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03 May 2022

UK's First Passivhaus Leisure Centre Is Now Open in Exeter

UK's First Passivhaus Leisure Centre Is Now Open in Exeter

The UK's first Passivhaus leisure centre has opened in Exeter following innovative engineering and design work by Arup and S&P.

The nation's first'Passivhaus leisure centre'is the culmination of a 20-year partnership between global engineering and consulting firm'Arup'and leading architects'S&P.

In fact, St Sidwell's Point is one of only three'Passivhaus'leisure centres in the world. It can also boast that it is the most energy-efficient leisure centre in the UK. This means that it uses 70% less energy than the average leisure centre, and to make the project even more appealing the estimated payback period is only eight to nine years.

S&P were lead designers on the project, in partnership with Arup as mechanical and electrical services consultants and civil and structural engineers.

What is so special about a Passivhaus building?
  • very low heating requirement
  • excellent'insulation
  • triple-glazed windows
  • airtight spaces
  • no thermal bridges
  • heat recovery
  • designed to last 80 years
  • designed to withstand extreme changes in weather
  • includes state-of-the-art new swimming and fitness facilities
  • microfiltration system to boost water quality

The design principles are considered so effective that the Passivhaus Institute will use the Exeter project to inform the UK's standards for similar future schemes.

The project is part of Exeter City Council's wider efforts towards its target of reaching net zero by 2030. The UK's first Passivhaus leisure centre also has a 50% water reduction target.

'A'low-carbon, healthy environment for sport and fitness can be developed'

Nic Bryant, associate director at S&P, said:

'St Sidwell's Point demonstrates that a low-carbon, healthy environment for sport and fitness can be developed within high-quality, contemporary design. We hope this serves as an example of what is possible in meeting the highest standards of sustainability in a wide range of public buildings.'

Building services lead at Arup, Stephen Platt, added:

'Working with S&P, we have created a highly-sustainable community asset which demonstrates our commitment to creating spaces that make a contribution to local places and support health and wellbeing. We believe this new centre will serve its community for generations.'

Source: PBC Today'