Posted by Heidi Schwartz
On the tennis court, Stefan Edberg was number one for several years. Today, the Swede is reaching top scores with his own indoor sports center. As the first of its kind, the “Södra Climate Arena,” located in Edberg’s hometown of Växjö, was built in 2012 according to the highly energy efficient Passive House Standard.
New monitoring results not only confirm the low consumption values of the facility, but the heating demand during the first two years of operation was even lower than anticipated, as stated in a report by Swedish energy consultant Simone Kreutzer. A user survey also indicates a high level of satisfaction with the comfortable conditions inside the hall.
According to the operator, the building functions almost entirely without any active heating or cooling. Despite this, the indoor temperature is a consistent 18°C (approximately 64˚F) both in winter and summer.
“Monitoring has once again demonstrated that the Passive House principle works, even in the cold climate of Sweden and even in a sports hall,” says Dr. Wolfgang Feist, Director of the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt. “As always, competent planning and quality assured implementation were decisive for success.”
The globally established Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) was used to calculate the energy values of the building during the planning phase. A heating demand of 11 kWh/(m2a) was calculated in advance; the measurements then resulted in an actual demand of just 8 kWh/(m2a)—which was significantly lower than the limit value of 15 kWh/(m2a) required for certification as a Passive House building.
The goals were achieved by means of excellent thermal insulation, thermal bridge free construction, an airtight building envelope, and a demand-controlled ventilation system with heat recovery. Extensive Passive House windows on the south side let natural light into the building, while fixed shading devices protect against overheating.
In addition to the actual tennis courts, the building also has offices, a conference room, and a café as well as changing rooms and a fitness room. In these areas, the temperature can be regulated individually according to demand.
The building, designed by the Danish architect Kent Pedersen, is also visually impressive. The façade consists mostly of wood and appears natural and elegant at the same time. In 2013, the “Södra Climate Arena” won the Swedish Passive House Architecture Award announced by the national IG Passivhus Sverige network. The international jury expressly acknowledged the combination of attractive architecture and an intelligent energy concept.
The tennis hall is operated by the company “Ready Play” which is owned by Edberg and other former professional tennis players in the region. Edberg, who led the world ranking list in the early 1990s, emphasised in a video interview with the IG Passivhus Sverige how important the subject of energy efficiency was for him with regard to the construction of his own indoor court. The aim was to build a “tennis hall of the future.”