St Sidwell’s Point leisure centre praised by national building magazine

Exeter’s new Passivhaus leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point has been praised by a national construction publication for setting new standards in the industry.

Building Magazine said no-one had built a Passivhaus leisure centre outside Germany, where there are just two examples.

St Sidwell’s Point has been funded by Exeter City Council and will open to the public in the spring.

In an article just published following a visit to the centre, Building Magazine said: “It was a brave step for Exeter council to trailblaze the way by building the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre, particularly as it is much larger than the German examples

“In some respects, it is unsurprising that Exeter council has opted for Passivhaus standards for its new £42m leisure centre, St Sidwell’s Point. It has been building Passivhaus council homes since 2010 and recently completed the UK’s first Passivhaus extra care home at St Loyes.

“It is also retrofitting existing council housing to near Passivhaus standards.”

SSP Montage

It adds: “The aspiration is for the building to last 80 years and, with 70 per cent less energy use than a conventional centre, to have a payback period of just eight or nine years.

“The Council also wanted a landmark building. The design by leisure centre specialist Space & Place is geometrically complex. It is boomerang shaped in plan, and each level steps back from the one below with roof terraces that are angled rather than straight to inject a sense of dynamism into the design.”

It highlights the skills generated through the project, particularly in training workers to achieve Passivhaus standard.

The article concludes: “The project will open in the spring and should prove a big plus for Exeter residents – as well as for those who are thinking of building a similar centre and will benefit from this project team’s positive experience.”

Read the full article on

Memberships for Exeter Leisure are available now from £25pm via the Exeter Leisure app or online by visiting Exeter Leisure Choices.

Join today and get access to all sites, including St Sidwell’s Point when it opens shortly.

To find out more about the Council’s leisure services and memberships visit our Exeter Leisure website.


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