St Sidwell’s Point

13th November 2020

Introduction to the project

Kier Regional Building is currently constructing the UK’s first Passivhaus standard ultra-low carbon leisure centre, St Sidwells Point (SSP), designed to save up to 70% on annual energy costs.

The landmark building, in the centre of Exeter, is a grand design. It has been modelled to withstand predicted changes in climate conditions up to 2080.

The state-of the-art new leisure complex will feature an eight lane main pool and four lane pool for leaners, both with movable floors.

It will feature:

  • 25m competition swimming pool
  • 20m community pool
  • Children’s confidence/play water
  • Health and fitness centre
  • Café
  • Children’s soft play activity space
  • Spa (including hydrotherapy pool, heat experience and treatment room)

True Collaboration

The nature of the project coupled with the commitment and dedication of the design team, Exeter City Council and SCF, who worked for many years to bring the scheme to site, has set a culture of pride that has continued through the build programme. At each stage everyone has pulled together to not only make the project happen but to upskill the local work force in Passivhaus, educate schools and the community on the benefits and create employment opportunities through Building Greater Exeter

Some project highlights

St Sidwells Point was audited as part of Kier’s Social Value Mark level 2 process. The site team, SCF Management Team and sub-contractors all provided evidence of the social value delivered on the scheme . To this end, Kier was recently awarded the accreditation and is the first company in the Construction industry to have achieved this level of the Social Value Mark.

Despite the challenges of lock down, SSP was a key feature at the virtually held International and UK Passivhaus Conference, the design and construction delivery of the scheme was of huge interest to the attendees and SCF, Space & Place, Kier and the Client, Exeter City Council all attended a lively Q&A session as part of the conference.

Training and development has been integral to the scheme and as well as part of the commitment to employment skills, Kier has worked closely with its team and supply chain to carry out ‘Passivhaus Passport’ training scheme, equipping its staff with the knowledge, training and skills to meet these requirements, which include zero cold bridges, practically airtight construction and a constant supply of fresh air through the building.

The CCS scheme has also been an important part of the project and our integration with the supply chain. During the most recent audit, Kier have achieved a 45 including a highly commended innovation credit for the Passivhaus training and development.

Covid 19

The global pandemic brought another level of challenges to the scheme, from the start, work was paused to carry out a review of the impact and to ensure operations could be carried out within the government guidelines in accordance with the Site Operating Procedures (SOP) information being issued by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) along with Public Health England (PHE) guidance on social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVD-19).

To maintain a significant level of site productive, inline with the SOP, welfare facilities need to be increased. Exeter City Council supported Kier with the dialogue surrounding this and through a collaborative approach offered the use of the adjoining car park. A marquee was purchased by Kier and erected to provide the welfare space required to enable safe working. Many other measures were also introduced such as one-way systems, a careful rota system for breaks, booths for working areas, additional sanitisation and effective use of the NHS trace and trace system.


The level of collaboration has led to the scheme being shortlisted for the Integration & Collaborative Working Award at the 2020 Constructing Excellence South West Awards, and certainly you can see why this is a worthy nomination. We wish the team the best of luck with this and with the completion of the project and very much look forward to enjoying this fabulous facility when it opens next year.