Central hub for sports at The University of Warwick
- RICS Social Impact awards 'Project of the Year'
- Second project at Warwick after Oculus Building
- Sports Hub ties in with goal to become most 'physically active campus'
- Company appointed for its university track record
- Record for working in live campus environments second to none
After completing the award-winning Oculus Building at The University of Warwick, our team returned to add another major part of the university's estate regeneration plans.
The new University of Warwick Sports Hub is one of the best sports facilities at a UK university. It ties in with the University’s goal of becoming the “most physically active campus community in the UK by 2020”.
The Hub was delivered by the same team behind the Oculus Building and will see our team again deploy their award-winning experience for managing complex construction work within a live campus environment.
The 1,550 square metre Hub showcases the best of smart building technology in a leisure context and features:
- A multi functional sports hall and a 230-station gym – the biggest gym in the higher education sector
- A 25 metre long, 12-lane swimming pool with touch-of-a-button flexible configuration and an adjustable height floor to accommodate different users
- Dramatic 17m-high indoor climbing and bouldering walls encompassing 706 square metres of climbable surface, 144 different climbing routes, a speed-climbing wall and a 296 square metre bouldering area
It also includes retractable bleacher seating for over 1,000 people, two fitness suites, flexible studio spaces, martial arts hall, squash courts, outdoor 3G sports pitches and netball courts, changing facilities, a café and meeting space.
Involving complex construction work within a live campus environment, the new Hub has replaced all existing sporting facilities on campus and is set to be one of the leading sports facilities at a UK university. Designed to inspire and motivate students, staff and the wider community to engage in an active and healthy lifestyle, it is part of the university’s goal of becoming the "most physically active campus in the UK by 2020".
BIM Level 2 was used successfully throughout the project. Although a big commitment for a project at that time, it had full buy-in from all stakeholders from the start.
More than just a building - the thoughts of leisure sector manager Nick Mennells
On my approach, what immediately hit me was the sheer size of the facility. What was even more impressive was the experience I felt as I stepped through the door.
The Hub showcases the best of smart building technology in a leisure context. For example, the use of coolant technology allows the right temperature for any given sport and the right lighting for certain rooms at certain times of the day, like wellness rooms for yoga. By creating this ambience, the user experience is fully maximised.
Attention to detail is impressive. Psychology played a major part in the design of the building to make people feel welcome. The user journey through the building flows perfectly, with easy access to all levels, rooms and activities. The minute I stepped inside, I saw ‘wow’ factor - the dramatic 15m-high climbing wall with its 144 climbing routes. Users will walk in and take in the breadth of the space, before coming across access barriers. This is a nice touch to make the, sometimes intimidated, user feels at ease.
A cutting-edge approach
Opportunities for sport are endless and to make the most of this, the space has been really well thought out.
There is retractable bleacher seating for over 1000 people that enables a seamless operation between general use and elite use, as does the swimming pool which has flooring technology that allows part of the pool to be converted, at the touch of a button, from general use to a competition setting. Not only that but the swimming pool floor can rise and fall to enable multiple uses or provide access to more spectator seating.
The sports hall is hugely multifunctional allowing a massive array of sports to be offered, both traditional and non-traditional. The high ceilings give the user a sense of breathable space whilst the clever use of digital technology in the rowing room gives the sense and experience of rowing outside.
The gym is the biggest in the higher education sector with hundreds of machines. All areas are fully accessible for those with disabilities and designed in an inclusive way and on top of all that the facility has natural ventilation, which means it uses less energy and has stunning woodland views in all directions!
The Hub is the official training ground of Coventry’s Wasps Netball super-league team. Externally there are sports pitches, netball courts, car parking and hard & soft landscaping.
- offers a top quality sporting experience for students, staff and local community
- embeds the principles of an active landscape in the University master plan
- is both operationally and environmentally sustainable
Its part of the University’s wider strategy is to encourage a healthy university life and to bring world-class facilities to the international campus.
Peter Owen, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the Midlands,
“This is a fantastic project to be part of, creating cutting edge sporting facilities for the community at The University of Warwick. Our teams have an excellent track record of producing leading leisure facilities and we are delighted to be working once again with the University as their partner to unlock future growth.”
The investment underlines Warwick's vision to be a world-leading university that attracts the best staff and students from around the world to join its community. That's all underpinned by having a world-class campus.
Willmott Dixon is one of the most prolific constructors of university campuses. Earlier in 2017, we were appointed to build the first undergraduate School of Medicine in Essex for Anglia Ruskin at its Chelmsford campus as well as building the new Town House for Kingston University, refurbishing the Dreadnought Building for Greenwich University and adding the Computational Foundry at Swansea University.
Further cost savings through EnergySynergyTM
Exceptional energy efficiency was a critical aspect of the Sports Hub. To achieve the university’s ambitious goals for the facility, extensive in-house monitoring was required once opened to identify further energy savings.
To achieve this, we embedded our Energy SynergyTM building performance improvement strategy into the after-build service. This involved monitoring operational usage across twelve categories from heating, ventilation and pumps through to domestic hot water. Within the first year, Energy SynergyTM was delivering energy savings of £40,236 and a carbon saving of 98,520 kgCO2e.
Energy SynergyTM has enabled the Sports Hub to become the most energy efficient leisure centre in the UK, performing 27.5% better than CIBSE’s Energy Benchmark.
Celebrating a year of sucess
In April the project celebrated its one-year anniversary. Click here to learn more as Peter Owen, managing director in the Midlands reflects on the profound success of the facility that has welcomed over 500,000 visitors through its doors since opening.
Find out more - email Richard James
Read more about Warwick Sports hub in our blogs below: