By Franco A. Bonutto, Soltris Gebäudesystemtechnik.
The Kerenzerberg sports centre lies on a high plateau above Lake Walen, in the canton of Glarus, Switzerland. Among the sports on offer are rowing, boxing, gymnastics, martial arts, crossbow, volleyball, climbing, swimming, aquafit and zumba – in fact almost all popular sports for youth and grassroots sport are supported. The sports centre enjoys great popularity, but with 30,000 overnight stays every year, it has been bursting at the seams.
In recent years, the sports centre has had to repeatedly turn down groups for reasons of space. There is a lack of free sports halls, bed capacity and theory rooms. So, at the end of 2017, the Zurich Governing Council agreed to a comprehensive overhaul and reconstruction of the sports centre. Under the leadership of the building office of the canton of Zurich, a new triple sports hall, including facility management area and a new accommodation and training wing, is being created. The project is set to be completed by 2021, and work has to take place whilst the sports centre remains open – hence it has been nicknamed the ‘open-heart operation’.
The canton of Zurich wants to more than halve the CO2 emissions of its population by 2050, so energy efficiency is at the heart of the renovations. Indeed, as a large consumer, the sports centre was required, four years ago, to improve its energy efficiency by 22% by 2024.
The brief was that operation of the sports centre should become easier, more efficient and safer, without compromising on comfort. So, in addition to the refurbishment of the building structures, heating, ventilation and lighting were to be optimised and brought under automation.
We installed a KNX building automation system from ABB, along with EisBaer SCADA visualisation software from Alexander Maier, which shows the energy flows in the sports halls and buildings. With the conversion, further sensors and actuators are being mounted on blinds, ceilings, doors and windows, thus integrating new data points into the system.
Humidity detectors in the cloakrooms report to the KNX system when the ventilation should be increased. Impulses from sensors on door and window frames prevent open rooms from being heated in winter. Thanks to light sensors, the system only switches the lighting on as long and as powerfully as it is actually needed. In addition, with a few clicks on the computer or smartphone, the KNX system can monitor critical operating systems such as the chlorine gas, acid and ozone gas system for the swimming pool or the walk-in freezer of the restaurant, at any time. And in the event of a fire or a personal emergency in the sauna, the system would immediately send out alarms.
Unique lighting interface
In the double sports hall we were able to more than double the energy efficiency of the lighting by replacing the fluorescent lamps with LED lights. Furthermore, a new lighting control system has been implemented in all existing sports halls and will also be used in the new sports hall.
Because of the flexibility of KNX, we were able to collaborate with Alexander Maier GmbH, manufacturer of the EisBaer SCADA visualisation, to create a unique interface between building automation and the Oracle Hospitality Suite8 sports halls reservation system (formerly known as Fidelio). This allows athletes to indicate in their hall reservation whether they want to train in competition conditions. Only then will the light automatically be increased to 500 lux from the 300 lux that is required for normal training. This happens as soon as the guest turns the lights on, and only lasts for the duration of the reservation.
Experience from the project
Thanks to lighting control through KNX and the EisBaer SCADA visualisation, it is as if we had programmed certain reflexes in the Kerenzerberg sports centre, and its buildings are now controlled by themselves. We have achieved energy savings of over 80%, and whilst this is, of course, impressive, the real masterpiece is the integration of KNX with the Oracle Hospitality Suite8 software, resulting in an intelligent use of energy and a great reference for other similar projects.
The Kerenzerberg sports centre certainly has a bright future ahead, and I am very pleased that a reference has emerged from this project. It was a team effort, and I particularly wish to thank ABB (KNX), Alexander Maier GmbH (EisBaer) and Oracle (Hospitality Suite8) for their support. A very special thank you goes to the client, namely Canton of Zurich Building Authority and SZK management, for including us in this super project. Without such forward-thinking builders, projects such as this would be difficult to realise, even if the ROI is in the six-digit range.
Franco A. Bonutto is the Managing Director of Soltris Gebäudesystemtechnik GmbH, specialist in systems integration and building automation.
(Editors note: this article is partly-based on a translation of the original report from ABB Switzerland)