Aquamat dives into energy saving for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Aquamat pool covers have been specified to help tackle the energy efficiency requirements at the recently refurbished National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace, which will be used as a training facility during the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The £13 million project at Crystal Palace has included an installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) based system which has been funded by the London Development Agency (LDA).

The nationally-significant, mixed sports facility owned by the LDA and operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited, contracted Vital Energi to specify pool covers to help reduce total energy costs by up to £400,000 per annum.

For this, the biggest swimming complex in the UK today, Aquamat manufactured and installed covers and electric reel systems for the 50m x 20m Olympic sized pool, 20m x 20m diving pool, 7m x 20m infant pool and a 20m x 8m learner pool.

Dick Goodall, Proprietor at Aquamat commented, “We are extremely pleased to be involved in such a significant project with its connections to the 2012 Olympics. Aquamat’s covers were exactly what were needed to help save energy costs. If the pools were left uncovered at night, it would cost National Sports Centre about £100,000 in wasted energy.”

The use of Aquamat’s 6mm Heat Retention Covers on each pool were particularly suitable due to their heavy-duty closed polyethylene foam meaning it gave Crystal Palace huge savings on fuel bills from the reduction in heat loss from the surface of the pool.

Aquamat’s 3m high Opal roller was used for each pool, which was designed and wall mounted by them.  Due to Aquamat’s flexibility they were able to fit each roller to Crystal Palace’s requirements. Fitted with a 24v DC motor, the rolling tube will provide additional safety and keep running costs to a minimum each year.

Specialist advisors to the National Sports Centre, Cynergin, assisted in matters both related to best practice in procurement as well as vetting tender proposals. Project Manager, Howard Stone, commented, “Aquamat designed, manufactured and installed the pool covers for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre within a short timescale. Since the project I have included Aquamat in recent tenders submissions for Cynergin and recommended them to our clients, a testament of my confidence in their abilities and product.”                         

Substantial savings in energy and carbon emissions on the whole project is being achieved with payback times on investment in less than three years. The project has estimated carbon dioxide savings of up to 1,850 tonnes per annum for 20 years. The savings in running costs will also greatly enhance the future viability of the Sports Centre.

By being innovative in design and by introducing new materials, techniques and products to the market, Aquamat have positioned themselves as UK leaders in their market. Aquamat has been manufacturing pool covers since 1965 and over the past 46 years they have gained great expertise.

Further information on the range of pool covers and reel systems from Aquamat is available by calling Andy Giles on 01453 884411 or by emailing or by visiting the company’s website at

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