The Elkhart Health and Aquatics Center came about through the collaboration of several civic and business entities whose goal was to re-energize the City of Elkhart through a regional effort to provide the community access to a health and fitness center. In addition, the facility is home to the largest pool in the region (50 meters) with the intent to host US swim meets for the country.
PBA provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering design services, for the new 170,000 square foot Health and Aquatics Center. The facility consists of a variety of amenities and spaces including a competition pool, training/fitness and therapy pool, events lobby, recreation gymnasium, lockers, fitness and weight area, multi-purpose spaces, meeting space, a running track, and an art room.
Electrically, PBA coordinated and applied in-floor boxes for the large open areas used for fitness equipment as well as the balcony detail for equipment power.
Mechanically, the HVAC system includes 2 high efficiency natural gas boilers. Hot water is circulated through a closed loop piping system by two variable speed pumps. The hot water heating system serves air terminal unit tempering coils, perimeter heating devices, and plate and frame heat exchangers. The plate and frame heat exchangers provide the heat to the pools in the natatorium.
Design elements for the natatorium consist of 3 packaged dehumidification units (two units condition the pool area while the third conditions the spectator area), fabric ductwork routed through the joists, and low-level exhaust systems to evacuate tri-chloramine air. The therapy pool utilizes a dehumidification unit with low level exhaust similar to that of the competition pool.
The gymnasium is conditioned by a packaged rooftop unit. The conditioned air is distributed to the space through a fabric duct system routed through the structure. Return air from the space is ducted back to the rooftop unit.
A packaged rooftop unit provides supply air to the fitness areas and surrounding spaces, delivered by an overhead duct system. The supply air for the fitness area is delivered to the space through sidewall supply registers. The registers are designed for large quantities of air and have long throw characteristics. The supply air to the adjacent spaces is delivered to by ceiling mounted diffusers. The return air from the spaces is through ceiling plenum or returned directly from the space. Destratification fans are provided in the fitness area.
Lighting design, provided by Illuminart, a division of PBA, was skillfully crafted in a way that reinforces the separate identity of each space while maintaining consistency throughout the building. The gymnasium allows a high level of visibility in the space while minimizing glare at the 2nd floor balcony. Consistent lighting levels exist throughout the 2nd level track despite some areas having full windows and others much less daylight contribution. Illuminart was tasked with the challenge of lighting the pool in order to meet the requirements for hosting high-level competitive meets while keeping within budget restraints. This hurdle was overcome by utilizing a direct lighting system, and through design evaluations and computer models, reconfiguring and positioning fixtures to provide optimal light levels while minimizing glare.
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