Opening of the world’s first passive house leisure center in Exeter

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The world’s first Passive House certified leisure center is about to open in Exeter on the site of the city’s former bus station.

Scheduled to open in April 2022, St Sidwell’s Point Leisure Center is recognized as a world leader in energy efficiency with three swimming pools with movable pool floors and spectator seating, a state-of-the-art 150-station gym, dance studio, health suite and spa, crèche and cafe.

Specialist architects and engineers from award-winning architecture firm Gale & Snowden, with offices in Exeter and Bideford, are responsible for the design of the passive house and the design of the building‘s exterior, as well as thermal modeling of the design to take account of future climate change scenarios, making it the leisure center with the lowest energy consumption that ever existed.

Other planned developments in the South West

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The forward-thinking company follows a multidisciplinary collaborative approach and consists of architects, designers, physicists, biologists, engineers and passive house experts, all striving to make a positive contribution to overcoming the environmental and climate catastrophe.

Following a building biology ‘healthy building’ approach, the design of St Sidwell’s Point uses, among other things, non-toxic materials to achieve high air quality and high quality water is achieved through a special filtration system to minimize the use of chlorine for the pools’ water. It is also estimated that the filtration system uses 50% less water than standard pool filtration.

The leading international design standard, passive house, will reduce the building’s energy consumption by 60% to 70% compared to a new leisure center of the same standard.



At St Sidwell’s Point leisure center in Exeter

Building energy use, which is a significant contributor to carbon emissions that cause global warming, and the Gale & Snowden team used dynamic modeling to predict the building’s performance over the next 60 years to ensure the building does too intended to work in the future.

David Gale, Director at Gale & Snowden, sid: “We are proud to bring the UK to the forefront of low energy and healthy building design in the world. Gale & Snowden’s mission is to change the world for the better, and projects like St Sidwell’s Point are leading the way to show how we can achieve a more sustainable future.”



Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

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Gale & Snowden is a multidisciplinary and integrated team of people striving to optimize design solutions for energy and cost efficiency as well as health and well-being – “Breaking Energy Poverty and Improving Quality of Life”.

Gale and Snowden have been at the forefront of healthy ecological design since 1992 and are one of the country’s leading environmental architecture firms, winning multiple awards and being the first company to deliver different types of Passive House certified buildings in the UK. Gale & Snowden works across the UK delivering a range of energy efficient and healthy building projects including affordable housing, private homes, community buildings and schools and is currently working on the world’s first passive house certified wet and dry sports center in Surrey.

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