ISG goes to great lengths on sustainability

ISG used offsite manufacture was used for the pool

ISG’s leisure centre build contributes to North Yorkshire Council’s vision for net zero.

The recently completed new-build Knaresborough Leisure and Wellness Centre is setting the standard for sustainable leisure projects.

Overseen by David Dixon MCIOB, contracts manager with ISG and a CIOB North East Hub committee member, the new centre delivers a range of wet and dry facilities, with a six-lane 25m pool – complete with pool pod – a leisure pool with flume and a 60-station fitness suite.

There is also a sauna and steam room, a group fitness studio, an immersive group cycling studio and a cafe. Outside, a children’s play area has been constructed from natural materials designed to blend in with the surroundings.

Electric car charge points and bicycle storage have been added to encourage sustainable travel.

Contributing to net zero

The all-electric centre features high-efficiency building materials, air source heat pumps and solar panels, and is designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. It will contribute to North Yorkshire Council’s vision of a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.

Delivered by leisure development specialist Alliance Leisure, alongside ISG and GT3 Architects, through the UK Leisure Framework, the project was handed over to client North Yorkshire Council and operator Brimhams Active in December 2023.

It replaces an existing centre, built in 1990, that was last refurbished 20 years ago, which no longer met the growing community’s needs.

Working with ISG and developer Alliance Leisure, the council designed a new centre in collaboration with the community, using mosaic analysis. To maximise council revenue during the build, the existing centre remained open, with ISG engaged from RIBA Stage 2 to develop the design.

The fitness suite features 60 fitness stations

Daniel Leigh, frameworks project manager at ISG, says: “Early engagement ensured the best building position considering cost and buildability, and allowed the project partners to develop the design alongside public consultation.”

The centre utilised offsite pool manufacture and features the latest technology to increase sustainability and reduce running and maintenance costs. 160 sq m of PV generates 38kWh of electricity, there is LED lighting throughout, two air source heat pump systems. Pool filtration also reduces energy and water consumption by 40%.

Carbon output has been reduced by more than 60%, compared to the previous centre.

Working for the community

The new centre has also delivered significant membership growth for the council, up from 117 members in the old building to 1,322 after just two months in operation. 

Julian Donnelly, project manager at ISG, says: “We have witnessed during the build, at handover and post handover, so many positive comments about the facility.

“It truly is a building to be proud of – a building that works hard for the community both in operation and in construction.”

He adds: “We have left a legacy of social and economic value, and a leisure centre that encourages people to move and meets the council’s climate change targets.”

The project achieved or exceeded all its social value targets. ISG was able to offer placements to two T-Level students from York College, work experience for a student from Leeds College of Building, total donations to community projects in excess of £3,000 and volunteering hours in excess of 50.

Membership has grown tenfold in the new building

School visits

The highlight for the site team was to host a series of visits from a local primary school for them to produce a newsletter. 

ISG’s Leigh says: “The Knaresborough Leisure Centre project has set the standard for leisure projects – delivering a broad facility mix within an efficient building layout which minimised
cost and environmental impact.

“It also allowed the new building to be constructed within a small footprint while maintaining the adjacent existing leisure centre operational throughout. This avoided any impact on centre operations and leisure provision.

He adds: “The project is a testament to collaboration between all major stakeholders from conception to completion. During construction it maintained high health and safety standards, sustainability and innovation were at the forefront of the pool construction and filtration systems. The site team embraced social value and met and exceeded targets.

“This project has left a truly positive legacy on the local community.”

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