Case Study: Consulting Engineering

MHP Wellness Center and YMCA

Major Health PartnersShelbyville, Indiana

The Most Energy Efficient YMCA in the World

Located in Shelbyville, Indiana, Major Health Partners provides nearby rural communities with a multitude of health and wellness initiatives. In collaboration with Decatur County Family YMCA, MHP added an 80,500 SF Wellness Center and YMCA to their award-winning Intelliplex Campus to further meet the needs of the surrounding community, facilitating change toward healthy lifestyles and activities. Serving the Central Indiana community since 1924, MHP aims to create and deliver superior healthcare solutions by providing optimal clinical and economic outcomes for their patients. The new Wellness Center and YMCA not only strengthens MHP’s existing mission, but it also allows them to function as a community leader in elevating the region’s health and wellness. With over 2,500 members already benefitting from these facilities, MHP is making a positive impact on the communities they serve.

The Challenges

  • Construct high performance facilities, providing optimal clinical and economic outcomes for patients
  • Prioritize sustainability during the planning and design of the new facility
  • Space conditioning and dehumidification of the YMCA's indoor pool, as the owner requested warmer pool temperatures for senior citizens
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Without CMTA's unique engineering expertise in energy efficient design, this [facility] would not have been possible. Created with Sketch.

Jeff Williams

Major Health Partners Vice President

The Solutions

This multi-faceted building instills a holistic and preventative health care approach. The new Community Health and Wellness Center includes a YMCA with a pool and gymnasium, doctor’s offices, and a senior services area, which includes meeting spaces, a teaching kitchen, and dining spaces. The first floor is home to the MHP Wellness Center and Shelby Senior Services, alongside the YMCA indoor aquatic center, and basketball gym. The Wellness Center has consultation rooms, group therapy, and exam rooms, while the Shelby Senior Services includes office space for the Shelby County Lifestyle Medicine and Bone Health. The aquatic center features a pool with separate areas for lap swimming and water aerobics. On the second floor, a running track overlooks the gym and snakes its way around free-weight areas, cardio machines, and workout studios. In the future, MHP has the flexibility to expand into 16,100 SF of shell space. Nutritional health is addressed with a healthy food retail space, a teaching kitchen and a doctor on staff that specializes in nutrition. The multi-functionality of the Wellness Center and YMCA gives MHP the ability to holistically address the needs of its rural community. The various agencies within the single building are open and running at different days and times during the week, though with some overlap.

Over the last decade, MHP has made a commitment to construct high performance facilities, replacing outdated and previous ill-performing buildings. Therefore, sustainability was a primary focus during the planning and design of the new facility. Energy-efficient building systems enabled this project to become the nation’s best performing YMCA. A special feature of this project was utilizing ground source heat pumps for ultimate efficiency. A Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) unit provides ventilation for the occupants, with energy recovery for increased efficiency. Occupancy and Demand Control ventilation controls are used to adjust ventilation throughout the building for optimum wellness. 100% LED lighting was utilized for premium efficiency and reduced maintenance.

Site analysis and thorough testing enabled CMTA to maximize the facility’s energy efficiency, while minimizing its geothermal wellfield size. Based on historical data and calculated block load, the wellfield is sized at 705 SF per ton, in comparison to an average size of 400 SF per ton. This downsize eliminates 45 wells, saving MHP installation costs and capitalizing on the geothermal system’s efficiency.

The wellfield was installed in the summer and data trends showed remarkably low loop temperatures following the duration of a cooling season. After one year of operation, following a hot summer season in August of 2022, the wellfield temperatures entering and leaving the building were measured to be 65.2°F and 69.2°F, respectively. Expected wellfield temperatures entering and leaving the building would be 85°F and 95°F, respectively. What these operation temperatures indicate is that the wellfield can take more heat rejection from the building than expected. The test bore drilled prior to the wellfield installation revealed a high-water table on-site and indicated good groundwater movement, which is suspected to be the reason for excellent heat dissipation from the wells to the ground. This site knowledge, paired with monitoring data trends, enables us to capitalize on an even higher square foot per ton wellfield to serve MHP’s new pharmacy being built on the same campus.

Space Conditioning & Dehumidification of YMCA Indoor Pool

The space conditioning and dehumidification of the YMCA’s indoor pool presented a unique design challenge, as the owner requested warmer pool temperatures for senior citizens. To maintain the pool heating, the waste heat from the dehumidification process is captured and reused. A UV light is utilized for the natatorium water treatment to reduce chloramine gases in the pool, improving wellness and indoor air quality in the natatorium. A regenerative filter was also utilized to improve water quality and reduce water consumption, as the traditional back wash is no longer required.

The pool area is conditioned with an indoor dehumidification unit paired with a remote, air-cooled fluid cooler and gas furnace to provide stable room conditions with peak energy efficiency. A dedicated, high efficiency gas-fired boiler heats the pool at its initial fill or when it is drained and refilled. When heating is required during regular operation, the dehumidification unit’s integral heat exchanger rejects heat to increase the pool water temperature. The free heat rejection from the pool unit together with the pool cover lowers the energy used to keep the pool temperature comfortable. A regenerative filter reduces water consumption by eliminating backwash water use.

The removal of chlorine byproducts, such as hydrochloric acid and ammonia, reduces chlorine smell and eye irritation and helps ease breathing of occupants. Source exhaust is provided for the pool chemical storage. Supply ducts, destratification fans, and return and exhaust ducts are strategically positioned in the natatorium to sweep air across the pool surface to remove harsh chemicals. The chemical storage and pool are negatively pressurized in respect to the rest of the building, further alleviating unwanted smells and increasing overall air quality.

The Results

Major Health Partners (MHP) provides Shelbyville, Indiana and nearby rural communities with a multitude of health and wellness initiatives. Not only does the building support MHP’s mission to elevate the region’s healthcare and pursue a preventative healthcare approach, but it reduces operating costs and improves the facility’s energy efficiency.

CMTA is proud to have engineered a facility that aligns with MHP’s sustainability and wellness goals and provides state-of-the-art, holistic healthcare to the surrounding community.

MHP Wellness Center & YMCA

What does this data mean?
Baseline: AIA 2030 Annual Energy Use Goal
Actual: The Measured Energy Use of This Project