Carnegie School of Sport

Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University

A 90,000sqft teaching centre that caters for more than 1,600 students, with five lecture theatres and around 40 research and teaching laboratories.

Higher Education - Yorkshire

Project Overview

The Carnegie School of Sport teaching and research building has been designed as a base for undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes; providing a hub for the elite athletes who use the university’s sports performance expertise.

The 90,000sqft teaching centre can cater for more than 1,600 students with five lecture theatres and around 40 research and teaching laboratories. Key features of the building also include a covered rooftop 60m sprint track for performance training and analysis, which cantilevers 12m from the building, as well as dedicated research laboratories and a health and wellbeing studio.

The building houses two world class environmental chambers, which can mimic different altitudes and environments. There are also enhanced strength and conditioning spaces, changing and recovery facilities, a number of networking spaces, a café, informal teaching spaces and learning support areas.

In our design, elements of secondary steelwork were required to accommodate specialist pieces of equipment throughout the building. These included sliding partitions, ceiling mounted hoists within the Hot and Cold Recovery Room, a ceiling mounted rig in the Strength and Conditioning Room, and a camera rig and camera tracks located within the Human Movement Research Lab. The main frame steelwork was designed for controlled deflection tolerances in certain instances and strict vibration criteria was adhered to, whilst providing future flexibility regarding force plate installation.

Images copyright John Kees Photography

Services we provided:

  • Civils & StructuresCivils & Structures
  • EnvironmentalEnvironmental
  • InfrastructureInfrastructure
  • Transport PlanningTransport Planning


Leeds Beckett University

We worked with:

Architect: Sheppard Robson
Contractor: Galliford Try

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The Challenge

Overcoming difficult site conditions.

Our Solution

From an early stage, BIM Level 2 and the sharing of 3D Revit models was adopted, which allowed us to confidently progress a shallow foundation option.

The proposed site was selected to increase connectivity to the existing sports facilities, connecting inside with outside. The existing athletics track was kept open as long as was reasonably possible during construction, minimising disruption to the existing site.

By cantilevering the running track solution, we avoided the need to remove the long jump sand pit and re-route the running track. 

Carnegie School of Sport
Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University

Project Highlights

The structural solution provides:

Long spans that maximise future adaptability / flexibility for re-planning departments / office space, allowing teaching and research requirements to evolve over time.

Maximum structural / service zone for service distribution.

The integration of services through the cell beams helped minimise the building height, hence saving costs on cladding, and satisfying planning.

Easily penetrable floor slab zones allow for additional service distribution.
Excellent acoustic and vibration performance.

Offsite fabrication and repetitive frame construction giving a short overall programme on site.

Key points:

  • Two world class environmental chambers

  • Specialist research, teaching and nutritional laboratories

  • Cantilevered 60m indoor running track

  • Rooftop walking track

  • Designed to BREEAM Excellent 

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