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Delivering carbon-neutral sites in the leisure sector

LED lighting has been used throughout the building’s interior

Wates Construction delivered a landmark carbon-neutral leisure centre at Braywick Park 

National contractor Wates Construction has completed works at Braywick Leisure Centre, a major leisure and community hub for Windsor and Maidenhead Council, marking the first project delivered for Wates via the Major Works – UK framework, part of the Scape National Construction framework.

The £33m facility at Braywick Park was built to replace the ageing Magnet Leisure Centre, and features a 10-lane swimming pool, training and splash pools, a 200-station gym, four squash courts, sports hall, cafe, all-weather football pitch and 240 parking spaces.

Improved sustainability was vital for the council and, as well as being delivered as a carbon-neutral project, the centre has been designed to use 70% less energy than its predecessor.

The complex £33m facility uses 70% less energy than its predecessor

Wates worked closely with architect Burke Richards and engineering consultant Hoare Lee to meet this target, with rainwater collected, stored and redirected to flush waste systems, LED lighting used throughout, and extra insulation deployed to reduce heating requirements. A collaborative culture was established from the very beginning between all partners, particularly with regard to the complex building services needed for plumbing and heating a large leisure build.

Community engagement was sought at every opportunity and, as well as investing £13,000 into supporting social enterprises, tree planting and gardening events, several initiatives to educate and inspire were delivered.

The project team arranged several site visits, networking events and assemblies for local schools as well as 13 work experience placements for students. Through Wates’ Building Futures programme, 17 jobseekers passed their CSCS test, with one employed as a gateman since November 2018.

Work started on the project in July 2018 and it was officially handed over as scheduled in September 2020, despite challenges posed by covid-19.

Alec Jackman, business unit director for the southern home counties at Wates Construction, said: “Regenerating leisure hubs like this is essential to supporting healthy, sustainable communities, and every part of the Braywick Park site has been designed with the people who’ll be using it in mind. 

He added: “We are currently working on several Scape projects across the country, and we hope this project will be held up as an example of how supportive this procurement framework can be. By working in close partnership with the council, our delivery partners, a local supply chain and the wider community, we could overcome any obstacles easily, and I’d like to thank everyone who worked on this landmark project and made it such a success.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “The last six months have created challenges that would have made it easy for a project as ambitious as this to lose sight of its sustainability goals. However, it is to the immense credit of Wates and the council that they have gone above and beyond to ensure that this investment will maximise its impact across the local community in terms of physical, social and environmental health.

“Sustainability is becoming more important than ever for projects delivered by local authorities, and it is our intention that our frameworks will continue to accelerate their delivery while becoming carbon-neutral as standard by 2028.” 

Braywick is the latest completion for Wates in the leisure sector, with other major projects currently being built including Sandwell Aquatics Centre and Halton Leisure Centre in Widnes, both also procured via Major Works – UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework.

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