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Aquatic centres – it’s all about the numbers

aquatic centre design squareWhen it comes the comparison of aquatic centres  – it’s all about the numbers.

At SmartConsult, we recently completed a case study for an aquatic centre in South Australia. The centre is approximately 25 years old and suffers from the usual catastrophic heat loss from the building envelope which is common with these older aquatic centre designs.

As we point out to many local councils, the first port of call for energy efficiency of aquatic centres is working through the best ways to reduce heat losses before they tackle the more difficult areas of HVAC and pool heating systems. Once the heat loss has been reduced, less heating will be required throughout the centre. Which of course makes sense – doesn’t it?

Going over some data for the centre there are some very interesting keystone metrics that stand out, that warrant more attention. The most enlightening of these is the kWh/m2 figure that we measured for the wet exercise area. That is the pool area plus change rooms calved off from the rest of the centre.

SA Aquatic Centre

  • Wet exercise area 3051 m2
  • Energy consumed (gas plus electricity in kWh) 4,333,221 kWh
  • Total area energy usage number 1420 kWh/m2

If we take this comparison (1420 kWh/m2) and compare it to a small swim school in Sydney that was completed about 12 months ago you can see from the figures that they are reporting very low energy usage (79 kWh/m2). This is of great interest to anyone who is running an indoor pool in Australia. This is an indicative as a benchmark of what can be achieved with a new energy efficient build.

A Small Sydney Swim School

  • Wet exercise area 193 m2
    Energy consumed (electricity in kWh) 15,290 kWh
  • Total area energy usage number 79 kWh/m2

The comparison works out to around 1/18th the energy consumption of the old centre demonstrating how critical this conversation is. If money is spent on the insulation of these centres and every opportunity is chased to stop heat from leaving the building, it is a good investment affecting a lot of other areas in the building. Do you know what this metric is for your aquatic centre? If you need some help with an existing centre or a new design, please let us know.  We are happy to answer any question you may have.

As well as consulting and advice, we also produce aquatic centre reports which set out easy to understand benchmarks and outlines the no-go areas of design such as skylights, separated plant and thermally opposed areas in the building.

Click here to read more about our aquatic centre reports. To discuss your numbers and what numbers you can realistically aim for complete the call back form on our website or call SmartConsult on 1300 344 388.

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