motive8 explores the environmental impact of gyms and pools across residential developments and provides some suggestions on how to reduce your costs and carbon footprint.
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on the health and wellness of residents across the leasehold and build-to-rent industries, leading to an increased popularity of gyms and swimming pools. While these facilities play a crucial role in promoting physical fitness and mental well-being, it’s important to recognise that their operations can also have significant environmental impacts. From energy consumption to water usage and waste generation, gyms and swimming pools must navigate the delicate balance between encouraging healthy lifestyles and minimising their ecological footprint.
Energy Consumption: Powering up for Fitness
One of the most notable environmental impacts of gyms and swimming pools is their substantial energy consumption. Gyms are typically equipped with a range of electronic equipment, including treadmills, cross-trainers, bikes and other cardio machines that all require electricity to function, and collectively, they can contribute to a high energy consumption. Operators should make sure all cardio machines are turned off at night when the gym is closed and installing PIR sensors (Passive Infrared Sensor) on the lighting system should help reduce consumption at quieter times throughout the day.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are crucial in maintaining comfortable temperatures within these facilities, especially in swimming pool areas where the air temperature needs to be one degree warmer than the water temperature to prevent excessive condensation and make for a comfortable bathing experience.
Water Usage: Pools & Sustainability
Swimming pools are synonymous with leisure and exercise, but they also present significant water usage challenges. Filling, treating, and maintaining pool water quality demand a substantial amount of water. Moreover, evaporation losses from pools can lead to considerable water wastage.
To address these issues, some operators are adopting more sustainable practices. Pool covers are a great option and have a dual purpose in not only reducing heat loss from pools but also in turn saving on evaporation and water usage. Efficient filtration systems, and water re-circulation systems are being integrated to reduce water consumption. Chlorine and other chemicals are being reduced by the introduction of UV filtration and other alternative disinfection methods.
Waste Generation & Material Consumption
Gyms and other amenities often generate a considerable amount of waste, largely due to the use of disposable products like plastic cups, water bottles and other single use items. In addition, the replacement of gym equipment contributes to the disposal of large, bulky items that may not always be recyclable. motive8 are one of the few businesses that can take older gym equipment, refurbish it and sell it on to smaller developments or to private homes, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of your facility.
Sustainable Solutions: Striving for Balance
While the environmental impact of gyms and swimming pools is undeniable, many of our clients are taking steps to mitigate their footprint. Many developments with gyms and pools are now investing in energy-efficient lighting, upgrading plant, and HVAC systems to lower energy consumption. Some have started to incorporate renewable energy sources like solar panels to power their facilities, further reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.
Innovations in pool design and maintenance are also making waves in sustainability. New pool technologies such as microfiltration and UV filtration are being adopted to reduce the amount of chlorine required, which can have adverse environmental and health effects. Additionally, promoting responsible water management practices can help decrease the water demand of swimming pools.
Individual Responsibility & Collective Impact
As property managers, the choices you give your residents also play a role in shaping the environmental impact of gyms and swimming pools. Issuing reusable water bottles as a welcome gift at handover is one such idea to reduce single use plastic use.
The relationship between gyms, swimming pools, and the environment is complex. While these facilities are instrumental in promoting health and wellbeing, they also have an ecological footprint that cannot be ignored. By embracing energy-efficient technologies, responsible water management, and waste reduction strategies, gyms and pools can begin to contribute to a healthier planet while continuing to support the physical and mental health of the residents the facilities are there to serve.
At motive8 we care about the environment and understand the challenges that maintaining a gym and swimming pool present whilst navigating the latest ESG principles. To learn more about our consultancy and gym and pool maintenance services please visit m8group.co.uk.
For further information on our refurbished gym equipment services visit m8refurb.co.uk.