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    Sport Build, 6 March 2019
    Microclimate of ice arenas and pools

    Sergey Bryuzgin

    Ice arenas and swimming pools are the most popular sports facilities in Russia, the engineering systems of which should provide maximum comfort for visitors, minimum costs for the owner and tenants, and ease of use. Sergey Bryuzgin, Head of HVAC department at Metropolis, expressed his expert opinion on the pages of the Sport Build magazine for professionals about the experience of designing sports facilities (№2, March 2, 2019).

    For each project, its own strategy for the design of engineering systems is developed based on the following factors:

    1. purpose of the facility (training or multifunctional complex, sports arena for holding international competitions, etc.);
    2. the geography of the location of the object;
    3. conditions for connection to power supply systems;
    4. investment factors;
    5. historical background (for reconstructed objects).

    Design experience

    Our company has completed projects of ice arenas and pools for various purposes:

    1. Multifunctional hall of the small ice VTB Arena - Central stadium "Dynamo" named after Lev Yashin (accommodates 14,000 spectators);
    2. Indoor skating rink of Moskomsport on Michurinsky Prospekt (capacity - up to 300 people);
    3. Multifunctional swimming center "Luzhniki";
    4. Sports and entertainment complex with a water park on Borisovskiye Prudy in the area of the Tsaritsyno natural complex and other facilities.

    Microclimate of ice arenas

    The main function of the engineering systems of ice arenas is to maintain the temperature and humidity regime of the ice field zone, the spectator's zone and the normal operation of building structures.

    One of the main problems in the halls of ice arenas is the excess air humidity above the surface of the ice rink with an ice surface temperature of -5°C, which leads to the formation of fog. It is also worth paying special attention to the enclosing structures of the ice arena and adjacent premises. Such structures, under the influence of radiant (radiation) cooling, can take on temperatures below the dew point temperature, and condensation can fall on their surface. It is for this reason that the best finishing material for the roof of an ice arena is an insulating material with an aluminum foil surface with an absorption coefficient of 0.1. Painting surfaces with light colors is also quite effective. For example, sheet steel painted with white paint has an absorption coefficient of 0.45.

    Moisture control can be done in two main ways:

    1. condensation process (air cooling to condensation);
    2. adsorption process (air passes through a material that adsorbs moisture).

    In our projects for the warm period, we use a combined moisture removal system: the outside air is pre-cooled to a temperature of 10-12°C (usually a refrigerant with 4/9°C parameters is used), then this air enters the adsorption dryer, in which the final air drying takes place to the required moisture content parameters.


    As well as for ice arenas, the main problem of the pool premises is excessive air humidity - a source of discomfort for visitors and the cause of premature deterioration of building structures. Another problem is the "soaring" of emissions from exhaust installations serving the pool premises.

    To assimilate excess moisture in the pools, the following main types of air handling units are used:

    1. air handling units with recirculation;
    2. energy-efficient ventilation units for swimming pools, which have an integrated evaporator and condenser with the possibility of dehumidification and heating of the air;
    3. energy efficient ventilation units for swimming pools with counterflow plate heat exchanger.
    Water Sports Palace, Luzhniki. Visualisation

    In our projects, we use all of the above types of installations, depending on the specific design conditions and requirements of the Customer.

    Air exchange rates

    The air exchange rates for outdoor air per person for both ice arenas and swimming pools can be considered almost identical.

    So, on the example of calculating an ice arena, in accordance with the standards, a sufficient norm of outdoor air in ice arenas is 80 m3 / h of outdoor air per athlete and 20 m3 / h per spectator. At the same time, in large cities, the concentration of CO2 in the outdoor air is about 400-500 mg / m3.

    The maximum permissible CO2 concentration for the room is 1,250 mg / m3. A medium-sized adult at rest emits about 15-23 l / h of CO2. Calculating the minimum air consumption per person, based on CO2 assimilation, we obtain an outdoor air consumption of 40 m3 / h rather than 20 m3 / h.

    Another problem in the fight against CO2 is that its density is 1.98 kg / m3 and the density of air is 1.2 kg / m3. In other words, CO2 is heavier than air, and in rooms with a high concentration of carbon dioxide, most of it will be located at the bottom of the room - in the area where spectators are located. Most often, supply and exhaust ventilation devices are located in the upper area of ​​the room, while the ice arena room has a high height. Together, these factors make CO2 difficult to remove from the room.

    Based on the experience, our specialists made the following conclusions:

    1. the problem of increased air temperature and humidity in the ice field is most likely associated with the sinking of the CO2-enriched air mass from the stands into the ice field. At the same time, the air mass has an increased temperature and increased moisture content;
    2. top-to-top air supply and exhaust (even when using air diffusers) must be verified by CFD simulation on a case-by-case basis.

    To optimize design solutions, our company's specialists carry out CFD modeling of the thermodynamic state of the air environment of the investigated premises. This allows you to assess the correctness of the adopted architectural and engineering solutions, as well as to make the necessary improvements at the early design stage, which allows you to avoid mistakes, save the Customer's funds, and reduce the time for designing and setting up engineering systems.

    BIM technologies

    Due to the saturation of modern designed objects with engineering systems, the only possible way to perform work with the proper quality and in the shortest possible time is to complete the project using BIM technologies.

    Our company carries out its projects on the Revit platform, which allows you to quickly obtain data for CFD modeling. The BIM model at the construction stage reduces the time and cost of installation work, and at the operation stage it replaces the archive of project documentation.

    Read the full material in the Sport Build issue (№2, March, 2019).