Roofconsult Website Kawneer Heightens Performance for the UK’S First Passivhause Leisure Centre
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With sustainable and responsible design being at the forefront of modern architecture, it’s no surprise that Gale & Snowden Architects chose Kawneer’s innovative aluminium glazing systems as part of the energy efficient design to transform St Sidwell’s Point into the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre.

Kawneer Heightens Performance for the UK’S First Passivhause Leisure Centre
Located in Exeter, Devon, this 6,700m2 project centred around the replacement of an ageing leisure centre swimming pool with an eight-lane national/county-standard pool and four-lane learner pool, both featuring movable floors.
One considerable façade challenge was to achieve an average 0.8 W/m2K and a 0.4 m3/h/m2 @ 50 pascals air leakage which exceeds the current building regulations. For the main glazed areas, two types of curtain walling and three types of doors were specified, as well as high performance windows and brise soleil. All were installed by Kawneer-approved specialist sub-contractor AB Glass on behalf of the main contractor Kier Construction.


Kawneer’s AA®100 HI capped curtain walling was used to create the distinctive building envelope and complement some internal locations, in addition to featuring RT®82 HI windows whose exceptional levels of thermal performance and airtightness helped to achieve the high building specification.

Both products meet rigorous energy efficient design standards and are Passivhaus-certified. These were complemented by Kawneer’s AA®190 TB external entrance doors, AA®720 standard and AA®720 HI doors internally and AA®130 brise soleil.


Benefits of the Passivhaus design include a 70% saving on energy costs when compared to a current ‘good practice’ leisure centre facility, a 50% reduction in water use, outstanding internal water and air quality, excellent daylight levels and lower maintenance costs due to a high-quality building fabric.

Nigel Harvey, Managing Director of AB Glass, said: “This is an innovative project that we have been very excited to be involved in. The environmental credentials of this building are such that we believe some of the standards and skills we have implemented here will be in high demand in the future as many more buildings look to emulate what we see here.”
As well as state-of-the-art swimming pools, new dry sports facilities include a gym, café and crèche, together with health and spa amenities. The flagship leisure centre in Exeter City Council’s £330 million city centre regeneration masterplan is expected to attract more than 500,000 visitors a year.
St Sidwell’s Point Leisure Centre has been shortlisted for ‘Building Project of the Year’ in the South West Constructing Excellence Awards 2022. Also for ‘Most Sustainable Building’ in the Façade Awards UK 2022.
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