CIOB Awards 2022: Team of the Year

CIOB Awards 2022: Team

Winner: Kier – St Sidwell’s Point

St Sidwell’s Point in Exeter is the UK’s first leisure centre to be built to Passivhaus standards. Comprising four swimming pools, a gym, exercise studios, spa, play areas and cafe, the building will save 70% of the energy compared to one complying with current Building Regulations.

Passivhaus principles, developed in Germany in the early 1990s, aim to create comfortable, healthy buildings that will cope with the rigours of climate change.

One of the most challenging aspects of any Passivhaus scheme is achieving the very high airtightness standards required to prevent heat loss. To do so, Kier engaged early with its supply chain to understand the sequencing, interfaces and time required for inspection, snagging and logging evidence.

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With 2,500 people working on the delivery of the £42m building, Kier created a system to educate everyone about Passivhaus principles and how they applied to each role. Anyone who worked on the project had to achieve a ‘Passivhaus Passport’, gained through Passivhaus induction and training, specific to each trade.

Benefits of Passivhaus

The training included information on the benefits of Passivhaus to building users and the environment, as well as alerting each tradesperson to a range of risks connected to their tasks on site. The knock-on effect of this approach was a positive quality culture and pride in the project, reports Kier, with tradespeople posting photos of their work on social media.

Beyond the provision of a healthy and highly energy-efficient facility for the local community, the St Sidwell’s Point scheme has left other positive legacies for Exeter. The project provided 925 hours of employment skills support, 34 placements for T-level students, a programme to share experiences of career changes into construction and site visits for over 1,000 people.

Perhaps the most significant legacy of this project is the upskilling of so many people. Now everyone who has worked on the project can take their Passivhaus understanding and skills on to other jobs in the area.

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