I’ve had a brewery, a library, a vicarage and a station featured in my occasional building of the week series. Here’s a new one – the Spectrum Leisure Centre in Wilington, County Durham.
It’s so unassuming I can’t even find a photo of it, but it makes the list for one simple reason – it’s the first gym in the country where the running and cycling machines will be used to help power the building. There are power generating gyms in the US and Canada, but this is the first in Britain. I doubt it will be the last. It’s a no brainer really, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most gyms end up fitting this sort of technology the next time they replace their equipment.
If you’re curious, the equipment is designed by SportsArt Fitness, and is called The Green System. They hook up an inverter to the gym equipment and run power back into the grid, and the machines go from being users of electricity to producers. Spectrum Leisure Centre estimates that it is going to save £10,000 a year by tapping its customers for energy.
If you run a gym, or if your school or workplace runs one, why not check out the Green System and see if it would work for you.