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Weber - Saint-Gobain

Knowsley Leisure Centre

Leca® LWA goes "swimmingly" for state of the art pool complex

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Leca® LWA contributed to the on-time completion of the stunning new £16.1 million Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park swimming pool complex at Huyton, Liverpool, built by Balfour Beatty Construction for Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council. This brand new sport and leisure complex on Merseyside is equipped with two pools, sports hall, gym, dance studio, spa and education facilities. This world-class facility will host sporting and cultural events including performances, pantomimes and award ceremonies. The complex will attract international sporting events and provide the very best facilities for members of the local community.

The two 25-metre pools in the aquatic centre feature an eight-lane competition pool to full international standards. The pools were constructed and using the Leca® UK pneumatic installation unit the Leca® LWA was blown into place to fill the surround of the two pools which were then finished to provide the wide perimeter walkways. The Leca® LWA filled void also carries the many water pipe runs from the surface skimmers and the return services from the huge filter and purification complex. The lightweight properties of Leca® LWA reduced the weight pressure on the sidewalls of the pool, allowing the fill to be completed before water was introduced. Leca® LWA also provides high levels of insulation which helps maintain the pool temperature stability.

Leca® LWA is a totally natural product. It is lightweight expanded clay formed by heating and firing natural glacial clay in a rotary kiln at temperatures up to 1150oC. This process transforms the clay into lightweight ceramic granules with a hard shell and porous core. The material is extremely light with a bulk density of just 0.3 tonnes per cubic metre. Leca® LWA has excellent insulation properties, is free draining, fire resistant, frost resistant and chemically inert with no hazardous properties. Used as a lightweight fill in many construction and civil engineering applications Leca® LWA reduces the loading on weak substrates and retaining structures by 75% over traditional fill. Leca® LWA eliminates expensive settlement or curing delays, is easily handled and quickly installed.

Mark McCall, Balfour Beatty project manager for this superb project, has used Leca® LWA previously for a similar pool application. "We required 1093m³ of Leca® LWA once the pools had been constructed. Access and time is always limited in this type of project but using Leca® LWA and having it delivered and blown straight from the transport into place only then requires the minimum of placement and simple compaction. I had used Leca® LWA before and specified the advantages for this project," reported Mr McCall.

The Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park is part of the £25m Leisure Facilities Strategy being implemented across the borough and will strengthen Knowsley's growing international sporting links in the build up to the 2012 Olympics. Facilities were opened in autumn 2011.