Chadderton Wellbeing Centre, Oldham

  • Sustainability Award winner, National LIFT Awards 2010
  • Sustainability Award winner, North West RICS Awards 2010
  • Shortlisted in the Sustainability category, National RICS Awards 2010

The award winning Chadderton Wellbeing Centre is enjoying the environmental benefits of the range of sustainable features included in the design and construction of the building as well as national recognition for the market leading innovative use of sustainable technologies in public buildings.

Chadderton Wellbeing Centre brings together a range of organisations including the police and key council services under one roof to deliver joined-up services at a local level. The centre houses a 25-metre swimming pool, library, fitness suite, dance studio, café, community meeting rooms and a community police support officer base.

Oldham Council has significant targets for carbon reduction and for the energy performance of all its new buildings. To help achieve these targets, sustainability was a key consideration throughout the design process and a number of innovative features have been incorporated into the building in order to deliver carbon savings and a reduced impact on the environment.

The building is fitted with an innovative CHP (Combined Heat and Power) generating system which uses a waste product bio-fuel with low carbon emissions and typically provides a minimum of 70% of the building’s electricity requirements together with a substantial heat supply.

Click here for more details about this technology and meeting the carbon reduction challenge in Oldham.

The generating system is also synchronised with the National Grid which allows it to export electricity to the grid during periods of low demand at the centre, giving the centre the opportunity to further improve its carbon position by offsetting other sources of carbon emissions from the building.

The building also benefits from:A rainwater harvesting system
A rainwater harvesting system which collects and recycles rainwater for use inside the building, reducing the need for mains water and minimising the building’s impact on the environment, as well as being cost-efficient.

Salt purification

Salt purification of the pool at Chadderton Wellbeing Centre, rather than using chlorine.

Dessicant de-humidification system for the pool and changing areas – this recycles the heat from the de-humidification process, therefore saving energy.

Pool cover – the pool is covered when not in use, thereby reducing heat loss from the water and saving energy.

Water conservation measures and appliances – one-touch water appliances, flow restrictors and waterless urinals. Manufacturer data suggests water savings of up to 50% against standard manual tap fittings.

Daylight controlled lighting.

Increased thermal insulation of building envelope by 25% over current standards.

Building orientation / passive solar design – the building has been oriented to maximise desirable natural warming from the sun whilst avoiding unwanted heat gain where it isn’t wanted, within the constraints of the site layout.

Timber frame – specific sections of the internal structure are constructed from laminated timber. This is based on a certified timber resource, with lower embodied carbon than other alternatives. This means that less energy is required to produce and install the laminated timber elements than steel or concrete equivalents. The UK Timber Frame Association states that ‘for every cubic metre of wood used instead of other building materials, 0.8 tonne of CO2 is saved from the atmosphere’.


Collectively, these features have resulted in an ‘A’ rated energy performance certificate, which shows how energy efficient the building is. This rating demonstrates the impact of the building’s ground breaking technologies which are delivering a cost effective reduction in the building’s carbon emissions of approximately 450,000 kg per year.

Community 1st Oldham is currently working towards an ‘A+’ rating, which is the highest energy performance rating available.

Community 1st Oldham’s commitment to sustainability, right from the beginning of the scheme, has resulted in a development which can be considered an exemplar ‘green’ public building for the local community.