Community Aquatic And Recreation Facilities In Dire Situation

The community aquatic and recreation facility industry finds itself in a dire situation. In established areas our infrastructure is aging and in new growth corridors there is limited provision for community leisure facilities as part of the planning process. Either way, we find local communities with limited access to quality leisure facilities.

Why are we in this position? Amongst many others, the reasons include the a lack of a national plan for community leisure facility provision, an unsustainable funding model for our facilities and unrealistic financial expectations placed on our industry. [Read more...]

Gary Penfold

Gary Penfold (Manager of Warringah Aquatic Centre) has worked in the Recreation Industry since 1980 in a range of areas including Sports Development, Dry Facility Management, Special Events and Aquatic Facility Management. Gary has contributed to the development of the industry through various voluntary roles during this time, including: ARI NSW Executive Committee, ARI Training Committee, National Water Safety Council, ARI Conference and Magazine committees. A former ARI President for three years, Gary Penfold currently holds the position of Chair of ALFA.

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Potential Of Cogeneration In Aquatic Centres

C2K Aquatic Centre in Castle Hill is one of the Sydney’s largest multi-purpose aquatic and leisure centres. The aquatic centre has four indoor pools including a 25-metre pool, an aerobics pool, a program pool, and spa pool.

The centre is open all year and offers facilities for everyone, ranging from toddlers to fifty plus groups, participating in activities covering swimming to fitness classes to gymnasium activities and fitness training.

The need was identified to improve the energy efficiency of the club’s aquatic centre in order to reduce current and projected energy costs and reduce the Club’s carbon footprint. As a result of extensive research, a Cogeneration system was decided on. This would provide the C2K Aquatic Centre with enough power to cover base load electricity demands while utilising waste heat to provide hot water for all of the centre’s swimming pools, and domestic hot water storage tanks was designed and installed by Simons Green Energy.

All of these pools were previously heated by costly electric heat pumps, while domestic hot water was supplied by gas fired hot water units.

What is Cogeneration?

[Read more...]

Water and Energy Saving in Aquatic Facilities – Case Study: Warringah Aquatic Centre (Part 2)

In the first of a two part case study on Water and Energy Saving in Aquatic Facilities – Case Study: Warringah Aquatic Centre (Part 1), Gary Penfold detailed how Warringah Aquatic Centre (WAC) has been proactive in reducing its energy consumption.  This second instalment (Part 2) focuses on how Warringah Aquatic Centre has reduced its water consumption.

The main driver for water saving

Water and Energy Saving in Aquatic Facilities – Case Study: Warringah Aquatic Centre (Part 1) highlighted that the main driver of the whole process of saving energy in aquatic facilities was the financial bottom line.  However, when water saving is considered, the driver of the process is not quite as clear cut as, despite recent increases, water remains relatively cheap to use.

With energy initiatives there was a payback within two year in many cases, whereas with some of the water initiatives the financial return on investment is potentially as much as 30 years.  As a result it proved to be difficult to get political support for any funding of water saving schemes in earlier years.  However, during the drought there was understandably a change in priorities and the National Water Initiative, and other State based funding programs, really broke the deadlock.

The Environmental Bottom Line as a driver was the popular perception during the drought, but in reality it was still the financial bottom line that needed to be justified in the grant applications.  However in the long term, the business risk of possible pool closure has evolved to be possibly a more enduring reason for Councils to be proactive in this area, particularly where not only the sustainability of pools is concerned but also their very survival.

[Read more...]

Gary Penfold

Gary Penfold (Manager of Warringah Aquatic Centre) has worked in the Recreation Industry since 1980 in a range of areas including Sports Development, Dry Facility Management, Special Events and Aquatic Facility Management. Gary has contributed to the development of the industry through various voluntary roles during this time, including: ARI NSW Executive Committee, ARI Training Committee, National Water Safety Council, ARI Conference and Magazine committees. A former ARI President for three years, Gary Penfold currently holds the position of Chair of ALFA.

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Water and Energy Saving in Aquatic Facilities – Case Study: Warringah Aquatic Centre (Part 1)

At a time when the sustainability of Aquatic and Recreation facilities is under closer scrutiny than ever before, it is incumbent on us all as Facility Managers to be proactive in ensuring our facilities are sustainable from a financial, social and environmental standpoint. This first of two posts on this case study sets out the actions taken and lessons learnt over the past 15 years as the management of the Warringah Aquatic Centre (WAC) endeavour to ensure the sustainability and very survival of the facility,

This first post considers energy saving, with the second post (Water and Energy Saving in Aquatic Facilities – Case Study: Warringah Aquatic Centre – Part 2) focusing on water saving.

[Read more...]

Gary Penfold

Gary Penfold (Manager of Warringah Aquatic Centre) has worked in the Recreation Industry since 1980 in a range of areas including Sports Development, Dry Facility Management, Special Events and Aquatic Facility Management. Gary has contributed to the development of the industry through various voluntary roles during this time, including: ARI NSW Executive Committee, ARI Training Committee, National Water Safety Council, ARI Conference and Magazine committees. A former ARI President for three years, Gary Penfold currently holds the position of Chair of ALFA.

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