CAMBRIDGE City Council has made a number of improvements at the Abbey Leisure Complex as part of its work to cut energy use, reduce carbon emissions, and tackle climate change.
The centre’s solar thermal system – which already provides a renewable source of heated water for the two indoor pools there and reduces gas consumption – has recently been upgraded.
This upgrade now allows the centre to use 100% of the heat generated in the summer months through the 40 solar thermal collectors, with the heat now also feeding into the domestic hot water system for use in public showers and elsewhere in the building.
In total the project is expected to reduce gas consumption at the leisure centre by approximately 115,000 kWh, and reduce the council’s carbon emissions there by approximately 21 tonnes every year.
The Abbey’s air handling unit – which supplies, extracts and circulates air around the building – has also recently been replaced by a much more energy efficient system.
The new system recycles and re-uses more of the heat that previously was extracted, so reducing gas and electricity consumption further.
It is estimated that this will reduce the centre’s energy costs by £25,000 per year, saving around 730,000 kWh of gas and electricity and reduce the council’s carbon emissions by a further 148 tonnes each year.
A new control system enables better control of the heating and the programming of temperatures in the swimming pool hall which also helps to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the centre.
The improvements at Abbey Leisure Complex form part of the council’s Carbon Management Plan (2016-21), which sets out how the council will reduce carbon emissions from its estate and operations by 2021.
Cllr Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “We are committed to continuing to reduce carbon emissions from our buildings and services by at least 15% by 2021.
“The work recently completed at our Abbey Leisure Complex will significantly reduce energy use there, helping help us to reach our target.
“These upgrades will not only reduce the centre’s carbon emissions but will improve the controllability of temperatures, and therefore the comfort and enjoyment of people using the facilities there.”