A building with a swimming pool gets through a lot of water, so there is the usual water treatment plant required to replenish the pool and keep the pool water clean.
The one thing that captures the eye is a storage vessel explicitly labelled 'greywater tank', which appears to be mains-fed. No-one on site can recall whether the sports centre lost its greywater recovery during design but retained the tank. Certainly there are a lot of areas where water can be collected, such as the showers.
A more cost-effective option, given the large expanse of roof, would have been rainwater harvesting. The sports centre has a high rate of water use for irrigating its playing fields.
The University of Surrey takes its facilities management seriously. The team studied the initial energy data in order to determine whether the building was operating efficiently. By comparing the centre's energy use with that of the K2 leisure centre in Crawley, a similar building in terms of facilities and size, the facilities team identified a significant difference in electricity use. Further investigation narrowed the problem down to the electricity meter, which had been reading double.
EDF has rectified the meter, but it highlights how important it is to calibrate and check all energy consuming items, even fit-and-forget items like mains meters. A good clue is if the sub-meters don't total up to match the main meter reading. That is usually a good clue that something is amiss.
One area that has posed a problem is the old issue of facilities management versus operational management. The facilities team are keen to fit a pool cover to allow for the potential of up to 30 per cent energy savings. However, there is resistance from the operational team, saying it will take too long to put it on and take it off each day.
Swimming pool covers save energy by reducing the evaporation of the pool water, keeping more heat in the water and reducing the amount of ventilation required to maintain the humidity levels in the pool hall. This has the additional effect of reducing the condensation and the pool structure's exposure to the aggressive chlorine-rich environment, potentially extending the life of the building and reducing maintenance costs.
BSRIA has been retained by the Unversity of Surrey to assist with energy analysis and to advise of improvements to the energy management strategies. BSRIA will report back in 2012 with a 12-month review of the centre's energy use.
James Parker MSc BEng (Hons) AMIMechE is a research engineer and BREEAM Assessor with BSRIA:
T: 01344 465600