Federation of Master Builders Award

Createability were this week presented with the coveted Federation of Master Builders Award (FMB) by Phil Hodge, the Services Director for the FMB.

The Master Builder of the Year Award, for the South West Commercial Project of the Year, was awarded following the nine-month project, which catapulted the centre into the 21st Century, with the centre remaining open throughout. The awards represent a nationwide search by the FMB to find the best builders in the UK. Nominations must come from a satisfied client, and builders are judged on their technical ability together with their customer service skills and attention to detail, along with the project’s end result. Createability was nominated by development partner Alliance Leisure Services.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Master Builder of the Year Awards give clients the opportunity to celebrate a job well done and to say thank you to their builder. For the construction industry, it is an opportunity to celebrate all that is good about SME builders and their importance to the recovering UK economy. Time and time again we have been impressed with just how far these builders will go to ensure their client is happy. It is this dedication that we want to celebrate. Our finalists should feel justly proud of their achievement in winning their regional award and we wish them every success in the national competition.”

Built in the 1960s, Llantrisant leisure centre had seen virtually no refurbishment since the 1990s and was in need of investment to drive income, as outdated facilities were proving a deterrent to customers. With internal space at a premium Createability used lateral thinking and clever design to maximise the existing space, introducing mixed facilities and using the building’s height to create an additional floor.

Work included the installation of a 95-station, 450m2 family fitness suite in an existing small hall. Above, a mezzanine floor was created to accommodate two multi-purpose studios and a bar, which doubles as conferencing facilities. A café was installed on the ground floor, the reception area was remodelled and the entire centre received a contemporary colour scheme.

Challenges included introducing new facilities without pushing the electrical supply further. Createability’s design included a range of energy-saving measures, such as LED and PIR-controlled lighting that automatically switches off when not in use, and heat recovery air conditioning and ventilation systems, reusing heat generated within the building.

Water-saving measures were included in the wet side family changing village, which replaced the outmoded single sex changing, with taps that switch off automatically, showers that reduce water output by 50 per cent, and toilet cisterns requiring less water to flush.

Working with interiors designers, Createability used imaginative finishes, robust enough to meet the rigours of public abuse, to create a private health club feel. According to Dave Batten, Head of Leisure Services for the Council, everyone is talking about the transformation. “Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “The refurbishment has taken the building out of the local authority norm and given it a fresh, contemporary and upmarket feel that is spot on for our demographic. Everyone is talking about the design and the standard of finish, particularly in the changing village. We’ve future-proofed the centre in terms of durability, sustainability and customer numbers.”

Createability’s entry will now enter the national stage of the competition, where it will be pitched against winners from the eight other UK regions in that category. The national winner will be announced this month (February 2015).