Twickenham has long been the home of English rugby but this summer Olympic teams from China, Ireland, South Africa and Japan will be using the facilities at St Mary’s University College following the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art £8.5m sports centre.
The new sports centre features energy efficient lighting controls and luminaires from Ridi Lighting and is sited on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) so it must comply with stringent targets in sustainability, energy efficiency and renewables.
The centre, along with the fully refurbished existing facilities, has since been awarded an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating, with 20% of its energy consumption coming from renewable sources.
The refurbishment and extension at the site is fully compliant with a number of sporting national governing body facility guidelines. The lighting scheme had to be designed to suit the requirements of a variety of sports so required an easy to use and programmable system. This Ridi system allows lighting scenes to be set on a court-by-court basis as well as integrating with the daylight sun pipes and the natural ventilation turrets. This feature facilitates the elimination of daylight and air movement during play, which is especially important in a badminton set up.
“The bookings can change from one hour to the next, for instance, in one slot there maybe netball and in the following slot it could be badminton, where the lighting levels need to be different,” comments Tish Jayanetti, Sports Facilities Manager. “The ability to quickly switch between different lighting levels is very important for our operational staff as it allows us to provide a seamless, efficient and professional service.”
Commenting on the performance benefits of the setup, Tish adds: “For multi-sport halls such as the new performance hall, which caters for basketball, netball, badminton, cricket and handball, different lighting levels are required. National governing bodies (NGBs) for each of these sports stipulate the lighting levels, not only in relation to health and safety but also to provide the optimum levels for performance.”
The challenge of the lighting scheme was to realise ambitious energy efficient designs while accommodating the aesthetic constraints of lighting an architecturally striking building. The Dali control system extends to all areas and features automated daylight dimming to harvest as much natural light as possible. This system also makes the scene setting extremely quick and intuitive, with the additional benefits of absence/presence detection.
The finished project has created a perfect training base for the Olympic visitors but also a lasting legacy for the University College’s students, staff and local community.