Building Types: Leisure Centers

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    • #708282
      garethace
      Participant

      I will try to ‘introduce’ this building type, from its energy consumption and servicing point of view. I have spoken in the past about shopping centers and their appetite for guzzling up fossil fuels. I am aware the ‘popular’ building types in Irish society at the moment, come with serious energy price tags attached to them. It is a reflection of the affluence of society. You cannot build things like leisure centers at all, if the public cannot afford membership of private ones, or the tax coffer isn’t large enough to pay for the public ones. The discussion about energy consumption, on radio programmes and on TV, has normally focussed around the automobile. But it is a proven fact, that buildings consume vast quantities more energy than all of the vehicles on the road combined.

      Brian O’ Hanlon.

      In General

      There are 1800 private and 2300 public leisure centre facilities in the UK. But membership of the private facilities is much greater at 3 million, compared with 2.4 million members of public facilities. Apparently, many of the public buildings have reached the end of their life cycle and are in need of significant renovation.

      The leisure center has to stand up to high levels of use. The environment is aggressive in terms of water, humidity, temperature changes and general wear and tear. Prevention of noise transfer between different spaces is also necessary.

      Leisure centres need to consume

    • #763922
      garethace
      Participant

      I should relate the above post, with this piece from Irish Construction magazine’s web site, about PFI. As schools are another form of public building, which are in constant need of work and renovation, like public leisure centres often are. The problem with any of these building types, is that they can be reduced down to the level of a ‘science’, built in rapid sucession according to some prototypical design, and it doesn’t leave a lot of scope for architects to be involved. You can get some idea from the Leisure Centre post above, just how important the scientific side of building is. Funny thing, is how both Herman Hertzberger, from Holland and Carme Pinos from Spain identified the school as an important building type, when they spoke in Dublin to the AAI.

      Brian O’ Hanlon.

      As the Government’s enthusiasm for Public Private Partnership grows, Ministers will do well to study the experiences of their contemporaries in Britain. The British Government is rolling out an extensive network of education facilities under its Public Finance Initiative (PFI).

      However PFI has come under scrutiny for a number of reasons. Because schools are designed and built in batches, there are concerns that standard school layouts cannot meet the unique needs of different communities.

      Facilities management issues may also overshadow education provision. As well as this, British architects are critical of the programme’s lack of creative design.

      As our spiralling population (five million people predicted for 2020) puts incredible demands on the education system, a quicker roll-out of school buildings is urgently needed here. But is PPP the way forward?

    • #763923
      GrahamH
      Participant

      The design of school buildings is so important, yet is rarely if ever given any consideration.
      At a time, as mentioned above, when vast investment is being made in the primary and secondary school infrastructure, greater efforts should be made on the part of the Department of Education to promote a high standard, indeed even reasonable standard of design in school building construction.

      For the most part, schools and school extensions being built around the country are little more than vastly bloated one-off house designs: sprawling pebbledashed single-storey buildings with mammoth pitched roofs plonked on top to cover the huge area, clad in acres of tiles.
      In one case I know of, the school was virtually doubled in size in the 1990s, at the cost of

    • #763924
      garethace
      Participant

      In one case I know of, the school was virtually doubled in size in the 1990s, at the cost of

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