£9m sustainable SportPark expansion on Science and Enterprise Park achieves Passivhaus accreditation

A major expansion to house the highest concentration of sports organisations on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park has achieved Passivhaus Classic accreditation, widely regarded as the most challenging energy efficiency and comfort standards in the world.

The first Passivhaus development on the University campus, SportPark Pavilion 4 presents sports organisations with the unique opportunity to secure environmentally future-proof accommodation, tailored to their needs.

Occupants can reduce their carbon footprint thanks to triple glazed windows that can be opened, an enhanced thermal efficient airtight building fabric, external solar shading and a highly efficient heat and ventilation system.

Going beyond Passivhaus requirements, the University chose to fit SportPark Pavilion 4’s entire roof with solar panels, to further reduce its energy demand.

Martin Channell, Assistant Director of Capital Projects and Programme Management at Loughborough University said: “When SportPark was completed in 2009, it achieved BREEAM Excellent which put it in the top 10% of environmentally rated non-domestic buildings. Pavilion 4’s Passivhaus accreditation sets the benchmark for quality and low energy building efficiency across the University estate to achieve our zero-carbon agenda for 2050.

This outstanding achievement is testament to the commitment of our industry partners Henry Brothers Construction, David Morley Architects, Beyond Carbon Associates and many sub-contractors. Now, we can monitor the efficiency between the original pavilions and the new expansion.”

SportPark will be a unique living lab that enhances the University’s cutting-edge building energy research. Joel Callow, Director of Beyond Carbon Associates said “The construction team has worked closely with Loughborough’s researchers to ensure highly detailed measurement of the performance of the building over the coming years.

This will allow us to draw down even more data on energy efficiency, giving vital feedback. This information can then be used to inform the design of the next generation of zero carbon buildings at the University.”

Ian Taylor, Managing Director of Henry Brothers Construction, SportPark Pavilion 4 project lead said: “We are proud to have completed SportPark Pavilion 4 to help Loughborough University to decarbonise its estate.

This is the latest of several successful schemes we have delivered for the University which adds to the increasing portfolio of sustainable buildings that Henry Brothers Construction has delivered, also aligned with our own journey to net zero.”  

SportPark Pavilion 4 is delivered by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) as part of the Getting Building Fund. Funds were designated for investment in local, shovel-ready infrastructure projects to stimulate jobs and support economic recovery across the country. The LLEP was allocated £20m, supporting the SportPark expansion with £6m. Further funding support has been provided by Loughborough Town Deal.

Andy Reed OBE, LLEP Co-Chair, said: "Sustainability is a pillar of our economic growth strategy and, in funding SportPark Pavilion 4, we enabled development of a superb building at the highest standards of energy efficiency.

"In addition, the project has supported more than 410 jobs within the construction phase alone, brought additional sports-related organisations to our region, and created a living lab for local architecture students with an interest in sustainable building design."

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 23/66

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About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

Getting Building Fund

On 4 August 2020, the government confirmed the list of over 300 successful projects which will receive a share of £900 million from the Getting Building Fund.  

The full list of projects is available on GOV.UK.  

The Getting Building Fund is investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country. Projects funded include: 

• regeneration of town and city centres  

• green infrastructure and clean energy  

• transport and digital connectivity improvements  

• unlocking of housing and business sites  

• support for SMEs and learners  

The successful projects (over 300) are expected to deliver up to 85,000 jobs, over 1,500,000 sqm of commercial floor space, unlocking 45,000 homes, almost 1,000,000 sqm of public realm or green space improved or created, over 50,000 new learners assisted, and 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions saved.  

All projects have been selected by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities in each area and endorsed by the Housing Secretary.  

Midlands Engine

The Midlands Engine is home to over 10.3m people and has a £238bn economy, generating over 12% of the UK’s Gross Value Added. The Midland Engine Partnership aims to close the productivity gap to match or exceed the national average by 2030.  The Midlands is home to 835,000 businesses, and in 2019, the Midlands accounted for a 22% share of all of England’s goods exports.  

About Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd (LLEP)

The LLEP is an incorporated strategic body established to drive forward regeneration and growth of the local economy. The LLEP works with partners and government to set out key investment priorities for Leicester & Leicestershire. It also invests funding and aligns partner resources. Through its investments and influences the LLEP drives activities that ensure positive outcomes for the local economy. To find out more, visit www.llep.org.uk