Lippebad Lünen: Europe's first municipal swimming pool to passive house standard

Necessity is the mother of invention – especially in Lünen: Out of necessity, the city of Lünen transformed four old, run-down swimming pools to create Europe's first public swimming pool to passive house standard.

The challenge is not unfamiliar to many communities: Tight budgets, modifications due to structural change, renovation backlogs regarding infrastructure and buildings – and at the same time, the constant demand to further reduce expenditure. This was also the case in the Unna district, in the city of Lünen, where four run-down swimming pools were causing considerable headaches for those responsible for them. The swimming pools, which were between 30 to 50 years old, were not just in urgent need of renovation, but also had to be thoroughly modernised.

Engine for progress:

  • 75% less CO2 emissions than a comparable newly-built swimming pool
  • reduction in the annual running costs
  • comfortable bathing thanks to state-of-the-art technology
  • planning documents for the project are available to download free of charge

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Photo: Bädergesellschaft Lünen mbH

Bädergesellschaft Lünen mbH realised Europe's first indoor public swimming pool built to passive house standard on the 9th of September 2011 after two years of construction. By taking this approach, considerable savings are possible with regard to energy, water, sewage and the associated environmental impact.

As is well known, necessity is the mother of invention and so, Dr Gerd Koch, Authorised Representative of the Stadtwerke Lünen municipal utilities, initiated planning of the first public swimming pool in Europe to passive house standard. As a central element, this combines the activities of the other swimming pools under one roof, with a total water surface area of 850 m². The doors have been open since the end of 2011, with an average of 600 bathers using the facilities enthusiastically every day.

The average user does not notice straight away that the efficient building standard of the swimming pool enables significant savings on energy, water, waste water and the associated climate and environmental damage. On closer examination, however, it is clear to see that the building has been designed for efficiency right down to the smallest detail. This is provided, among other things, by the perfect interplay between the many subtle technical refinements, from the energy supply system to the ventilation system, the lighting concept designed to make maximum use of daylight to the water management system.

Furthermore, the pool is designed according to a standard for maximum accessibility, it meets modern hygiene requirements, and the interior design and acoustic quality are also second to none.

Viewed in terms of economic viability, it has also been determined for those interested in following in its footsteps, that the additional expenditure for a passive house swimming pool (approximately two million euros) is amortised within a maximum of ten years due to the reduced operating costs. "In the case of a planned 40-year term of use, it is a very practical investment", summarises Koch.

Photo: Stadtwerke Lünen GmbH

"Through the thrifty and efficient utilisation of resources, not only are we saving approximately 200,000 Euro in operating costs per year, we are also protecting the climate"

Dr. Grunenberg, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Lünen GmbH (Lünen Public Utilities)

Partners and sponsors

  • Bädergesellschaft Lünen mbH
  • Passivhaus-Institut
  • Stadtwerke Lünen
  • Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk (MWEIMH)
  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BmUB)