Posted on August 16, 2016 by Jasmine Shaddock
Basement gyms are becoming increasingly popular as the price of space in London and other areas in the UK continues to climb. So where prices rise, we often dig down.
It is essential that basement gyms have the correct equipment installed when they are built, not just for customer satisfaction, but for health and safety. The most important consideration when building a basement gym is temperature and air flow. Unlike a gym above the ground floor, the simple solution of opening a window for light or fresh air is not always possible.
Nick Sadler, Managing Director at motive8, chats to us about the importance of regulating air in basement gym spaces:
“Optimum gym temperature is between 18-21 degrees C, depending on the season and personal preference,” says Nick.
Not only do people prefer to work out in a comfortable climate, but it is important that issues such as condensation or unclean air do not occur for health and safety reasons. Unclean or ‘old’ air can result in something as minor as a sore throat to breathing problems due to a larger number of bacteria micro-organisms in the air. Badly managed humidity can also lead to condensation (which can become a slip hazard) or dry skin problems.
“Air inside a basement gym needs to be controlled to maintain this optimum temperature and humidity with air conditioning and air extraction systems. The air conditioning controls the temperature, whilst the air exchange and extraction systems make sure fresh, clean air is evenly circulated throughout the gym space.”
Different sized gyms will require different amounts of maintenance to ensure the airflow is clean and distributing properly. For example, a large office gym with heavy daily usage will need its air changed more regularly than a basement gym in a private home. There are systems on the market appropriate to each gym size. A home basement gym needs these systems just as much as a corporate basement gym.
“This is such an important aspect of a gym for health and safety reasons as well as user comfort”, says Nick. “We have a mechanical and electrical contractor for every installation as it’s a very specialist area. The air conditioning, exchange and extraction systems are usually found in the form of tubes in gym ceilings. Take a look next time you use a gym and see if you can spot them.”
Different classes that can take place in a gym every day will require different temperatures: Pilates needs the room to be warm whilst a spin class will appreciate very cool air.
In these situations, there is a very simple fix. Thanks to the advanced technology systems available, gym temperature can easily be controlled from an iPad or iPhone. This makes it very easy for an instructor to change the room’s climate to suit whichever class they are about to teach.
This changing of temperature doesn’t have to affect the whole gym either. Just as lighting and sound can be varied from room to room, so can air conditioning and air exchange (and therefore temperature). Controlling temperature for different rooms is a very common practice that suits most gyms. This way different types of classes held at the same time will not be affected – and start on time as you don’t need to wait for a room to cool down or heat up!
“Having temperature controlled isn’t just a matter of keeping people happy, it’s also about hygiene and safety. People always want to train in fresh air – that’s one great reason for controlling the temperature, but another would be people not slipping and injuring themselves due to a wet floor from condensation or coming home with a sore throat.”
Once air conditioning and air exchange systems have been installed, bear in mind that these are meant for regulating the correct, sanitary temperature. If you are installing these systems in your home gym, remember that although having a very cold gym in summer may feel fantastic during a workout, it is not good for the body to be very cold whilst you build up a sweat and can also lead to pulled muscles.
This also applies to residential, hotel, student and corporate gyms. Make sure that the gym has a code of practice that a room must not be below or above a certain temperature. This will ensure all users have a great workout without the risk of injury or ill health.
The perfect temperature in a gym is always a huge factor that sets it apart from the competition, especially in the summer months. As one of the most important stages of installation, it is always advised to speak to a professional.
If you wish to talk to our experienced team of designers, get in touch.