Wembley Arena Case Study

Air Conditioning Inspections – The Site

We were instructed to carry out an inspection on Wembley Arena which is world famous live music and event venue with a capacity of over 12,000 people.

Wembley Arena was designed by Sir E Owen Williams and built in 1934. The building’s primary use was that of a swimming pool but this was covered in subsequent years and began being used for hosting events. In more recent years, the arena has become famous for hosting popular music performances and events. The arena went through a £35 million pound refurbishment and re-opened in 2006.

The system on site comprised of a large number of packaged units complimented by multiple air handling units, VRV’s and a small number of split DX systems.

Air Conditioning Inspections – The Result

The site owners were very aware of energy efficiency and had put numerous measures into place in order to reduce their energy consumption. Apart from the age of the main plant equipment equipment on site which would have benefitted from replacement with newer and more efficient models, the main issue was that of control strategy. As a live music and entertainment venue, it was extremely difficult for the venue to plan for the number of people it had to cater for on any given evening – some evenings it could be at capacity and on others it may be half full. As a result of this, the controls had been left to individuals to set and control, which is typical of many sites. By relying on occupants to turn off and set controls, there is an increased risk of unnecessary usage. The main energy saving recommendations on-site were therefore focussed towards ensuring that controls were automated as far possible so that the system did not require individuals to turn it on or off. Recommendations were also made towards setting appropriate temperature set points to ensure comfortable cooling levels despite differing levels of capacity. The majority of the recommendations were low cost/no cost since they could be implemented by the existing BMS on site. An estimated saving of 40-45% of the annual air conditioning energy usage was possible by following the recommendations set out in the report provided by NACI.