Case Study: Scunthorpe

The Pods – Scunthorpe Academy

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 10.44.44Construction of The Pods in Scunthorpe started in November 2009, as part of an initiative by North Lincolnshire Council to kick-start the regeneration of the town. The high quality leisure facilities will help reinvigorate the area, providing a focal point for sport and recreation in Scunthorpe.

The winning building design was chosen by a specialist panel and via public consultation as part of a RIBA led international competition. It features an unusual interlinked geodesic dome structure which will be covered with a variety of materials including sedum, glass, metal, timber and plastic to complement and extend the external landscape whilst creating a series of unified internal spaces.

The key objective of the design team was to create a ‘gentle but bold vision of how an important and active facility can work in harmony with its landscape’. The architectural concept was created by Andrew Wright Associates with input from Buro Happold (structural and M&E engineering); Grant Associates (landscape architects); S&P Architects (sports specialists); Biodiversity by Design (consultant designer) and Gardiner & Theobald (quantity surveyors).

The Pods was crowned the most sustainable building/development of the year at the Property Industry Awards.

The building envelope comprises glass and steel for the entrance dome (reception and café), timber for the small pool and fitness areas, sedum for the main pool and membrane for the sports hall. It is thought to be the first time in the UK that timber framed pods and sedum roofs have been used in a major leisure facility. The roof structure for the pods is supported by an engineered timber glulam frame comprising hundreds of interlinked bespoke roof cassettes.

A central structural spine links a series of individual shells accommodating wet and dry sports facilities including an eight lane, 25 metre swimming pool; separate training pool; state-of-the-art gym; dance studio; crèche and a six-court sports hall. The structure will enable the internal layout to change and adapt over time according to demand.

Water and electricity are being monitored during construction and this will continue during operation of the facility which is set to opens its doors in summer 2011. The £23m development is being managed by main contractor Bowmer and Kirkland.

The facility aims to achieve an energy performance rating of 22 which is a category A 0-

EcoAir Box in Bromsgrove supplied their CRS2 10000S packaged heat recovery unit to control the humidity and airflow to the main pool and learner pool areas. The system provided air volume of 4.0 m3/s at an incredible 80% efficiency through a single composite plate heat exchanger. This solution was the most energy efficient and cost effective with ensuring comfortable bathing and keeping the fabric of the building intact. With the pool areas being the most costly part of the building in energy, we would not have been able to achieve the energy performance criteria without the aid of this form of heat recovery.