South West wins St Sidwell’s Point : A UK first for ultra-high environmental standard on large scale

31/1/19 : The St Sidwell’s Point PassivHaus Leisure Centre in Exeter is the first of its kind in the UK. TClarke has won a major M&E contract to deliver the project with Kier as principal contractor. Rob Faro, TClarke MD for the South West, introduces the win:

The PassivHaus concept is a holistic approach, aiming for high efficiency with regard to all aspects and facilities hosted by a building; it prioritises high thermal comfort and energy efficiency. Each swimming pool or leisure centre project will vary significantly in terms of its energy consumption, largely due to different usage patterns and available facilities. Due to the complexity of the topic, standardised certification criteria for PassivHaus leisure centres are not yet available; accreditation is instead awarded based on compliance with energy demand requirements and specific efficiency measures that are pre-defined for the individual project.

This is the first time PassivHaus standards have been attempted on this scale in the UK and for TClarke, this is a full MEP installation. The challenge of achieving PassivHaus standards in a building which has three swimming pools, a gym, spin and dance studios is considerable and requires a multizone PHPP model, taking into account cool and dry areas and warm and humid areas. The ventilation, heating and cooling systems need to be precisely controlled and monitored by the Building Management System to ensure the thermal comfort of occupants whilst minimising the energy use. Because of the higher quality of the build, humidity levels in the pool halls are allowed to be much higher, thus reducing the normally very high air change rates, reducing heating and ventilation costs. So for all these reasons, it is perfect for TClarke’s engineers to apply their skills, attention to detail and ingenuity.

It showcases our expertise in sustainability and energy efficiency, something we have been working on for several years with standards such as BREEAM, PassivHaus, Building Biology and Well.

Once again, we’re working with our long-term partner Kier and are able to announce our success in winning one of the major M&E contracts in the region.

We are part way through the refurbishment of the Riverside Leisure Centre for the same client and I think it is well worth taking a moment to explain the significance of this for people who are interested in understanding TClarke as a company.

We are a high quality organisation. We provide full time, high quality engineering jobs here in the South West – just as we do across the UK. We are financially strong and dependable, we are well known, both to the principal contractor and to the end user client – Exeter City Council. Moreover, they can check our promises against reality of our delivery.

Taking all these things into account, clients and principal contractors can see that we represent value and quality in so many ways that are beneficial – to the project delivery on time and budget, to the quality of the work, to the wider economic and social value that the project delivers locally and to the certainty that we will always be around. TClarke represents great value in every way.