The Physical Fitness (Exercise Room) space type is a space specifically designated for exercise, fitness training, and physical wellness activities. Also included are toilets, office, and general storage normally found in a Physical Fitness (Exercise Room) space to meet codes, standards, and regulations.
The Physical Fitness (Exercise Room) space types provide a comprehensive, varied program of physical activities to meet the individual training regimens of its occupants. Indoor fitness programs can typically be divided into four categories of exercise: warm-up/cool down, free weight, circuit training, and cardiovascular. Each area that houses a particular exercise category should be designed around the requirements of the necessary equipment, including spatial, utility, and HVAC requirements, as well as circulation and control. Also important to the design of this space type is the durability of finishes, flexibility of space, and acoustical control. Typical features of physical fitness space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the context of whole building design, click on the titles below.
- Signage: Incorporate appropriate and required signage to alert users to the accessible routes, equipment, and classes.
Physical fitness space design must take into consideration the aesthetics of the intended groups it will serve. The quality of the spaces, including the finishes, furnishings, lighting, and signage all contribute to the look and feel that is desired for the type of clientele the physical fitness space supports. The aesthetics should convey a sense of welcome, safety, and health.
- Lighting: The lighting quality and levels should support the functionality and sustainability of the space, but can also be expanded to include unique and visually interesting lighting displays such as neon.
- Operations and maintenance: Plan for the daily and long-term maintenance of the space including equipment, to prevent equipment break-down, material replacement costs, and costly repairs.
- Occupancy: Occupancy Group Classification is Business Occupancy B, with sprinklered protected construction and GSA Acoustical Class X space where noisy operations are located.
- Technology: Employ technology to reduce theft, unauthorized access, and other unwanted behaviors. Check-in technology can include membership cards, cardless check-ins, check-in cards with proximity readers embedded with a code that, when read, signals certain doors to open or turnstiles to function to let the user access the facility. Security software can help prevent viruses or hacking and should be part of the overall strategy to improve security.
- Special HVAC: Employ measures to reduce moisture and odor migration to other spaces—assume this space type requires a 20% increase in cooling capacity above the overall building shell and core. Provide a separate AHU for exercise areas. Fitness centers will typically have negative air pressure relative to other areas of the building. Plan for regular HVAC maintenance to keep equipment in order and maintain healthy air quality levels.
- Materials: Incorporate sustainable, eco-friendly materials into the spaces including recycled materials, sustainably-harvested wood, natural stone, and ceramic tiles that meet green building standards. This must be coupled with sustainable cleaning and maintenance practices to ensure the materials remain sustainable and are optimized over their life cycle.
The following building program is representative of the Physical Fitness space type.
Tenant Occupiable Areas
|Qty.||SF Each||Total SF||Sum Actual SF||Tenant Usable Factor||Tenant USF|
|Male Lockers (70 lockers)||1||490||490|
|Male Toilets (3 stalls)||1||180||180|
|Male Showers (4 showers)||1||100||100|
|Female Lockers (50 lockers)||1||350||350|
|Female Toilets (3 stalls)||1||180||180|
|Female Showers (4 showers)||1||100||100|
|Free Weight Room||1||960||960|
|Exercise Station Room||1||960||960|
|Aerobics Machine Room||1||1,200||1,200|
|Tenant Usable Areas||7,076|
The following diagram is representative of typical tenant plans.
Example Construction Criteria
Relevant Codes and Standards
The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of physical fitness spaces types. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible:
- Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities
- Fitness Center Design Guide, Air Force
- ICC IBC International Building Code
- PBS-P100 Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service, GSA
- UFC 4-740-02f Air Force Fitness Centers
- Alliance to Save Energy
- Energy Star Products
- Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Green Building Council
- Architectural Graphic Standards, 12th Edition by The American Institute of Architects, Dennis J. Hall. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.
- Exercise and Disability: Resources for Accessible Gym Equipment AmeriDisability Newsletter, 11-29-2018.