ECO Gym: Gym-goers’ pedal power helping to power New York building

A workout at ECO Gym in Rochester, New York goes the extra mile for both the gym-goer and the building.

The green fitness centre is equipped with indoor cycling equipment that captures the energy from a workout and turns it into electricity to power the building.

ECO Gym features 21 pieces of SportsArt’s ECO-POWR equipment, including 17 indoor cycles, two recumbent bikes and two ellipticals which help power the building.

SportsArt’s ECO-POWR cardio equipment works by turning human energy into utility grade electricity through a micro-inverter technology. When plugged into an outlet, the equipment converts the energy produced through the workout into kilowatts – capable of producing more than 160 watt-hours of electricity in a single workout.

SportsArt, makers of sustainable gym equipment, expect the ECO gym equipment to generate approximately 3,660 kWh of electricity annually, which is about 5% of annual demand.

Though that’s not enough to power the whole gym, the energy produced by the equipment is collected along with the electricity generated by a 26-kilowatt rooftop solar PV system and 2 8.9-kilowatt small wind turbines. Together, these green energy methods power the entire building.

ECO Gym is housed in the Imaginarium building, an art gallery and science centre located inside I-Square, an environmentally responsible and Net-Zero Energy mixed-use development that features restaurants, a conference center, rooftop gardens, an outdoor amphitheater, and office space.

I-Square is part of the Cleaner, Greener Communities programme – a major  initiative across New York State – encouraging communities to incorporate sustainability goals and principles into local decision-making, and then form partnerships to transform markets that lead to the reduction of emissions and the generation of economic development benefits.

The programme, administered by NYSERDA, also empowers communities to take action, providing technical resources and decision-making tools on land use, housing, transportation, energy, economic development and environmental practices, resulting in a more vibrant and prosperous New York State.

Wendy Nolan, owner of I-Square, believes that knowing you’re helping the environment is an extra boost of motivation when working out. She said: “You can go and spin at many gyms around Rochester, but to have your energy put back into the system and knowing that you’re doing something good for the environment I think that’s an attraction for people to come here to work out.”


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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