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Zumtobel Helps The Biggest Council Gym In The Country Achieve Its Goals

Gateshead leisure centre poolZumtobel Group has helped Gateshead Council to continue its significant investment in improving the energy efficiency throughout its property portfolio whilst also providing an excellent quality of illumination in its public buildings.

The latest energy efficiency project completed is at Gateshead Leisure Centre where Zumtobel Lighting and Thorn Lighting have supplied luminaires for use throughout the facility, including the pool, a flagship fitness suite which included the largest council-run gym in the country, clip and climb facility, sports hall, party rooms and dance studios. The Council used their Salix recycling fund to carry out the works, which were carried out by their in-house direct labour design engineers & electricians.

The building concerned comprises of the original pool, built in 1942, which was extended to become the Gateshead Leisure Centre in 1981. Gateshead Council undertook a massive £8M refurbishment in 2010 to remodel into a centre that was easy to navigate and welcoming for new visitors whilst the core delivery is of modern, affordable indoor sporting & fitness facilities for all. Despite the success of this refurbishment Gateshead Council were not content to rest on their laurels as they sought to use the latest energy efficient light fittings that are now on the market. The centre incorporates a 25m pool, two learner pools, large fitness room, dance/fitness studios, children’s activity spaces, 8 court sports hall, clip and climb & soft play facility, squash court, wet and dry changing facilities, staff accommodation, crèche and a large entrance area with café.

Gateshead Leisure Centre gymThe once uninviting gym was replaced by a flagship fitness suite, measuring 650 sq. meters and complete with 150 machines and weights stations, about three times the number of other gyms in the borough. Thorn’s Omega LED was chosen to provide excellent illumination levels with good uniformity for the gym and using 50 percent less energy than the 4x18W T26 (T8) fluorescent fittings it replaced. IP44 rated Omega LED provides easy retrofit for traditional luminaires with the use of simple mounting kits and can be used with DALI dimming to further increase energy savings.

A combination of Thorn’s Hipak Pro LED high bay and Zumtobel’s Craft compact LED high bay luminaires have been installed in the refurbished sports halls. With dedicated optics for precise light control, Hipak Pro LED has a highly efficient operation of up to 135Llm/W for significant energy savings when compared to traditional HID high bays. An integral PIR sensor and DALI dimming ensures maximum savings when the hall is only partially occupied, whilst an on-board thermal management system guarantees LED performance and lifetime. Sealed to IP65, CRAFT has a specially developed wide beam optic for uniform, square illumination with no dark areas (UGR 80 (4000 K), Ra > 70 (6500 K) and a transparent PMMA diffuser with additional safety cover. All sports hall luminaires were installed using a bespoke bracket that allowed the old fixing to be reutlised and save further intrusion.

In addition to a total revamp of the pool, the new changing rooms are modern, clean and unisex so the whole family can change together and private showers are a great addition, as are the new sauna and steam room. Thorn’s Areaflood LED has been utilised for the pool area, featuring an accurate optical system with an integrated visor for efficient and effective control of obtrusive light (0cd at 90 degrees). Designed to be installed horizontally, its glass is tilted inside the canopy to optimise its asymmetrical light distribution as well as its efficiency. This ensures the 'virtual' light emitting surface remains horizontal to the ground to reduce glare and intrusive light. With a long lifetime of up to 100,000 hours, Areaflood LED provides the low maintenance, minimal cost of ownership solution for the pool that Gateshead were looking for whilst improving the quality of light for the users and attendants.

Thorn’s Cetus Recessed LED downlight, a direct replacement for traditional 1x26W or 2x26W compact fluorescent downlights, has been used extensively to provide a uniform appearance, particularly in the main circulation spaces, and up to 65 percent energy savings. Other areas have incorporated Thorn’s Omega Pro edge lit flat panel luminaire with unique glare control and Thorn’s Novaline, a slim circular luminaire for wall or ceiling mounting, which blends with most architectural styles. Duoproof sealed, IP65 rated, recessed fluorescent luminaires with easy maintenance have also been used in the refurbishment and Eyekon, a range of robust, IP65 rated vandal resistant bulkheads designed for outdoor ceiling, wall or bollard applications have been incorporated on the exterior of the facility. Thorn also supplied custom made Duoproof LED, sealed IP65 rated, recessed fluorescent luminaires for the exterior of the building.

The doors opened to the public again in 2010 with a significant increase in ‘footfall’ and this scheme, led by a desire for energy efficiency, has also delivered a boost to the image of the centre, particularly important in all aspects as local authorities have to achieve savings whilst still keeping pace with modern competitors looking to attract ‘customers’ to use their facilities instead. The cool, clean and modern illumination provided by Thorn/Zumtobel’s lighting solution has certainly taken what was already a well presented building up another notch.


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