013 – 2015
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: 100000 m2
Type of area: Building, Other
Last updated: October 2021

This is one of the most innovative and environmentally sustainable hospitals in the world, wherein more than 50% of its energy is generated on-site. It is covered with green roofs and has play decks for children. Farm Urban designed and installed three state-of-the-art aquaponic systems on the play decks. The systems enrich both the environment and diet of the children, as the food grown here is used in the ward meals. (ref 6) The hospital was designed by a team of architects and is located in Springfield Park, Liverpool featuring a highly striking external design, bordered by extensive greenery (Ref. 2). The project was part of the ACORN consortium with John Laing Social Infrastructure and Interserve Facilities Management. The hospital was completed within 130 weeks and was opened in October 2015 (Ref. 1).



Nature-based solution

  • Nature on buildings
  • Green roofs
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Community gardens
  • Nature in buildings
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Improving mental health
  • Improving physical health
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable production


Creation of new green areas

Project objectives

The Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust issued the following brief: ‘Create a hospital that engenders well-being and raises the patients’ and visitors’ spirits by adding to their quality of life; integrate the hospital and park for the therapeutic benefit of children, their families and staff flow' ( Ref. 3). Other goals: -generation of a portion of its energy on-site; -grow food to be used inward meals through an aquaponic system (Ref. 6); -A design that would ensure park views for the majority of the rooms and easy access to play areas on an outside the wards (Ref. 5).

Implementation activities

The building is covered with green roofs. Additionally, Farm Urban has designed and installed three state-of-the-art aquaponic systems to grow food used in ward meals. (ref 6)

Main beneficiaries

  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)
  • Young people and children
  • Other


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Public sector institution

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The hospital is designed by architects, landscape architects, and interior designers, BDP. ( REF 2)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost

More than €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Private Foundation/Trust

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records