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DW Sports energy management goes wireless

By Retail Technology | Wednesday July 24 2013

Sports chain installs wireless building system, achieving an average 17% in energy savings at trial fitness and retail sites

UK fitness club and retailer, DW Sports, is in the process of adopting wireless building energy management systems (BEMS) designed, installed and commissioned by WEMS International

Trials have been completed at three sites, with average energy savings of over 17%. DW Sports is now embarking on a phased roll-out programme.
Dave Whelan Sports Ltd was founded in 2009, when the company’s founder and the current chairman of Wigan Athletic Football Club, Dave Whelan, bought out the remaining 53 JJB fitness clubs and associated retail stores. The company has since established itself in both the fitness club and sports retail markets.

As a young organisation with a largely inherited estate, the company wanted to initiate a project that examined its energy use with the aim of delivering greater efficiency and savings.

Embracing a wireless future
“At a board level DW Sports is committed to energy reduction and sustainability in a very real and proactive way,” stated Dan Hubbard, the company’s utilities and property systems manager. “We had made some inroads by addressing the ‘low hanging fruit’ but knew the real energy efficiency solutions involved taking greater control of plant.”
DW Sports’ ready-built estate featured two BEMS, controlling some kit, plus a lot of independent control. The company wanted to “remove human error from the equation” in terms of more efficient operation and control of the estate. The new WEMS system was able to bring all of the controls together.
“We went through a phase of evaluating and re-evaluating the available energy control technology that could help us achieve our targets,” said Hubbard. “For us, technology must be a safe investment, must not affect the customer experience in our fitness centres, and must go on in the background so as not to cause distraction or disruption. For these reasons, the installation of a wireless solution such as WEMS made perfect sense.”
Going green for greater savings

The system uses a frequency below the regular range to avoid interference with other office or retail wireless equipment, and uses a narrowband signal that gives the distance required (up to 8km) to cover the most challenging of building structures.
At the centre of the system is WEMSprogrammer, which communicates with wireless controllers and sensors placed throughout the estate to create a virtual ‘mesh’ network across the controlled space. The programmer is constantly receiving environmental data from sensors that enables the building stock to consume energy in as lean a manner as possible. 
“The WEMS wireless install was very clean and non-disruptive,” confirmed Hubbard. “In fact, intelligent control and the integration of ventilation and air conditioning systems could soon deliver even greater savings. We are now looking forward to an exciting future of energy savings as we move forward in the process.”

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