Kier has successfully completed the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre, St Sidwell’s Point in Exeter for Exeter City Council. The new centre will open its doors to the public on Friday 29th April.

Situated in the heart of the city centre, this landmark new building is a key milestone in the City’s ambition of creating a Net Zero Carbon City while supporting physical activity, health and wellbeing for residents in Exeter.

The leisure centre incorporates healthy-building biology principles, is highly energy efficient with an annual energy saving of 70% compared to traditional leisure centres. It’s also been designed to adapt and evolve to the changing climate conditions up to 2080 and provides optimum comfort to users, of which there is expected to be 500,000 annually.

St Sidwell’s Point is an anchor project for the regeneration of the city centre, the first part of a wider masterplan by Exeter City Council. The £42m flagship building also supports the Council’s carbon ambitions and has recently been short-listed for the Construction News awards.

Procured through the Southern Construction Framework (SCF), St Sidwell’s Point is four-storeys high, with an outdoor roof terrace with views across the city. It has a 25-metre eight lane competition pool, 20-metre community pool, and a children’s confidence pool.

There is also a health and fitness centre and a spa which is fitted with a hydrotherapy pool, saunas, treatment and relaxation rooms.

The striking building has technical excellence running throughout this geometrically complex design. It features a unique glulam beam that can be seen throughout the front section of the building and the swimming pools use of ceramic micro-filtration - only the second installation using this technology in the UK- and UV treatment means the pool water has virtually no chlorine and is of a drinking water quality.

What’s more, St Sidwell’s Point delivered an industry leading air tightness test, with the buildings performance target to achieve Passivhaus accreditation being 0.4. and the actual result was 0.3 m3/hr/m2 at 50 Pa. which is 96% better than a traditional building regulations compliant building.

In order to achieve the strict Passivhaus standards, Kier collaborated with consultants WARM to develop a ‘Passivhaus Passport’, a training scheme that was completed by over 2500 people who have worked on the site.

Delivering social value to the Exeter community has been at the heart of this scheme, providing over 925 hours of employment skills training and 42 events for schools, colleges, construction organisations and community groups.

Anthony Irving, managing director of Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “The vision to deliver the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre was bold of Exeter City Council and the success of this project has been the outstanding strength and collaboration from all involved.  The culture and trust that developed was evident in every relationship, from the client, to the consultants, project team and supply chain, with open and –honest conversations discussing the challenges and providing solutions.

“This project has left a legacy that goes far and wide, it has touched the hearts of everyone who has been involved, from the early days of conception, to delivering on site and to the Exeter City Council operational team who will be providing the exceptional new services, and of course the local residents who will be able to enjoy these standout facilities.

“St Sidwell’s Point is truly an industry changing building, it represents the future of sustainable construction technology and we couldn’t be prouder to have built it.”

Exeter City Council Director Jon Paul Hedge said he was delighted with the incredible new facility which will serve the people of Exeter for years to come.

He said: “We are so proud of the fact that we have created the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre here in Exeter. This facility is truly unique and will provide brilliant facilities for our residents while supporting the city centre.

“It has been a long project and it just fantastic that we will soon be opening the doors to families to use and enjoy everything that the centre has to offer.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in this project for everything they have done. This building leaves a real legacy for the people of Exeter to enjoy for decades to come.”

Kier has been at the forefront of sustainable design and construction for over a decade and are patrons of the Passivhaus Trust. In addition to St Sidwell’s Point, Kier has recently completed St Loyes, a Passivhaus extra care home in Exeter and are on site at Mulberry Dock school in Tower Hamlets delivering a Passivhaus secondary school.