About Big Rock

Big Rock Climbing offers customers a quality climbing experience together with a fantastic community spirit at its centres. Climbing at the two Big Rock facilities in Milton Keynes is designed around personal improvement and users are provided with a pathway to progress from their first experience to becoming one of the elite.

The centres are proud to be able to make exercise fun by offering users an engaging and social way

The challenge

Starting with one climbing wall in Kingston, Milton Keynes, its success led Big Rock to design and build a second wall in Bletchley, Milton Keynes.

The construction of a new facility meant that Big Rock had the opportunity to design a state of the art climbing wall with the latest training equipment.

Being a new build also meant that Big Rock could implement its choice of ventilation and cooling solution.

With the centre being a place of physical activity, the quality of air was a vital consideration when it came to cooling. Big Rock was keen to install a system that would ensure comfortable temperatures for all climbers whilst maximising the fresh air coming into the facility.

It was also important for the facility to have a system that was economic to install and run, to maximise the spend available for the climbing equipment.

The solution

After reviewing several possible solutions, Big Rock knew it wanted an alternative to air conditioning and was interesting in evaporative cooling.

EcoCooling’s trusted installer, Celsius Design, was contacted to see what cooling solution it could provide for the facility. Celsius proposed an evaporative cooling solution that was ideally suited to maintaining temperatures in large facilities such as a climbing centre. Celsius installed two EcoCooling units alongside two extraction fans, providing a combined cooling capability that would keep the facility cool even on the hottest days of the year.

To make it an all year round solution, both systems included attemperation sections consisting of dampers. This design meant that in the winter months the warm air could be recirculated and in the summer it could introduce fresh cool air. This design would ensure comfortable temperatures of below 25oC for climbers all year round.

Within the attemperation system, specialist chalk dust filters were installed. This was important in helping filter out any of the climbing chalk used within the area, so that only clean, fresh air would be recirculated back into the facility.

Celsius undertook the installation during normal working hours, working around the ongoing construction of the new facility without interruption.

The result

An effective cooling solution was installed ensuring that the state-of-the-art facility could provide users with comfortable climbing conditions all year round. The low installation costs of evaporative cooling compared to air conditioning also enabled Big Rock to maximise its spend on the equipment in the facility. The estimated ongoing savings compared to a traditional refrigeration system will be around 90%, with it costing less than 15p per hour to run. Big Rock is also expected to save up to 10,000kg of carbon per year.

Opening in May 2018, the facility has become very popular with climbers of all abilities and can offer users an excellent experience regardless of the temperature outside.

Business benefit

A comfortable climbing temperature and environment for users all year round
A specifically designed solution that is effective within the large space
Efficient running system freeing up spend for the newest equipment

“Big Rock approached Celsius to provide an Evaporative cooling solution suitable for the UK market and their harsh chalk dust laden environment.  Celsius and EcoCooling designed a system using a recirculation section with a specialist chalk dust filter to effectively continuously clean the internal environment and make it far more comfortable for their customers.  The systems worked very
well indeed.”

Jim Jackson Managing Director, Celsius Design Ltd.

Download your copy of the Big Rock Climbing case study here.