Bramley Baths, a Leeds based community-led social enterprise project which directs all of its profits towards improving the local area, is now benefiting from the installation of a new cutting-edge eco hub designed to dramatically reduce energy costs.
Dating back to 1904, the impressive Edwardian Grade II listed Bramley Baths building now houses a swimming pool, public gym, steam room and space for community events. In 2013, concerns around the future of the building were allayed when management of the baths was transferred from Leeds City Council to a new community-led management team determined to safeguard this valuable community asset for years to come.
After identifying issues surrounding excessive energy costs and disruptions due to plant downtime, the management team took the decision to upgrade the existing non-functioning BMS system and introduce new energy saving measures throughout. Following consultation with global associates, it was agreed that all new software would be installed to enable an optimum start/stop system. This would ensure that the plant is only engaged when required, meeting temperature setpoints during periods of occupation and automatically adjusting start times as the seasons change. The optimum stop function would then learn daily routines so that plant equipment is switched off as soon as practically possible.
With an air handling unit (AHU) supply temperature linked to the temperature of the swimming pool the risk of condensation or pool heat to air leakage would be minimised and there would be little chance that the pool area would get too hot.
Working to a tight four-week deadline, main contractor Chilltech Solutions - in partnership with Global Associates - started work on the retrofit in December 2018 and, based on the original precept of energy saving, the new air conditioning systems fitted throughout the building were fully integrated to a new Trend Controls BMS rather than standalone local controls as is often the norm.
This means that the gym/dance studio AHU can be utilised to bring in fresh air when it is needed, with mechanical cooling taking over only during periods when the outside air isn’t able to adequately meet cooling needs. New inverter-controlled fans installed to the pool and gym AHUs allow the BMS to ramp the fans back during periods of low occupancy or close down completely when there is no-one present, further increasing energy savings.
During the warmer summer months, the newly installed software will be able to calculate early morning temperatures based on data from the previous day. This affords the end user an opportunity to ‘pre-charge’ the gym with cooler outside air admitted through the AHU – often referred to as a night purge.
Another energy saving feature of a full air conditioning integration and the removal of local control only, is that the effects of ‘setpoint creep’ are kept to a minimum, any alterations to local temperature setpoints are easily identified on the Trend IQvision and software routines are in place to reset all user adjusted temperature setpoints back to the original design temperature setpoints at the end of each working day.
With a Trend IQVISION monitoring and management system in place, the team at Bramley Baths are now able to effortlessly interact with their new equipment through a user-friendly enhanced graphical display that gives operators the instant in-depth information required to identify potential issues and optimise energy savings. This technology also allows for exception programming so that the usual system behaviour is subverted on exceptional days when the building is closed completely or open for extended periods of time.
Completed in January 2019, the revamped energy system put in place by global associates is already having an impact and the management team at Bramley Baths are hopeful that the new measures will reduce energy costs by up to 40% whilst eliminating pool closures, enabling them to invest valuable resources into other ventures.