Auckland City Council, Cameron Pool & Leisure Centre

A Total Refit & Upgrade of the Existing Sauna

The sauna at the Cameron Pool and Leisure Centre had always been popular, but it had aged and was not performing to the desired standard. Refurbishment was required to deliver the type of sauna experience visitors to the Centre expected and were keen to enjoy.

FinnSauna was contracted to rectify the situation. The project was described as follows in the Work Programme 2018/2019 Q4 Report, Project ID 2262, of the Puketāpapa Local Board meeting held on 15/08/2019:

Renew the sauna to establish correct insulation, isolation and ventilation. Work includes renewal of heater and heating case, as well as floor strengthening work for the upstairs fitness room to allow for high impact classes to resume. This project was a multi-year funded project with works scheduled for completion in mid-2018.*

Among the many improvements made to the sauna during the refit and upgrade, the following are worth noting:

  • Based on the internal volume and insulation of the existing sauna, the heater was underpowered. The heater’s capacity was increased from 10kW to 18kW, and a Harvia Elegance electric heater was perfect for the job.
  • Forced mechanical ventilation was installed as the existing ventilation was entirely inadequate.
  • Western Red Cedar was used for the interior panelling and benching and finished with Finnish sauna oil to make it water resistant, reduce the bacteria count, and generally extend the life of the wood. Plus, it enhanced the colour while protecting the beauty of the wood grain.
  • Standard bulkhead lighting was installed to complement the illuminated sauna heater.
  • A water Autodose system was added to the enclosed heater.

With the state-of-the-art Harvia Autodose system, visitors to the sauna can forget about the bucket and ladle; it’s has an automated water dispenser. With the press of a button, the right amount of water is applied onto the heated stones – with or without a fragrance. The device works either automatically at defined intervals, or on-demand via the button. The automation is a major advantage for commercial sauna managers.

While the rocks in a sauna are meant to have some water added, the situation is often abused with excessive amounts of water being poured or even the application of liquids other than the water provided. By giving the sauna users access to an automated system for adding water to the stones, it reduces the likelihood of them seeking out their own methods of increasing the sauna’s humidity, thereby improving safety and prolonging the life of the sauna’s components.

The Autodose also serves as an interesting conversation piece since the device usually elicits a ‘wow!’ reaction from the sauna users.


*Item 21 of the Auckland Council's Quarterly Performance Report: Puketāpapa Local Board for quarter four 2018/2019 - Attachment A Puketapapa Q4 Work Programme Update;URL: Click Here

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