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Challenge / Goal

Under the Grow Smarter project, Naturgy has implemented retrofitting actions to lower the energy consumption in over 12,500 m2 of tertiary floor in Barcelona. Three buildings with very different uses have been retrofitted, and one of them is a Sports Centre -CEM Claror Cartagena. The challenges faced by the Sports Centre included strict requirements for indoor air quality, temperature and quality of water in swimming pool, and high consumption of water and energy.


In the framework of GrowSmarter, an integrated refurbishment of the Centre’s facilities has been carried out, ranging from passive measures that aim to reduce thermal demand to installation of new equipment to increase energy efficiency in the production of thermal energy. The measures selected are intended to complement each other and achieve a technically and economically optimised level of investment and savings.

Implemented passive measures in swimming pool area:

1. Roof insulation: the roof over the main pool hall has been refurbished by adding a layer of insulation within the dropped roof to reduce losses through this surface.

2. Pool insulation: the thermal insulation of the walls and ground surrounding the swimming pool helps to reduce the heating demand for the pool water because it reduces thermal losses through the structure.

3. Insulation between dressing rooms and swimming pool (thermal zoning): it is possible to further reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling by isolating the common walls between spaces with different design temperatures. In this way, each thermal zone will be managed          individually and better control of consumption will be possible.

Implemented active measures:

1. Replacement of existing chiller with high efficiency heating pump:

  • The chillers proposed within this solution have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 3.8-4.3.
  • In the case of chillers with heat recovery, an evaluation of the recovered heat in comparison to the heating demand is required during months with simultaneous cooling and heating demand. This is important because heat recovery reduces the performance of cooling generation, and most of the recovered heat needs to be used to compensate for this loss.
  • It is also important to evaluate the performance of partial loads and to analyze the difference in performances when installing one or more chillers.
  • Optimization of the chiller operation by monitoring its performance allows further reduction of electricity consumption by improving the management of the on/off profile and adapting the load profile.

2 .Optimization of water distribution loop (Two-way valves, frequency inverters):

  • The installation of two way valves in a circuit with a lot of distribution points reduces energy losses caused by circulation of water in zones where there is no energy demand.
  • This leads to reduced electricity consumption by the pumps, helping to avoid thermal losses.
  • The installation of frequency inverters will allow the group of pumps to work at variable flow rates.

3. Installation of dehumidifier with heat recovery in the swimming pool:

  • This solution allows the recovery of latent energy from the dehumidification process. It is a very efficient solution, because in a heated pool, water vapor is constantly created by the water evaporating into the air from the pool surface. The electricity consumption of this solution is optimized thanks to the use of variable speed fans to vary the recirculation airflow.

4. Replacement of existing lighting with LED lamps:

  • LED technology improves the efficiency of lighting systems as less power is required to meet the same lighting requirements compared to other existing technologies.
  • This solution is also an improvement in terms of its life cycle costs, as it has longer life expectancy than other comparable technologies leading to lower maintenance costs. Replacements are rarer, leading to lower production-related energy consumption.

5. New equipment and other key systems will be monitored with a new Building Energy Management System (BEMS):

  • Monitoring of energy consumptions (electricity, gas, water..) and possibility to export monitoring reports to Excel.
  • Clear display of consumption for each system and zone.
  • Help controlling consumption and to take decisions for the optimization of the working calendar of different systems, in order to improve both the control system and thermal comfort.

Implemented renewable energy solutions:

1.Aerothermal heat pumps for the cooling process with  performance higher than 2.5 (European Directive 2014/11/UE).


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Time period

Planning time: Less than 6 months

Implementation time: 6 months to 1 year

    Main benefits

  • Improving energy usage efficiency

  • Reducing use of fossils

  • Reducing energy bills

  • Reducing GHG emissions

  • Promoting sustainable behavior

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