Spectrum Leisure Centre, Guildford Borough Council

Spectrum Leisure Centre, Guildford Borough Council

About the client

Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex is the largest site of its kind in the UK, with several large swimming pools, ice rink, climbing and bowling facilities.

Drivers for the project

An existing 305kWe CHP system had failed after 10 years of operation at the site, and the Council needed a replacement that corrected any shortcomings in the design and installation of the original system. Given the failure of the previous system the client required consultancy services to design and run a tender and to provide project management services for installation of the system.


CIS visited Spectrum to review the size, age and condition of existing heating, air handling, cooling, and ice plant, as well as existing light fittings and distribution systems and building fabric. We also reviewed building plans, O&M manuals and BMS records of historical system temperatures and assessed the suitability of existing plant rooms and surrounding areas for suitability for replacement CHP system components. We analysed the site’s historical half hourly gas and electricity data using load duration curves to confirm a range of potentially viable CHP set sizes. From collected building data we identified a number of energy saving opportunities for the site and used this data to calculate potential future building energy savings. This enable us to apply them to the site’s gas and electricity half hourly consumption profiles to avoid oversizing of the CHP. Finally, we calculated operational inputs and outputs for a range of actual CHP sets and control strategies, and assessed each through a detailed cashflow model giving IRR and NPV outputs. Our recommendation was to install a new CHP system in the range of 365 to 400kWe output.


Following board approval, CIS designed an OJEU tender for the works, producing a full tender pack capturing critical quality elements. CIS fielded all tender queries and completed a robust final evaluation process in under a week to maintain the client’s programme. Having received full board approval, the project progressed to contract award and construction phases in which CIS provided PRINCE2 project management and CDM principle designer duties and obtain planning permissions based on the winning contractor’s specification.

Project Summary

LOCATION: Spectrum Leisure Centre, Guildford




  • Historical half hourly gas and electricity data from the site was analysed using our own CHP tools to size the system appropriately.
  • CIS carried out a site wide energy efficiency assessment to highlight potential future reductions in demand which were applied to the half hourly assessment.
  • Full life cycle costing provided NPV and IRR outputs to select the most economically advantageous size range for the new CHP set.
  • Critical design factors and causes of past failure were identified relating to site return temperatures, ventilation, and controls.