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Tolworth Court Sports Ground

Tolworth, Kingston

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Earle Architects worked with Kingston University on the 22 hectare Tolworth Court Sports Ground for over 10 years, delivering new pitch drainage, a new sports pavilion and hard and soft landscaping.

The site is designated Metropolitan Open Land, which gave rise to a rigorous planning application process involving referral to the London Mayor. Planning permission was granted in 2005 and work started on the new £2.6m sports pavilion in 2009, following some design adjustments. The new pavilion replaces a smaller 1970s built structure which was too small to meet the demands of the university and local clubs - it also suffered from a lack of disabled access and no female or match officials' changing facilities.

The building was completed in 2010 and it offers 18 changing rooms, including 2 wheelchair accessible shower rooms. The 1,335sqm building is laid out over two storeys and boasts a large function room on the first floor with a terrace that overlooks the sports pitches. The steel framed building is infilled with robust concrete block work and clad in cedar boards to enable it to settle into its rural back drop.

The environmental impact of the building has been minimised by the use of solar thermal panels that pre-warm the shower and hand basin water before the temperature is boosted by efficient gas fired boilers. A ground sourced heat pump snakes under the sports ground to extract heat from the earth, which is delivered to the internal spaces via underfloor heating pipes buried in the floor screed. Together the solar panels and ground sourced heat pump reduce emissions by of CO2 by over 3,500kg per year compared with traditional systems. To avoid losing the internal heat through necessary extract fans, a series of heat recovery ventilators have been used to exchange the warmth between the outgoing stale air with incoming fresh air. Water consumption is reduced with push button taps and shower outlets. Overall the building performs around 60% better than the requirements of the building regulations at the time.

"We have found [Earle Architects] work to be reliable and committed to this long standing scheme. I would have no hesitation in recommending [them]."

Kingston University

"I have found [Earle Architects] work to be innovative and creative, whilst maintaining an eye for detail. I have also been pleased that Earles have an appreciation for the need to control the costs of the project as a whole within agreed budgets. They have produced designs that are attractive and functional, at the same time as utilising materials that are cost effective."

Kingston University

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