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Passive House swimming pools

Swimming pools are typically very energy intensive, which in turn also implies a high potential for operational energy savings. These savings can be tapped by implementing various efficiency measures during design and construction, as well as fine tuning operation once the building is in use. The Passive House appraoch provides an opportunity and pathway for combining high thermal comfort, energy efficiency and ultimately also reduced operating costs. A baseline study was carried out in 2009 to assess the energy saving potentials of applying the Passive House concept to this building typology. Two pilot projects that were built in Germany in 2011 and that were closely monitored for 2 years of operation, have provided proof of concept. A link to the corresponding research and monitoring reports (in German) is listed in the literature section below. Further projects have followed since, including leisure centres and schools with pool facilities.

Swimming pools and leisure centres vary significantly in terms of their energy consumption which is largely due to different usage patterns and available facilities (sauna, spa, water features, additional gym and sports facilities, catering services etc.). It is therefore very difficult to compare and benchmark the energy performance of different pool projects. Comparative data is limited and often misleading. The Passive House approach for swimming pools is a holistic approach, aiming for high efficiency with regard to all aspects and facilities included in the project. Standardised and generally applicable energy targets for Passive House certification are not (yet) available and are instead defined on a bespoke basis for each project.

This section provides a summary of articles and resources available on the topic of Passive House indoor swimming pools.

Planning guidelines for Passive House indoor swimming pools

Energy efficiency concept and measures

The following article is a summary of different publications from the early research carried out by the Passive House Intitute regarding basic principles of applying the Passive House concept for the building typology public indoor swimming pools.
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Based on its research work, as well as practical experience from the first pilot projects and in-use performance monitoring, the Passive House Institute has published a comprehensive guide that outline the general concept and energy efficiency strategies for Passive House indoor swimming pools. In addition to specific
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Watch the recording of the iPHA webinar (May 2020): Passive House Guidelines for Indoor Swimming Pools

Case studies

The indoor swimming pool Lippe Bad in Lünen, Germany was one of two first pilot projects to be built based on the energy efficiency concepts developed in the baseline study carried out by the Passive House Institute. In order to verify that the concept and approaches in the afore mentioned baseline study worked (proof on concept) and in order to identify further energy saving potentials, the in-use energy performance of the pool was monitored in detail during the first 1.5 years of operation. Read more on the monitoring of the Passive House indoor swimming pool in Lünen.

The Bambados in Bamberg, Germany, also opened its doors to the public in 2011. Similarly to the Lippe Bad the in-use performance was monitored in detail for the first two years of operation. Details report of this montoring are available in German here. See also entry in the online Passive House Database ID: 4921

St. Sidwell's Point in Exter, UK is the first certified Passive House leisure centre in England. See also entry in the online Passive House Database: ID 7393. The building provides two swimming pools (25m main pool and 20m learner pool), a toddlers’ confidence pool, a gym, a spin studio, fitness/dance studios, a health spa with a hydrotherapy pool, changing facilities, a soft play area, a café and administrative offices. The project opened its doors to the public in the summer 2022 and is very popular amongst visitors. Read more on SSP leisure centre in-use energy performance

See also

All research reports on the topic of pools published by the Passive House Institute (in German):
Click here to access the baseline study, as well as the detailed monitoring reports from the two first pilot Passive House projects.

Press release "Swimming with a clear conscience"

Overview of all articles on Passipedia about non-residential Passive House buildings

planning/non-residential_passive_house_buildings/swimming_pools/start.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/30 23:57 by jgrovesmith