Back to the 2024 Shortlist Sustainability

Spelthorne Leisure Centre

Sponsored by
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B5 C8 F661


Location: Staines-upon-Thames

Brick Manufacturer: Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC

Brick Name: Black Wirecut

Architect: GT3 Architects

Brickwork Contractor: FACE Brickwork

About the project

Project Particulars
Project Value: £43.5m
Project Size: 100,000 FT2
Predicted Energy Saving: Up to 80%

Project Description
As part of Spelthorne council’s commitment to become a carbon neutral council, SPLC is the UK’s largest wet and dry leisure centre to achieve Passivhaus standard certification and is also thought to be the largest Passivhaus commercial building in Europe. Designed by GT3 Architects, the building is designed to consume up to 80% less energy compared with a standard new building.
Local residents benefit from a new leisure centre that includes a 25m swimming pool, learner pool, splash pad and spa. Further facilities include a 6-court sports hall, three squash courts, 950 square metres of fitness space and two studios. There will also be an open plan café, reception space and a roof terrace overlooking flagship rooftop 3G football pitches providing a much needed facility in the borough.

With sustainability and the climate crisis at the forefront of the project, applying the proven and tested low-energy Passivhaus standard to leisure facilities was the ideal choice among all varied building types. Leisure facilities are notorious high energy consumers and can be prone to comfort and overheating issues.

The multi-zoned, complex nature of SPLC, demonstrates the industry’s capability to reduce carbon and energy demand across complex Sport & Leisure facilities. The resulting design will see up to 80% reduction in energy usage, along with lower water consumption and operation costs.

The building has been designed to be optimised for health with the use of natural materials such as the extensive clay brick façade and innovative technologies such as micro filtration providing drinking quality water for the swimming pools. SPLC is a ground-breaking leisure centre.

The thoughtfully designed façade maximises the sustainable and aesthetical benefits of clay brick. The incorporation of well-executed corbelled brick features, combined with tall, slender expanses of brick facade, delivers an exceptionally pleasing exterior. This design perfectly complements the project’s sustainable ethos.

Materials were carefully selected by the design team in collaboration with Willmott Dixon and FACE Brickwork to ensure the most sustainable product was specified and used for each and every detail.

FACE Brickwork prioritised environmental sustainability by evaluating the ’green’ credentials of its supply chain and choosing companies with well-defined environmental strategies. One notable example from their supply chain is a company recognised as the first in its sector to achieve zero waste to landfill and carbon neutrality according to PAS 2060 UKAS certification. This rigorous standard confirms their commitment to managing and reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, FACE Brickwork calculated delivery carbon emissions from the source to site, which facilitated making informed decisions when selecting suppliers, ensuring that environmental impact was a key consideration in their procurement process.

Alongside the high-quality brickwork workmanship, particular attention was paid to the delivery of the façade walling systems to ensure that the stipulated air tightness, fire safety and cavity drainage systems were executed to the highest standards.

FACE Brickwork complimented the project’s sustainable ambitions with many sustainable initiatives within the project delivery.
• Cemfree mortar was utilised on internal blockwork walling.
• Cement free blocks were trialled on internal walling.
• 100% recycled and recyclable aluminium mortar boards and stands were utilised, replacing single use timber alternatives.
• All plant and small tools were battery operated making the project amongst the first to be solely built using energy efficient battery powered cement mixers.
• All PPE was manufactured from recycled materials.
While sustainability was at the forefront of the project’s values, the communal nature of delivering a community leisure centre also allowed for the celebration of enhanced social values. With firm commitment, FACE Brickwork supported this with many initiatives, including:
• Employment of ROTL (Release On Temporary Licence) placements from prison.
• Work experience placements for T Level students and FE college students.
• Construction of flowerbed planters at a nearby school.
Spelthorne Leisure Centre is recognised as a world-leading sustainable building, constructed to the highest standards with a strong emphasis on quality, sustainability and social values. The project is designed to serve as an inspiration for future developments, encouraging the construction of similar sustainable buildings. This approach ensures that environmental responsibility and community benefits remain central to the development process, setting a benchmark for others to follow.

Sponsored by Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC

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As Britain’s Brick Specialists, Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC unites the best in clay traditions. The Group represents seven of the most recognised premium brands across the UK and Europe: Blockleys, Carlton, Charnwood,, Freshfield Lane, Hathern Terra Cotta and Michelmersh, producing over 125 million handmade and machine-made clay bricks and pavers annually. Using modernised production methods that emphasise sustainable building solutions and adhere to the most stringent production requirements, Michelmersh guarantees high quality product standards with a low ecological footprint.

Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC