The Council has worked closely with Balfour Beatty throughout the construction process to implement a series of ‘green’ features and 20 per cent of the centre’s power will be generated through sustainable technologies.
The project is aiming for a ‘very good’ rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), which measures the performance of a building or project and is the world’s longest standing and most widely used assessment method.
The building has been designed to maximise energy efficiency with a very high level of insulation being fitted. It will also feature a biomass boiler, as well as a combined heat and power plant to supply electricity. Heat will be recovered and reused from the air conditioning to avoid unnecessary use of energy.
The usage of electricity and lighting will be minimised wherever possible, with Passive Infra Red Sensors (PIRs) being used to automatically switch lights on and off. Rainwater harvesting systems will be used for the dual-flush toilets; the flow of water to the showers will be limited to reduce water usage and aerated taps will also be used throughout the building.
Balfour Beatty has a commitment to using local suppliers and sustainable materials, as well as labour through the employment of apprentices, while sub-contractors have been encouraged to employ locally.
Council Leader Vivien Pengelly said: “Balfour Beatty has fully embraced the sustainability agenda for the Plymouth Life Centre and we’ve worked closely to reduce the overall environmental impact of the project. Of course we’re reducing energy use wherever we can, but it’s much more than that – we want the Plymouth Life Centre to act as a shining example of sustainable leisure design.”
Chris Wood from Ingenium Archial Limited, added: “BREEAM ‘very good’ will be a great achievement for a scheme of this complexity, design, scale and size. We have worked hard to make a difference to reducing the overall environmental impact wherever possible. Many visitors to the site have been impressed by the importance we’ve placed on improving the scheme’s green credentials. We’re also keen on reducing running costs through the efficient use of resources.”
John Bunker, Balfour Beatty Construction Director, said: “At Balfour Beatty we understand that the sustainability of our projects is of paramount importance. We consider the life cycle of the building from design to completion and on into its use and maintenance. Although a complicated building, the Plymouth Life Centre has been designed and built with the utmost consideration for the environment, the economy and the community.”
Since the start of construction last year, Balfour Beatty has recorded the number of visitors to the site office, what form of transport they used to get there, where they came from and how many miles they travelled.
Managing, recycling and reusing waste on-site, as well as scheduling deliveries has enabled them to minimise waste, reduce labour and the number of lorry movements to and from the construction site.
35,000 tonnes of spoil was removed and stored while the facility was being built – this will all be used for landscaping at the end of the project, around the Plymouth Life Centre and once the Mayflower Centre and Central Park Pools are demolished.
More information can be found at www.plymouth.gov.uk/lifecentre.
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