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12 August 2016 Written by 

National green construction award for Batchwood Sports Centre

Batchwood Sports Centre has won a Gold-level Green Apple Award for its energy-efficient design after being rebuilt following a fire in 2011.

The sports centre received the award in the Community Construction Projects category at the Green Apple Awards 2016 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage.

The Green Apple Awards aim to find the most environmentally-friendly buildings in the world and raise perceptions of what is possible in terms of sustainable construction.

More than 500 buildings across the globe competed for awards, presented at a ceremony on Monday, 8 August. Notable UK projects included London Bridge and Bond Street Station developments. Entries were from as far afield as South America and the Far East.

This is the second time that a leisure development built by St Albans City and District Council has won a Green Apple Award. Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre won a similar award in 2014 for its energy-efficient and innovative design.

Batchwood Sports Centre was transformed into an energy-efficient building with the use of low or zero carbon technology and natural light and ventilation when it was re-built. The Council worked with Van Zyl & de Villiers Consulting Engineers and S&P Architects on the sports centre which re-opened in 2014.

Cllr Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council, said: "I am delighted that the District Council's drive to construct energy-efficient buildings has been acknowledged with the top category Green Apple Award. Out of the devastating 2011 fire an A-rated building for energy efficiency has been created for indoor and outdoor tennis courts, golf, gyms, plus a dojo for judo."

Peter Simpson, Director at S&P Architects, added: "Batchwood Sports Centre provided the opportunity of creating a regional tennis centre that also forms a sporting hub for the neighbouring bowls and golf clubhouses. Natural light is used in the sports and exercise areas, reducing electrical costs and providing a vibrant environment for community and top-level tennis coaching all year around. A 19th century 50-metre wall was also incorporated as a feature alongside the courts, maintaining heritage in a modern setting and creating a unique environment for sport."

Paul Vorster, Director of Van Zyl & de Villiers, said: "Following the success of Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre we welcomed the opportunity to again work with the Council and S&P when they approached us for the Batchwood redevelopment. We pride ourselves in incorporating innovative but proven technologies within our projects, and delivering an environment that is enjoyable to the user without drawing attention to 'how'. This ethos is evident throughout the building, but there is no better example of this than the tennis hall, where the user experiences exceptional levels of comfort using passive engineering techniques, such as natural light and natural ventilation. Couple that with the 50kWp solar photovoltaic array, and you have a facility that is literally powered by the wind and the sun!"

Batchwood Sports Centre forms part of the Batchwood Golf Course and Sports Centre, run on behalf of the Council by 1Life.

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