Gaia undertook the community consultation and feasibility study that established the need and viability of a new Community and Sports Centre in the village recently decimated by the loss of the dominant employer the Aluminium Smelter.
Gaia's Feasibility report was used to attract funding from a number of sources, notably sportscotland for a building comprising a Main multi-purpose hall, and Changing facilities, a Learning Resource Centre for the University of the Highlands and Islands, Snooker Room, Fitness Suite, Kitchen and several General Purpose Community Rooms.
Gaia undertook to explore best practice within the context of delivering attractive, healthy, affordable and manageable sports facilities that minimise pollution and hence are environmentally responsible in relation to users and in their impact on the wider world. The set about incorporating technical innovations to ensure an affordable sustainability building.
The Centre is built with high levels of insulation, and boasts only the second use of Dynamic Insulation in a major building in Scotland. The underfloor heating system is fed from a biomass boiler run entirely on locally sourced woodchip. Running concurrently with this project Gaia Research had been commissioned to investigate guidance and best practice in the use of natural lighting in sports halls. The natural slate roof is complemented internally by a sweeping rooflight bringing daylight into the centre of the building and borrowed natural light into the hall, It is finished with natural timber and paint throughout.