SportPark’s £9M sustainable extension gets underway at Loughborough University

Work has just begun to create a 2,000 sq m four-storey fourth pavilion to expand SportPark, the multi award-winning development for the UK’s sports sector, on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park. Scheduled for completion in Winter 2022, the £9M project will be built to Passivhaus Classic Accreditation to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.


SportPark, designed by David Morley Architects, was completed in 2009 and consists of three pavilions linked with glazed circulation spaces. The masterplan and original building design were developed to allow for the future addition of this fourth pavilion to the existing building. SportPark Pavilion 4 will mark the 8th built project David Morley Architects have worked with Loughborough University on since the National Cricket Performance Centre in 2003.


The first Passivhaus development on the University campus, SportPark Pavilion 4 presents sports organisations with the unique opportunity to secure environmentally future-proof accommodation, tailored to their needs. It will enable occupants to reduce their carbon footprint thanks to highly efficient heat pumps, opening triple-glazed windows for natural ventilation, solar shading to avoid summer overheating and continuous and well-insulated building fabric to minimise heat loss.


Partner at David Morley Architects, Andy Mytom comments on the project: “Loughborough continually challenge us to seek out solutions which create the best environments for people to perform and reduce their impact on the planet. SportPark Phase 1 was an award winning naturally lit, naturally ventilated environment that connecting people with the active landscape creating an integrated place to work and play. We are delighted that with some subtle evolution of the building fabric to make use of new products and introduction of heat recovery for Phase 2 is achieving Passive Certified Building, as this shows the original thinking was right.


The orientation of Pavilion 4 continues the radial sequence formed by the existing building footprint.

Separated by link buildings, the pavilions radiate outwards creating a focal point at the entrance to the west, while to the east creating courtyards between the pavilions. This allows light and air to enter into the office accommodation, whilst the stepped height and radiating form naturally provides the building interior to be integrated with the external landscape, and reinforced with vistas through generous glazed elements to the courtyards between the pavilions, gardens and the parkland setting. 


The project will increase by 25% the floorspace of the five-storey building which currently houses the UK’s highest concentration of sports governing bodies and national sports organisations.


Professor Mike Caine, Loughborough University Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Sport, said: “SportPark is a tremendous asset to the University and wider region - housing, as it does, complementary organisations, working in collaboration with the University, and harnessing the power of sport to benefit communities, locally, nationally, and around the world. SportPark Pavilion 4 will provide the capacity to welcome yet more mission-driven organisations to the University, and to further anchor the region as an internationally important Sports Innovation Hub.


The SportPark expansion coincides with a growing number of innovation and technology-led sports businesses launching at, or relocating to, LUSEP, attracted to the collaborative environment and access to the University’s world-leading expertise in sports science, engineering, health and well-being, high-performance athlete base, and sports infrastructure.”


David Morley Architects have led the design team collaborating with Qoda Consulting, Price and Myers, and Henry Brothers who are the contractors for the project.