North Lincolnshire Sports Academy

North Lincolnshire Sports Academy

Location: Scunthorpe
Value: £17m

Completion Date: June 2011

Contract Period: 79 weeks

The new build innovative Sports Academy named the “PODS” will offer an eight lane 25m Swimming Pool and Learner pool with Spectator facilities for one hundred and fifty people.  In addition, the complex has a six court Sports hall, dance studio and a 90 station health/fitness facility. The overall design also includes ancillary public areas such as wet and dry changing facilities, Café, Crèche, Meeting/function rooms and management/business operation areas.

The project also comprised extensive re-invigoration works within the existing Central Park adjacent the site involving the creation of a new play area, pedestrian walkways, soft and hard landscaping, provision of a Pavilion, events space and extensive refurbishment of the existing water fountain and associated stonework

The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent. 

This is one of the first projects in the UK where this type of building technique has been used for a major leisure project.  The distinctive, organic and fluid building form that comprises a series of linked timber geodesic domed structures that emerge from the landscape and integrates with the parkland landscape in a sympathetic and gentle manner.

The development incorporates a truly unique environmentally friendly design featuring timber-framed pods covered with natural sedum roofs. The roofs themselves are constructed from timber in a geodesic structure with the entrance dome clad with aluminium and glass whereas the two domes behind this use western red cedar shingles and house a gym and learner swimming pool.  At the back of the building the sedum clad dome covers the competition pool and the single ply membrane dome next to this covers the sports hall. This will provide a natural aesthetic to the building form as well as providing a constant temperature to the building throughout the year, keeping the interior cool in summer and retaining heat in winter. The structure of the roof needed to be carefully considered as sedum roofs can become incredibly heavy when saturated with rainwater and so a timber geodesic structure was decided upon in order to support the weight of the roof comfortably.

The roofs will also store over 60% of rainwater, contributing to reducing the risk of flooding in local areas and this water will then evaporate into the atmosphere reducing the burden on local drainage systems that tiled roofs can create.

Another key factor to consider was the potential for surrounding wildlife habitats to be damaged through construction of the development. The implementation of sedum roofs will provide a habitat for insects and other wildlife in the area, boosting the environmental responsibility of the development and replacing any existing habitats that may have been lost.

Steve Chambers , Regional Director of Bowmer & Kirkland said: “This development is an important step in the regeneration of Scunthorpe and we are working closely with North Lincolnshire Council to create a building that will not only form an important focal point for the local community but will have minimal impact on the surrounding environment.”  The use of sedum roofing will also protect the roof itself from harmful UV rays, dramatically extending its lifespan and at the same time reducing heating costs. Added sound insulation provided by sedum roofing can also reduce noise levels by up to 8dB.

The entire development has been designed to blend in to the surrounding parkland and takes the form of a number of dome-shaped structures, a number of these will be even less conspicuous once covered in the natural sedum roofing.

A hall mark of this development is sustainability which includes a biomass boiler, and grey water recycling plant to feed the green roofs and the WC flushing system in the pods. The academy has 120 car parking spaces set around the east side of the academy and the entrance vista to the academy is complimented by a fresh water lagoon to the South linked to a swale that surrounds the academy.