Chilterns Lifestyle Centre Wins New Communities Award

Amersham’s Chilterns Lifestyle Centre, which opened in December 2021, won the New Communities category at the Buckinghamshire Design Awards 22/23. Desco delivered the mechanical, electrical and pool water design for the £36M building, which replaced the 1960s Chiltern Pools Leisure Centre.

The development was crowned the winner of the New Communities category after judges said the building “draws people into a welcoming space and has had a transformative impact in the surrounding community.” It was designed with the spirit of ‘Something for Everyone’, which judges believed it fulfilled, bringing together services that were previously spread across several different buildings.

The building, which is twice as efficient as the old 1960s building, was also noted by the judges for its sustainability. The design has allowed the building to have a significantly lower carbon footprint, a Building Energy Rating EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Category A-23 and a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) rating of “Very Good”.

Included in the centre is an eight-lane, 25 metre swimming pool, teaching pool and splash pad, as well as a 130-station state-of-the-art gym, cycling studio, luxury spa, group exercise facilities and a climbing wall. As well as the leisure facilities, the public can also make use of a library, café, community centre, pre-school nursery and hire function rooms.

To fulfil the aspiration of creating a sustainable and low carbon leisure centre, Buckinghamshire Council received funding from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme operated by Salix, to install water source heat pumps and 410 roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels at the new centre making it significantly more energy efficient than the existing Chilterns Pools building.

One of the sustainable design features of the scheme is the use of reclaimed heat from the gym and studios area to heat the pools utilising water source heat pumps. The council are using one of the most energy efficient heating technologies available to heat the two swimming pools and the atmosphere within the pool hall.

To read more about the development and Desco’s involvement, click here.