Ecophon: Ellesmere Port Sports Village (EPSV)

Ellesmere Port Sports Leisure Village opened in spring 2015 and is a prestigious regeneration project for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The new building provides an 8-lane 25m ASA compeition pool and a separate 11 x 7m learner pool with seating for 250 spectators. It’s also home to an 8-court sports hall build to National Premier League Basketball standards with seating for 1400 spectators. There are 3 multi-purpose studios, a 30-place spin studio and an 80-place gym.

1When Ellis Williams Architects (EWA) started working on the project, they contacted Ecophon’s Martin Keogh at the specification stage.

‘EWA have had a good relationship with Ecophon for a number of years. We get good advice and have experience of the product doing what we need it to do;, said EWA lead architect, Ruth Clayton.

Martin Keogh described some of the requirements: ‘The project is co-funded by Sport England so it was necessary to meet acoustic performance standards and comply with certain colours in the sports halls. Due to the pool chemicals and ventilation system, the pool hall environment needed C4 corrosion resistance.’

2 Ruth continued: ‘There were a number of acoustic issues, the key was getting the specification of all the elements right and then trying to find space to get in the required quantity. We needed a C4 corrosion resistant acoustic panel in the pool hall and Ecophon were a great help in resolving this.

‘The sports hall was relatively easy to resolve. With the underside of the roof soffit being so high, ceiling panels were going to be ineffective, and with two sides of the hall taken up with bleacher seating, we needed high absorption from the panels to fit the limited wall space we had at low level.’

Martin mentioned how in some areas, exposed soffits were retained for aesthetic reasons. ‘This can be a challenge acoustically but Ecophon had the products to achieve this’.

Ruth explained how the issues were resolved: ‘The studios and the gym were problematic due to coordination issues with the M&E and the need to access the plant above the ceiling rafts. We didn’t want a full ceiling so that the rooms felt higher. So we needed to get the right absorption, but in a tile that could support the lights and ventilation grilles. We also wanted something that looked unified so didn’t want to see a ceiling grid. We went through various product options with Ecophon, reaching a final solution that included some wall panels’.

‘Ecophon were able to provide all the products necessary to meet the project’s acoustic needs. We also helped ensure any non-Ecophon components met Sport England’s stringent requirements’ said Martin. ‘With design and build it’s always a challenge to meet the standards of Sport England, whilst delivering on cost. Early design meetings with the contractor, client and the architects ensured we were able to deliver the right solutions to meet the acoustics, aesthetics and costs required.’

‘I was very pleased with how the finished products looked, particularly the rafts in the studios and gym, it was just the look we were after’, said Ruth. ‘The building itself has had a very positive impact, their membership has more than doubled since opening. The opening friendly game of Basketball attracted 900 spectators, and there were no complaints about noise issues’.

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