Andy presents SportPark 4, a Passivhaus and Net Zero Proofed Building


Andy Mytom presents SportPark 4, a Passivhaus and Net Zero Proofed Building, to the Association of University Directors of Estates Management Conference (26th – 27th June 2023).


David Morley Architects has a strong connection with Loughborough University, having worked on a Masterplan which included the design and construction of Phase 1 of SportPark, a series of three connected pavilions with up to five storeys linked through glazed circulation spaces, all sited within a woodland setting.

We were awarded the design for the 4th pavilion in 2020 and the building was handed over in April 2023. As well as achieving Passivhaus and BREEAM accreditation, Pavilion 4 respects the existing three pavilions and continues the ethos of encouraging collaboration and innovation central to the Loughborough University Science & Enterprise Park.

A Collaborative Effort from Design to Build

At the design stage, Loughborough University had a clear set of requirements:

  • SportPark 4 would be the University’s first Passivhaus-accredited project, setting the standard for future buildings to meet Net Zero and low energy consumption while delivering comfortable office space for potential clients.
  • Create an extra 2000 m² extension of space to meet demand from new tenants; and
  • Use the same architectural language/ aesthetic to harmonise with the existing three pavilions.

As lead consultant and design architect, David Morley Architects, working closely with QODA and Beyond Carbon (a leading Passivhaus engineering specialist), recognised that meeting Loughborough University’s NetZero and low energy targets required a collaborative approach to the design and build.

From the outset, we worked closely with the University to make them comfortable with the complexity of the Passivhaus standard to arrive at a building design that adhered to Passivhaus principles making use of natural light, ventilation, and insulation.

More collaboration was necessary for the build. We needed to prove to contractors that the building was practically deliverable while meeting Passivhaus low energy/ sustainability benefits. Henry Brothers, the contractor for the project, embraced the Passivhaus principles and worked collaboratively, upskilling wherever necessary, to give Loughborough University a unique building and the confidence to embrace Passivhaus projects.

Future – Proof Benefits

This collaboration from design through to build has delivered impressive results. SportPark 4, as well as achieving Passivhaus Classic accreditation, has set the benchmark for quality and low-energy building efficiency. Joel Callow, Beyond Carbon, has measured the energy efficiency of the building against the following standards:

  • Passivhaus Standard: 14% improvement in space heating and a 50% improvement in air tightness
  • LETI Commercial Office standards: 14% in space heating and a 5% improvement in total energy intensity
  • CIBSE Guide F benchmarks for naturally ventilated offices: 80% saving in space heating energy.
  • Good Practice Office: 70% saving in space heating energy.

As well as meeting Loughborough University’s sustainability and Net Zero targets, the new building offers better health and well-being for potential occupants with access to natural light and ventilation. Moreover, there is a growing appreciation that tenants are willing to pay a premium for an environmentally friendly office space. SportsPark 4 is now the home of the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), having relocated its central office from London to SportPark Pavilion 4, occupying the entire third storey.


Andy Mytom, of David Morley Architects, agrees by saying “This latest Phase of SportPark continues our work to enhance lives through design, creating highly desirable low energy places that people choose to come and work in for the quality of the environment and interactions it fosters.

We are immensely proud to have co-created Loughborough Universities’ first Passivhaus building and exceeded performance thresholds by significant margins while following the DNA of the initial phase to complete the vision for a low-energy and collaborative workspace integrated into an active landscape that provides opportunities for physical and mental wellbeing for all.”

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