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Swimming Pool

Case Study:

Castlebar Leisure Centre - Designing an ‘A’-rated Public Building

Swimming Pool


The existing Castlebar pool was more than 35 years old and was used extensively by members of the public. The facility had consistently averaged 70,000 visits per annum for the past number of years and was particularly popular for its children’s swimming lessons. However, as the pool was constructed over 35 years ago, there were significant ongoing and recurring maintenance and running cost issues with the facility.

As a result, it operated at a significant annual loss and was a struggle to maintain in good working order. In addition, the development of a new public pool and leisure facility was seen as a strategic and key piece of local social infrastructure that had to be delivered in the immediate future. In light of these challenges, Mayo County Council subsequently led the delivery of a new state of the art leisure centre in Castlebar at the beginning of 2019.


A primary objective for the development of the leisure centre was to provide a pleasant, controllable environment for staff, patrons, and visitors alike. Thermal and overall energy efficiency designs were set as priorities for the environmental services’ consultant appointee. The overall control and monitoring of the building environment through patent computer software and controls were also embodied in the same service requirements.

Swimming Pool

The design, materials, construction, and management of the development reflects the stakeholders’ commitment to environmental protection, energy conservation, and sustainable development. Proven techniques and technology (passive/active) were used to achieve these objectives and contributed to the successful delivery of an ‘A’-rated public leisure facility, far in excess of requirements.

Benefits of Solution

The complex’s primary source of heating is a CHP unit that operates at 50kWh max output of electricity, which is 60% of the Council’s power usage during the day. The by-product of the electrical generation heats the complex’s domestic hot water and swimming pools. A secondary heating system is also operated by natural gas.

To add to its energy efficiency, the building has rainwater harvesting which feeds the Council’s toilet cisterns, and passive infrared sensors that control LED lighting throughout the building. This is all complemented with a state-of-the-art building management system.

The council has installed 15 square metres of solar thermal panels, which preheat the mains incoming water, which in turn reduces heating costs.

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Project Details:

Completed January 2019.

Local authority project contact
David O’Malley
Facility Technical Manager
Mayo County Council

Robbie Maguire
Project Architect
Mayo County Council