Kalzip’s ‘Best of the Best’ !

Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Leisure Centre has been crowned ‘Best of the Best’ at Kalzip’s recent Teamkal Conference and awards ceremony. An external panel of distinguished judges described the impressive new sports facility as, “A beautifully conceived and detailed project demonstrating excellent use of Kalzip in a curved application.” Designed by Saunders Architects LLP and being operated by Parkwood Community Leisure, the Mountbatten Leisure Centre project was funded by Portsmouth City Council and Sport England. The striking new leisure facility was built by Kier Southern with Gable (UK) Ltd the award-winning Approved Teamkal Contractor. Gable installed over 3,200 sqm of smooth curved standard stucco embossed Kalzip sheets and 2,000 sqm of Kalzip structural decking sheets on the intriguingly designed facilty. The main Kalzip roof over the pool hall measures 30 metres from eaves to ridge and comprises convex curved and concave curved sheets which were site-welded together to create the continuous wave curve. The roof is supported on a framework of structural steel and a series of beautiful glulam beams with a matching liner to help create a welcoming environment for the swimmers. The elongated tubular Kalzip roof encases a state-of-the-art gymnasium located on the first floor over the leisure centre’s main entrance, reception and café bar. The tightly curved Kalzip sheets of varying radii are affixed to Kalzip structural decking sheets - Kalzip’s vapour control layer and thermal insulation completes a roof build-up which achieves a minimum U-value of 0.20 W/m²K. Three very large areas of vertical glazing are neatly integrated into the north face of the tubular roof to ensure that the gymnasium area enjoys plenty of natural daylight. Sitting between and effectively ‘joining’ the Kalzip roofs is a steeply-pitched continuous northlight glazing system that shares a central valley gutter with the gymnasium’s tubular Kalzip roof and introduces natural daylight into the pool area. Saunders Architects has very cleverly linked the two main sections of the leisure centre together by using smooth curved perforated Kalzip sheets in the pool hall immediately below the northlight glazing system. This creates the illusionary effect that the tightly curved external Kalzip roof over the gymnasium has been continued inside the pool hall. Visually it has, but instead of being weather sheets, these perforated Kalzip sheets form an internal façade complete with special acoustic insulation to satisfy the acoustic requirements. Operational since May 2009, the Mountbatten Leisure Centre with its 50 metre pool, training pool and gymnasium was officially opened by the Princess Royal on 22nd October.

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