0LED-based solutions have been successfully implemented at three of the leisure operator’s sites in the UK.
With a reliance on complex and power-intensive building systems, leisure centre operators are continually on the lookout for new technologies that can help to reduce their energy expenditure. Established in 1987, Sports and Leisure Management (SLM) is no exception, and continues to optimise its use of technology at approximately 145 leisure and cultural facilities across the UK.
For a recent upgrade initiative at three council leisure sites operating under the consumer leisure brand Everyone Active, SLM enlisted the input of leading lighting specialist Energys Group, which is part of its energy management strategy team. In a pattern well-established by previous projects, the Energys team – led by Business Development Manager Raj Gunasekaran – set about researching viable energy-saving solutions in order to determine how much money might be saved over the long-term.
In the wake of a successful deployment of boiler control and valve wrap solutions a few years ago, it was decided that a comprehensive installation of the latest LED-based lighting was the best way to achieve further savings. The new specification was designed by Energys to comply with Sports 4 England criteria, ensuring optimum comfort and efficiency.
Financing energy efficiency
Energys has a distinguished track-record of assisting companies and organisations to benefit from energy-related funding schemes. In this instance, the upgrade was financed by Energys’ own Pay From Savings scheme, whereby SLM paid 30% of the fee on completion and the remaining 70% from savings. Designed to minimise capital outlay, the saving over the lifetime of the lease is ex-pected to be in the region of £76,000 across the three leisure centres.
“As with a number of other leisure complexes in the recent past, the scheme has made it possible for SLM to implement these hugely beneficial new LED-based solutions, with positive results both for the overall cost of the operation and the comfort of patrons,” says Gunasekaran.
Across all three sites, the upgraded lighting installations draw on the latest LED products from the Energys Group range. LED tubes, panels, down-lights, hi-bay units with intelligent multi-sensors, spotlights, wall lights, outdoor wall lights, SON replacement lamps and flood lights all feature in the far-reaching projects.
The specification of intelligent auto-sensing lights in sports halls and indoor track spaces at each of the three sites – in order to provide additional savings when unoccupied – was another important aspect of a project that also encompassed indoor stadiums, gym and dance studios, offices, cafes, kitchens and store rooms, among other spaces.
The installations at three leisure centres – Westgate, Bourne and David Weir – were completed in no more than two weeks apiece during December 2016 and January 2017. But whilst the work itself might have been fairly quick, the benefits are destined to be long-lived. For example, the projected energy savings at Westgate are £26,774 and 243400 kWh, with a return on investment (RoI) of just 2.4 years.
Underlining SLM’s commitment to carbon reduction, the sites will also benefit from a reduced environmental impact as a consequence of the new lighting. For example, at Bourne, a CO2 reduction of 58 tonnes per year is expected, whilst the figure rises to an impressive 180 tonnes per year at David Weir.
Daylight harvesting and scene setting
Designed to incorporate daylight harvesting (whereby lighting is adjusted according to natural lighting), the new solutions are easily controlled by staff using a tablet that can be pre-programmed to suit requirements for different sports. The end-result has been a dramatic improvement in conditions, says Chichester Contracts Manager Stuart Mills, who oversees the Westgate and Bourne sites.
“The standard of the lighting is so much better now,” he says, highlighting in particular “the greatly enhanced conditions around the poolside, with obvious benefits for health and safety since the life-guards can now see more easily to the bottom of the pool! Visually the new lights are a nicer, brighter white and it makes such a difference to the spaces.”
Despite the long opening hours at each centre, installation was planned to be as non-disruptive as possible, says Katie McKeown, General Manager at David Weir Leisure Centre. “We are open from 7am until 10pm on weekdays, and 8am until 6pm on weekends, but Energys worked around our usage patterns, so there was no need to cancel any classes or activities. As a result we didn’t receive any customer complaints during the process.”
Mark Ford is the Southeast Regional Technical Manager at Everyone Active, overseeing 70 of the 140 or more sites Everyone Active operates. He is delighted by the quick and efficient turnaround of the upgrades, and the positive impact they have had at all three sites.
“The quality of the lighting really enhances the facilities and has had immediate impact on customer feedback,” he says, “but I must also pinpoint the dramatic savings that we are going to enjoy for many years ahead. In addition, we are an organisation that takes its commitment to carbon reduction very seriously, so these upgrades will deliver a dramatic advantage in that regard. Consequently, I fully expect us to initiate similar projects at other sites in the future.”