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22 Jul 2021
Revolutionary new Passivhaus leisure centre gets the go-ahead. Will reduce energy costs by 60%
By Tom Walker
Revolutionary new Passivhaus leisure centre gets the go-ahead. Will reduce energy costs by 60%
The building will be optimised to reduce energy in use by up to 60 per cent
Photo: GT3 Architects
Planning approval has been granted to what is set to become one of the first Passivhaus-certified leisure buildings in the world.

The new Spelthorne Leisure Centre in Staines, Surrey – which will be owned by Spelthorne Borough Council – has been designed by GT3 Architects and Passivhaus specialists Gale and Snowden.

With sustainability and wellbeing at its core, the building will be optimised to reduce energy in use by up to 60 per cent, compared to other new-build leisure centres and will use up to 50 per cent less water – further reducing the building's impact on the environment.

Facilities at the centre will include a health club with large gym floor, flexible group exercise studios, competition-standard and learner swimming pools, a "mini spa" and rooftop 3G playing pitches.

There will also be a sports hall, soft play area, a climbing facility and café with poolside viewing.

GT3 and Gale and Snowden Architects are working closely with national governing bodies and Sport England to learn the lessons of the data coming out of the facility.

The plan is to provide documentation around what is needed to create Passivhaus and healthy buildings within the leisure industry.

Mark Gowdridge, director at GT3 Architects, said: “We’re delighted that the plans have been given the green light and we’re able to start taking this fantastic project forward.

"Sustainability defines the design on this project and a Passivhaus-certified design will result in energy and cost savings of up to 60%, which is a huge cost reduction over the building’s life cycle.

“Another key focus was looking at the fundamental role sport and fitness plays in the health and wellbeing of the community. We undertook extensive community engagement to develop a brief for the leisure centre which is universally designed for all ages, needs and abilities and is highly flexible.

"We consulted the local community, sports clubs, and disability and community groups to ensure it was fit for purpose and found there was overwhelming support for a new community facility.

“We’re very much looking forward to bringing these designs to life and delivering a state-of-the-art, sustainable and modern facility for the local community to enjoy.”

David Gale, director at Gale and Snowden Architects, said: “The building has been designed to be optimised for health with the use of natural materials and innovative technologies such as micro filtration providing drinking quality water for the swimming pools.

"To be developing such a ground-breaking leisure centre alongside GT3 is very exciting, and we’re looking forward to seeing the project under construction later this year.”

The project also features a wider team, including Gleeds acting as project managers; Engenuiti as structural and civil engineers; Van Zyl and de Villiers as M&E consultant; and Faithful+Gould as cost manager and quantity surveyor.

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