In a public presentations of your projects of sport facilities you mention, that you are trying to use all the technologies, that are now available for creating a sustainable design and for reducing energy, and consequently all the costs for the exploitation of the building. What technologies do you use to solve these problems?

– There are two ways in solving the problem of saving energy. First of all we use a special heating and ventilation systems, which are calculated within the heat of people, and the light. We even use the recovery of the heat. Used air from the rooms is combined on the roof where the heat is recovered.  So we create a system based on these calculations.

The secondary is the isolation of the constructions, that is up to 30 cm wide, and it is much more, than you can see in some other countries. So the value of energy lost through the building envelope is very low.

–  And all those systems – are they expensive? Could they be used on a low-budget sport facilities?

–  Of course every decision has it’s price. We can’t say it’s cheap. But it becomes cheaper within the years, so, due to reduction energy, in a 10 years you will reach the inner point of investitions.

We also use solar panels, if it’s possible, the building orientation is right and it’s permitted to. Some of our sport facilities produce even more energy, than they consume.

–  And if we speak about saving water – because all athletes use lots of water during their training day – do you use rain/snow water, or your systems are based on an urban plumbing system?

We have enough spring water and groundwater in Switzerland, so we actually do not need to save it for now. And also it’s much more expensive to melt snow and to clean this water than to use common decisions connected with urban plumbing systems.
But it doesn’t mean that we do nothing. We use showers with timers, and it helps reducing the amount of the water, we use taps with sensors, “dry” urinals that helps save up to 3 l of water on every flash.

In case of swimming pools, when we have a lot of heated water – there is a possibility to regain, and we always do it. But if we are speaking about training facilities and multifunctional playgrounds, the amount of the water consumed by facility is much lower and investment for regaining energy is higher. So, the owner of the building can decide not to spend his money on regaining systems.

–  So what helps you to keep designing sustainable sport facilities, what helps you to get the agreement of the client?

–  In Switzerland, we have Minergie-ECO and Minergie-P Eco - it’s a label for new and refurbished low-energy-consumption buildings that addresses ecological and social requirements. Federal laws gives us utilities to build sport facilities according to these standards.  Our company prefers to go a little step forward, so we have already a higher number of regaining energy due to these regulations.

For example, according to Minergie-P Eco standard in Switzerland we have only 45 kWt of energy per sq.m, and it’s a very low amount of energy. A normal facility for sport in Switzerland is a triple hall, it uses about 120 000 kWt per year, and with our systems production of energy on the roof is up to 220 000 kWt per year. That’s the example how we try to use renewable energy instead of oil and gas, and also protect the environment. We want to develop solutions at a very high level. We also bear responsibility for our planet and the future of our descendants.

Interviewed by Irina Ahmanova

Roger Gut. Owner of maj Architekten ag in Berne, Switzerland

Roger Gut is the owner of maj Architekten in Berne, Switzerland, an architectural office specialising in schools and sports facility planning. Since 1976, Roger has been involved in many building projects for sports facilities, and mainly for sports halls, outdoor sports facilities and football pitches. As a member of the standards committee of the Federal Office for Sport for the writings of sports halls and indoor sports floors, Roger has played an important role in the scope of government requirements. Since 2016, he has been President of IAKS Switzerland, where he has been working for more than 15 years on the board. Roger is an instructor and head of training for the football referees of a large Swiss regional association.