Willmott Dixon to deliver latest GT3-designed Passivhaus leisure project

One of the UK’s leading contractors has been appointed to deliver a pioneering Passivhaus leisure centre, designed by the sports and leisure experts at GT3 Architects.

Willmott Dixon has been named by Spelthorne Borough Council as main contractor on the £43.5m project in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, which is targeting a Passivhaus certification for low carbon buildings.

The firm has been appointed alongside Passivhaus expert Gale & Snowden and will work collaboratively with GT3 to ensure sustainability is prioritised in line with the UK’s targets for reaching net zero.

Spelthorne Borough Council have decided to adopt the Passivhaus approach, due to our net zero commitment, which will be the first wet and dry Passivhaus leisure centre in the UK.

The centre will feature modern facilities such as a rooftop 3G pitch, sports hall, gym and competitive, learner and splash swimming pools. Alongside the core features, the design also includes a mini spa, flexible studio space, soft play, Clip n Climb and a community café, ensuring community-wide benefit for the project.

Mark Gowdridge, director at GT3 Architects, said: “It’s great to see the progression of this fantastic project, and especially to have the team at Willmott Dixon now joining us with their wealth of knowledge in sustainable construction.

“We are working ever closer to the Passivhaus certification for our design, which will save up to 60% in energy costs and ensure the building is futureproofed. We’re very happy with how the project is moving and having the input of Willmott Dixon will only enhance this. We are very much looking forward to bringing a fundamental space for health and wellbeing to the surrounding community.”

Willmott Dixon is currently the only carbon neutral construction company and has set several further challenging targets to meet by 2030. Its ‘Now or Never’ strategy, launched in 2020, focuses on achieving operational net zero across all new build and refurbishment projects, being a zero-carbon company without any offsetting, and improving more than 100,000 lives through its social value commitments.

Willmott Dixon has also shown its commitment to the environment by establishing the only dedicated in-house sustainability consultancy.

Roger Forsdyke, managing director of London and the South, said: “We are hugely excited to be working alongside Spelthorne Borough Council, GT3 and Gale and Snowden on what will be a landmark project. Spelthorne Borough Council’s choice to adopt the Passivhaus approach is a testament to their commitment to carbon reduction. Within Willmott Dixon, we are putting maximum efforts in to supporting our customers to address the climate emergency, with projects like this ensuring we can continue in adopting our expertise to suit the ambitions of our partners.

We are looking forward to working alongside both GT3 and Gale and Snowden again ensuring the project’s success will be realised.”

Passivhaus methodology was established in the early 1990s and has since become the world-leading standard in energy-efficient design and construction. Passivhaus buildings provide users with a high level of comfort, while also using very little energy by optimising the design of the building and all its systems.

Daniel Mouawad, Chief Executive of Spelthorne Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be a pioneering authority, demonstrating our commitment to net zero by building an ultra-low Passivhaus leisure centre. Having declared a climate emergency, we recognise the need to lead by example to achieve cleaner and greener lifestyles and a sustainable borough for all to enjoy. This centre is a great example of partnership working and will provide the right infrastructure to meet our communities’ changing needs and will enable residents to stay active in a healthy environment, with low chemical pools and a dementia friendly design.”