BJP has been working on a project for the University of Bath which is something both topical and something a little bit out of the norm. The project in question relates to the the purpose built bobsleigh, skeleton and modern pentathlon facility at the Universities Sports Training Village. The project involves improving the facilities not only from a safety perspective but also to enable the centre to be used for longer periods in the winter months. The centre has helped produce many Olympians in recent years most notably Winter Olympic Skeleton Gold Medallists Amy Williams MBE and this year’s winner Lizzie Yarnold.
From an engineering perspective the real challenge presented was to provide lighting to the facility for general amenity and for illumination of the warm up track and the bobsleigh track itself. The campus is sited at Claverton Down on the top of Bath and as a world heritage city, any external lighting would have to adhere to the ILE Dark Skies Regulations most stringent E1 classification. The rural location and local ecology concerns included bat habitation that would require a sensitive solution also satisfying the local authority planning conditions. The University strive to improve their green credentials and a low energy system would be required. This required an innovative approach taking BJP to look at the various light sources, control systems and technologies for each aspect.
The bobsleigh track is the only one of its kind in the UK making it a rare and exciting opportunity for us to be involved with. The track itself is similar to a small railway track with concrete abutment that runs through level changing to a soon to be improved raised finish to discharge energy and safely return the sleds up the track after the run. A 3D model was produced of the site and the track to mimic the layout and visualise light distribution and vertical illuminance. The final design incorporated marine grade anodised recessed LED luminaires providing controlled way guidance to the track. The solution ensured that the system provided good quality, uniformed illumination of the track without unwanted glare or distraction to the athletes. The solution incorporated 80No small diameter recessed asymmetric luminaires along both sides of the track carefully coordinated with the timing gate system and other elements including the drainage. A state of the art Dali control system will enable dimming of the track or preset scenes for varying weather conditions required in the UK climate! The track is 120 metres in length and the entire lighting system operating at 40watts having used high efficient white 0.6 watt LED`s, to put this in perspective the track would be lit using less operating power than a conventional GLS incandescent `bulb` still found in many table lamps in the home.
The project not only satisfies all the prerequisites but will also provide better facilities to develop future Olympians where attention to detail and small margins are the difference between gold and 4th place.