Ancient wellness meets smart building technology: comfort, safety, and energy efficiency at Baden thermal spa

Ancient wellness meets smart building technology: comfort, safety, and energy efficiency at Baden thermal spa

For 2,000 years people have been coming to Baden, Switzerland to enjoy the recreational and restorative properties of its warm and mineral-rich thermal springs. Nestled on the banks of the softly meandering Limmat river is the recently refurbished FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa which continues the tradition originally established by the Romans.

  • FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa and Residenz47 residential complex
  • Outdoor pool at Baden thermal spa
  • SACE Emax 2
  • Line protection and ABB i-bus® KNX building automation system
  • ACQ580 drives for water and wastewater
  • FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa, Baden, Switzerland

FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa turned to ABB, a company that also traces its roots to Baden, for technology solutions to help harness the ancient power of the thermal springs to create a truly unique relaxation experience for its guests. Drawing on ABB smart building technology, the spa complex was equipped with state-of-the-art solutions designed to enhance comfort and ensure safety while minimizing energy consumption.

The need for timely solutions in a timeless place

Designed by Swiss star architect Mario Botta, the FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa and its adjoining Residenz47, a luxurious residential complex featuring 38 exquisite apartments and a fitness center, needed next-generation electrification and drive solutions to guarantee the safe and cost-effective operation of the spa. To accomplish this, the spa facilities needed to be fitted with a robust power supply system and switchgear that could be safely operated and managed. The complex would also need sensor-based lighting automation to ensure that energy was not being wasted on empty spaces. In addition, resident-facing, smart home technology needed to offer tenants intuitive, one-touch controls for things like room temperature, shading, lighting, and electricity.

In short, FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa — named after the temperature of its natural spring—needed a holistic smart building solution to match its ambition to provide an unparalleled wellness experience.

ABB rises to the challenge

Engaging with the Bad Zurzach + Baden Health Promotion Foundation, the developers behind FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa, ABB identified the project’s opportunities and challenges and presented a comprehensive solution that would integrate seamlessly with the business.

Now, ABB solutions contribute to the efficient, safe operation of the wellness spa. ABB products form the backbone of the spa’s power system: from the medium-voltage switchgear and drives for water and wastewater to the protective devices such as the SMISSLINE TP plug-in distribution system as well as the sockets and switches.

Safe and energy-efficient commercial operations

Load-free devices and components can be safely snapped on and off under voltage with no need for added personal protective equipment thanks to the revolutionary, highly reputed SMISSLINE TP touch-proof system — still being manufactured with pride in Switzerland, some 30 years after its conception. The system even allows FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa staff to perform these changes during ongoing operation without interrupting the power supply, making it possible to avoid costly downtime and ensure business continuity.

  • SMISSLINE TP - the world’s first pluggable socket system
  • SMISSLINE TP plug-in distribution system
  • SMISSLINE TP - Touch-proof system that allows components to be plugged on and off under voltage
  • Optional horizontal or vertical mounting of the system

The option of mounting SMISSLINE TP in a horizontal or vertical way creates a compact structural form that is advantageous for both new and retrofitted installations. Output wiring can be connected directly to the devices, eliminating the need for input terminals. For organizations such as Fortyseven wellness spa, this design has far-reaching energy and cost-saving implications, especially when combined with intelligent building automation solutions such as the ABB i-bus® KNX system. Ideally suited to high-traffic, public and commercial spaces such as a thermal bath, KNX presence detectors make sure lighting is only provided where people are present.

Taking guest comfort and wellbeing into account

The Residenz47 residential complex boasts luxurious living spaces, a modern fitness center and a wide range of guest services, all accessible via the Bonacasa service platform. Accommodating residential demands on power supply and management—which differ significantly from those of the commercial spa complex—Residenz47 was fitted with the ABB-free@home® smart home system.

“The easy-to-install and easy-to-operate ABB-free@home® system was an ideal fit for the needs of the Residenz47 complex. Even though the residential complex is an organic part of the communal spa facility, it needed to be approached like a smart home, which meant installing one-touch controls—via control panels or smart device applications—so that tenants can regulate their own living environment”, explains Yusuf Saba, business development manager for building automation at ABB Switzerland.

For example, all Residenz47 apartments have physical "all off" buttons at the front door as well as a digital version which can be operated remotely via smartphones or tablets. This feature empowers residents to adjust the power supply according to their individual preferences. For example, if a heat lamp for a pet should be left on, the resident can leave the power on for that individual socket.

“The easy-to-install and easy-to-operate ABB-free@home® system was an ideal fit for the needs of the Residenz47 complex”
“The easy-to-install and easy-to-operate ABB-free@home® system was an ideal fit for the needs of the Residenz47 complex”

Residenz47 tenants are also able use the control panels or the app to control the lighting in their apartment, the shading provided by blinds as well as the temperature setting for each individual room. Scenarios can also be programmed, for example, to shade all rooms facing the afternoon sun—all at the touch of a button. ABB-free@home® at Residenz47 is complemented by ABB-Welcome, the door entry system. This allows residents to open the front entrance remotely via their smartphone app so that parcel couriers or other service providers can gain access to the stairwell and, for example, deposit freight.

Modern technology serving ageless wellness

FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa and Residenz47 are contributors to a timeless tradition. Even if demands on personal comfort have changed from the early Roman settlers or the first Medieval tourists, the underlying human need for rest and recuperation has not. By interweaving the wellness-centered core of the service with 21st-century technology, ABB and FORTYSEVEN Wellness Spa have assured the continued wellbeing of generations to come, while conserving valuable energy.

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