Hilton Brown Swimming has been teaching swimming to New Zealanders for over 40 years. In 2000 they opened their first purpose-built indoor pool teaching facility in Albany. Within four years they were facing condensation problems that lead to escalating maintenance expenses, and deterioration of the building itself.
Heating an indoor pool to 32°C provides comfort for young swimmers and teachers, but within a confined environment humidity and condensation quickly built up. The building interior was continually damp, seating was wet, and on cold days water would drip on the heads of spectators. Rust was relentless even on galvanised metal, and mechanical parts such as door locks jammed while automatic doors struggled. The inadequate ventilation and condensation control promoted mould and odours. Paint deteriorated and concrete walls became discoloured and dank as they greedily absorbed the excess water.
A good ventilation system was also needed for the removal of excess airborne chemicals and other air impurities. Chemicals used to disinfect water in commercial pools are corrosive to the building and may potentially create health issues for pool users and staff.
In 2004 Hilton Brown selected a Vent-Air system from Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd to relieve their ventilation and condensation issues. Howard Gumbley from Hilton Brown was impressed when Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd checked his budget first then worked around it to provide him options. Howard says, "It is crucial to have companies whose word you can trust involved in the design at a very early stage. Often it is not the cost of the project, it's the cost of the mistakes that are really important."
The Vent-Air system was custom-designed to expel humid stale air, lowering humidity. It simultaneously supplies 100% fresh heated air into the building, reducing condensation without causing draughts.
The Immediate Result
Downtime is an expensive cost for a swim school. Installation was seamless and didn't disrupt the swim school's normal operation. The environment is now warmer, drier and healthier — to the delight of both clients and staff.
Installation of the Vent-Air system also decreased maintenance costs. The building would have been up for significant repairs; retrofitting the Vent-Air system was all about the cost-benefit relationship. As Howard says "the cost of doing nothing is huge."
Ten years later
Since installation of the Vent-Air system at the Albany swim school, the life expectancy of the building has increased considerably. It has been a winning decision for Hilton Brown to use Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd. They are currently consulting again with Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd for pool heating, ventilation, heat recovery and condensation control at a new site as they expand their business further.
Vent-Air Heating and Condensation Control System: Hot Water Heat Pumps
Vent-Air Equipment: System comprising of supply and return air handlers with heat recovery option, under ceiling duct air distribution system