In Europe, there are around one million and half sports facilities, which represents 8% of the overall building stock. Most of them were built before 1980 and need refurbishment because no considerable changes have been made to the initial conditions. The STEP-2-SPORT project aims to support the refurbishment of the existing sport buildings through step by step renovation towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB), contributing to the EU energy objectives. The project covers the field Integrated Initiatives, focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy use in buildings.

The pilot sport buildings represent the following two types of sport facilities in different climatic conditions:

  • Swimming pools: focused on indoor swimming pools, because these facilities have higher energy consumption, caused mainly by the large amount of evaporation and ventilation needed.
  • Indoor sport facilities: include multi-function sports centers, community centers, gymnasiums (school sports halls), integrated sport facilities (with other functions integrated in the same structure), indoor ice rinks, etc.

Twelve partners from seven European countries participate in this project, that has officially started the 1st of March 2014 and its duration is 36 months.

The main goals of STEP-2-SPORT project are:

  1. To perform step-by-step renovations towards Nearly Zero Energy in 22 European Sport Buildings. Energy audits and Energy Performance Certification will be conducted in pilot sport buildings in order to identify energy improvement opportunities as well as to determine their energy performance. An action plan based on a step-by-step model will be defined in order to facilitate pilot sport facilities owners how to properly renovate and improve energy performance towards NZEB within 10 years term. This action plan will include renovation measures to be implemented during the project.
  1. To define a roadmap towards Nearly Zero Energy in European Sport Buildings: indoor swimming pools and indoor facilities. The roadmap will include energy performance indicators of European sport buildings, goals in the short and long term to achieve NZE-Sport-B, timing for achieving each of these goals, innovative business model schemes for renovation of European sport buildings and a contingency plan for the renovation of European sport buildings.
  1. To set recommendations for a common EU certification scheme of sport buildings, supporting in that way the objectives of the Directive 2010/31/EU under article 11.9 which requires the Commission to adopt a voluntary common European Union certification scheme for the energy performance of non-residential buildings.
  1. To widespread the results of the project in existing sport facilities as a driver for replication in ongoing renovations and to increase the demand on the market for step-by-step renovations through raising the awareness of target groups. The use of renewable energy sources will be encouraged as important contribution to the achievement of the target for 2020 on saving 20% of EU primary energy consumption, which was identified as a key step towards achieving our long term energy and climate goals. As most sport facilities are public buildings and in the line of Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2011 that promotes the exemplary role of the public sector, STEP- 2-SPORT project will support the public sector to set an example resulting in more energy efficient sport buildings.

Furthermore STEP-2-SPORT project aims to have a long term impact and contribution to the European strategic goals by more than 20% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020 by:

  1. Increasing the number of existing sport buildings with Energy Performance Certification across EU, as a driver for step-by-step renovations towards NZEB.
  2. Increasing the investments of sport facilities owners towards improving energy efficiency and using of renewable energy sources in sport buildings. Nowadays, in some countries investment costs represent a significant financial barrier to the use of energy efficient technologies.
  3. Supporting Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2011 and commitments such as Covenant of Mayors.