Jun 20, 2018 Last Updated 7:43 AM, Jun 6, 2018

Carlo Gavazzi ensures lighting efficiency at leisure centre

Published in Leisure
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Carlo Gavazzi is making sure energy consumption is lean and mean at Lifestyles@Flitwick, a new £15m leisure centre in Flitwick, Bedfordshire. Energy efficiency is high on the agenda at the new centre and electrical contractor REL Electrical has opted for Carlo Gavazzi’s Dupline system to control lighting energy use at the facility.


Central Bedfordshire Council appointed SDC Builders to construct a new centre adjacent to the former site. The new building contains an eight-lane, 25m swimming pool, separate learner pool, a toddler splash area, a four-court sports hall, health and fitness suite for 120 people, three fitness class studios, two squash courts and an indoor climbing wall. The facility also includes wet and dry changing facilities, a reception and offices, a creche, a cafe area for light refreshments and a health referral room for confidential wellbeing advice.

The centre, which is managed on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council by Stevenage Leisure Limited, has been built on football pitches next to the former facility, which is set be replaced with 72 new homes. The existing leisure centre, which contained a small four-lane swimming pool and 55-station fitness room, was simply not big enough for the ever-growing local community.

REL Electrical was appointed by SDC Builders to deliver an electrical package for the new centre. REL’s scope of works in a £900,500 contract included all lighting and power for Lifestyles@Flitwick, as well as the installation of fire safety, access control and security systems, data cabling, CCTV and lightning protection. The contract also required REL to deliver the electrical work for the swimming pool and surrounding area, including sourcing the specialist equipment required to meet the strict regulations associated with this area of work.

Central to the installation and the drive for energy efficiency is Carlo Gavazzi’s Dupline building control system, which is used for lighting control. Given the wide variety of spaces in the centre, the building has a number of different types of lighting and control strategies, including dimming and switching, time control and presence detection.

“The specification called for a microprocessor-based lighting control system and we wanted a simple, single solution that could either integrate everything into a single package or, at the very least, minimise the amount of interface wiring that we had to install,” explains Steve Jamieson, Technical Manager at REL. “The Dupline system gives us a single loop that runs around the building, minimising our cabling and giving us one simple system as a backbone.”

As well as saving energy, a key objective for REL was to give the centre an easy-to-use system. “We wanted to give the centre a lighting control system with which they can easily change timer settings, light levels and, importantly, a system to which they can add elements in the future without any excruciating hardware costs,” says Steve. Unlike many proprietary control systems, Carlo Gavazzi’s two-wire bus Dupline system can be expanded by simply extending the bus cable and adding extra I/O modules. This means it is truly flexible and modular, saving on the costs of any future expansion.

When a member of staff arrives at the centre in the morning, a simple light switch will activate the entrance area only. A central bank of push switches within the main centre office will operate lighting in remote areas, such as the swimming pool, sports hall, climbing wall, cafeteria and so on via the Dupline system. The swimming pool has two pre-set lighting levels, 200 lux and 300 lux. “By using Dupline’s DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) gateway, we’ve got one switch to operate fixtures to 200 lux and another switch to bring lighting levels up to 300 lux,” says Steve.

Dupline is fully integrated with the DALI protocol, the International Standard (IEC 62386) for the control of electronic ballasts, transformers, LEDs, emergency lights and exit signs, in an easy-to-manage digital lighting control system.

In changing room areas, microwave presence detectors are linked to the Dupline bus and Dupline 1-10V controllers to switch on lights when someone enters. If no movement is detected for 15 minutes, lights dim down to 10% capacity. The last member of staff to leave the facility at night can use a switch to turn off all lighting in the building. If this master switch has not been activated, a time clock will do the same thing at a set time, ensuring that energy consumption from the lighting is as low as possible.

“If you tried to achieve all that functionality with separate systems, you would incur additional costs due to increased containment size for extra cabling, additional hardware interfaces and the inevitable additional commissioning costs, and possibly spend time and money trying to resolve any conflicts arising from protocol issues across different systems,” enthuses Steve. “The system covered everything that we needed. This was an electrical-only contract, so we didn’t have the opportunity to integrate the lighting control with the HVAC control, but that is something we would definitely consider in the future.”

Thanks to REL and Carlo Gavazzi, Flitwick Leisure Centre can certainly be sure that there is no fat on the lighting energy use, with an easy-to-use system that shapes up nicely.

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