THE latest artist’s impressions of Chelmsford’s new Riverside Leisure Centre have been released –amidst claims it will be one of the greenest and cleanest in the country.

New images show the outside of the centre – which will open in April 2019 after 20 months of construction.

The new leisure complex was rated ‘Very Good’ during an independent environmental assessment – putting it in the top 25 per cent of new non-domestic buildings in the UK.

Architects Pick Everard and main contractor Kier will work with the council for two years after the new complex has opened to the public, making sure that it isn’t using too much energy and fine-tuning all its systems so they are energy-efficient during summer and winter.

Julia Jeapes, cabinet member for leisure, said: “The old Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre, which was built in the early 60s, was pretty inefficient compared to the buildings of today. Since it was built, man has been to the moon, invented the internet and become globally aware of climate change.

“With the technology and knowledge we now have at our disposal, we have the opportunity to create a leisure complex that’s as good for the health and fitness of our planet as it is for human beings. Thanks to clever engineering and great design, we are building a centre that can serve our city sustainably and cleanly for the next 60 years – and with beautiful landscaping and improved paths, we are also encouraging sustainable transport by helping people to walk or cycle to their activity of choice.”

A combined heat and power unit means the site will generate much of its own electricity.

The unit will also act as the main boiler.

The main concourse and the walkways that cross overhead all have underfloor heating, meaning they stay warm without any need to heat the air.

Smart sensors pick up on the weather outside and control the heating indoors accordingly, so there will always be the right amount of warmth for the conditions.

Even the lighting is efficient.

These days, it is standard to use LED bulbs – but Riverside’s lighting will also be intelligently controlled via sensors, depending on the levels of daylight outside. When rooms are not in use, their lights will automatically switch off.