Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Life Time, Inc. for energy efficiency advances made throughout its portfolio of athletic country clubs. DOE staff and Life Time leadership toured the organization’s Chanhassen club to see firsthand the technologies and procedures that have allowed Life Time to increase its energy efficiency by nearly 40% across its buildings portfolio of 16 million square feet. 

In 2017, Life Time became the first health club to join the Better Buildings Challenge by committing to reduce its energy intensity by 20% in 10 years. Now, the company has achieved this goal three years early through a variety of energy and water efficiency and conservation measures. 

To achieve its energy efficiency goal, Life Time retrofitted interior and exterior lighting to LED, retrocommissioned more than 3,000 rooftop units, installed advanced controls, and used an energy-management system to analyze and optimize HVAC and other energy demands. By coupling this system with its class scheduler, Life Time also plans to ensure that the more than 750,000 classes it holds each year are automatically heated and cooled more efficiently. 

The energy-management system also helped Life Time weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many businesses, Life Time was ordered to temporarily cease operations in 2020. With clubs that typically operate 20+ hours per day, seven days a week, this presented an opportunity for Life Time’s facilities-management team to proactively implement measures to avoid potential energy waste. During the closure period, Life Time analyzed data across all its buildings and rescheduled over 5,000 pieces of equipment, directly saving over 86 million kWh of electricity, 6.5 million therms of natural gas, and 600 million gallons of water. 

As one of the largest operators of pools (300+), saunas and steam rooms nationally, Life Time has also made strides to reduce water use through a series of pool and irrigation facility projects including a steam room optimization solution across its full portfolio that includes cutting down peak demand and run-time of steam rooms. 

The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while reducing emissions and strengthening the economy. To date, more than 900 Better Buildings Partners have saved more than $15 billion in energy costs while sharing their innovative strategies. Discover more than 3,000 of these solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center