National green construction award for Batchwood Sports Centre

1 August 2016

The sports centre received the award in the Community Construction Projects category at the Green Apple Awards 2016 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage. The Green Apple Awards aim to find the most environmentally-friendly buildings in the world and raise perceptions of what is possible in terms of sustainable construction.

Batchwood Sports Centre competed against more than 500 other buildings across the globe for the award, presented at a ceremony on Monday, 8 August. Notable UK projects included London Bridge and Bond Street Station developments. Entries were from as far afield as South America and the Far East. This is the second time that a leisure development built by St Albans City and District Council has won a Green Apple Award. Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre won a similar award in 2014 for its energy-efficient and innovative design.

Batchwood Sports Centre was transformed into an energy-efficient building with the use of low or zero carbon technology and natural light and ventilation when it was re-built. St Albans District Council worked with Van Zyl & de Villiers Consulting Engineers on the sports centre which re-opened in 2014.

Cllr Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage at St Albans City and District Council, said: “I am delighted that the District Council’s drive to construct energy-efficient buildings has been acknowledged with the top category Green Apple Award. Out of the devastating 2011 fire an A-rated building for energy efficiency has been created for indoor and outdoor tennis courts, golf, gyms, plus a dojo for judo.”

Paul Vorster, Director of Van Zyl & de Villiers, said: “Following the success of Westminster Lodge we welcomed the opportunity to again work with SADC and S&P when they approached us for the Batchwood redevelopment. We pride ourselves in incorporating innovative but proven technologies within our projects, and delivering an environment that is enjoyable to the user without drawing attention to ‘how’. This ethos is evident throughout the building, but there is no better example of this than the tennis hall, where the user experiences exceptional levels of comfort using passive engineering techniques such as natural light and natural ventilation. Couple that with the 50kWp solar photovoltaic array, and you have a facility that is literally powered by the wind and the sun!”


The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the country’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries.  The awards are organised by The Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-activist, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising and promoting environmental best practice. Judges for the Green Apple Awards are drawn from the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and other independent bodies. More information is available at: 

Green Apple Awards