Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre

Our award-winning services strategy for Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre minimises energy use in a strictly controlled elite sports environment.

A large white building with a field in front

Key information


Reiach and Hall Architects


Heriot-Watt University



Year of Completion



Oriam at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, opened in 2016. The national home for football, the centre also serves Scotland’s rugby team and is home to the national governing bodies of basketball, handball, squash, racquetball, and volleyball. Facilities include the largest FIFA-accredited indoor pitch in Europe and community sports amenities. 

We worked with Reiach and Hall Architects to create an inspiring facility while minimising environmental impact, operational carbon, and energy costs. Our MEP engineers, acoustic designers and Soft Landings consultants worked with the design team to develop the new building form and materials, and adapt and refurbish Heriot Watt’s existing sports facilities.

Oriam won the award for Project of the Year (Leisure) at the 2018 CIBSE Building Performance Awards.

Natural ventilation and daylighting

While meeting strict requirements for lighting and heating, the building design provides extensive natural ventilation and daylighting to reduce the need for mechanical cooling, fan energy and artificial lighting. We designed and tested the internal environments to ensure acoustic comfort and speech intelligibility throughout the building. 

To avoid wasting energy, we designed and controlled the lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation to suit the wide range of activity and occupancy. Light levels can be adjusted to suit the sport and level of competition. Heating, ventilation and lighting is zoned, with ventilation controlled based on occupancy. For example, the fitness suite can get very busy, requiring high ventilation rates and cooling loads. To reduce energy consumption, the ventilation is controlled on CO2 to match occupancy and we designed the air conditioning to transfer waste heat to the cafe above. 

With a natural ventilation strategy designed to create enjoyable training spaces, the large indoor football hall also incorporates a translucent roof membrane tuned to control solar gain and deliver a comfortable daylight factor of 6%.

Soft Landings

We applied our Soft Landings process to all stages of the project, from early briefing through to the commissioning, completion, handover and aftercare, including a year of post-completion monitoring and fine-tuning. The result is an exemplar of sustainable design, construction and operation.

2018 CIBSE Building Performance Awards Project of the Year (Leisure)
2017 Scottish Design Awards Architecture Grand Prix
2017 Scottish Design Awards Leisure/Culture Building or Project