University Sports Pavilion

BEM Services were contracted to provide the mechanical system design for a University Sport Pavilion in Buckinghamshire which the client wanted to extend and provide changing rooms for 4 footballs teams. The existing building consisted of only a meeting area, kitchen and a store, and crucially had no nearby gas supply. The client also stated that the building would only be used on weekends with no use during the week.

With no gas, available the team looked at various options to heat the building and to meet the high-water demand that would happen when the four football teams went for post-match showers. Traditional electric water storage heaters would be expensive to run and in-efficient whilst ground source heat pumps and wind or solar power wouldn’t provide the high heat demand required so it was decided to use an air source heat pump.

An air source heat pump has several advantages:

    1. It could maintain the heating temperature to a low level during the week at very low cost. This is due to the Coefficient of Performance of 4:1 which means that 4 times more heat is provided to the building than the power drawn from the electrical supply.
    2. With some electrical back up it can still provide heat at outside air temperatures as low as 15oC.
    3. Its compact size meant that most of the equipment could be mounted in the roof space with only a small external foot print being required on the ground floor.
    4. The system can also be controlled remotely, allowing the caretaker to monitor and adjust settings via his own PC or mobile phone.

Our specification ensured that the air source heat pump didn’t heat the building whilst the ventilation was running at full speed, thus the heat being generated isn’t extracted to outside. But once the showers are in use the ventilation will work at full speed to dissipate the moisture to outside.

The hot water system was also designed to have a recovery time (from cold to fully heated) of 90 minutes (the duration of a normal football match) therefore allowing each team to have hot water. The hot water system was also designed to provide hot (but not scolding) water to the 36 showers, referees changing room and the kitchen.

To complete our work, we provided schematic and layout drawings along with a detailed specification and schedules of all the equipment required, including pumps, grilles, ventilation fans and the air source heat pump itself.

This case study illustrates how we work with our clients to find the most effective solution that will not only deliver what they need but also ensure that there are potential long-term energy savings.

To find out more about how we can support your building project please do get in touch by calling 0115 7788 227 or email