project profile

Electrical design

REL Building Services carried out all of the electrical works at the centre. The team was involved in the electrical design from the early stages, responsible for developing the concepts and evolving them as the project progressed to ensure maximum efficiency and performance.

washed off and can be removed more easily; unlike a traditional tile where dirt sticks inside the structure which is there to create friction to prevent slipping.” Finally, harmful odours such as formaldehyde

or ammonia are eliminated by the activated oxygen and therefore an improved air quality is achieved. This technology comes from the automotive industry where analysis of car exhaust gases show that 1000m2 of ‘HT’ façade area clean the air as effectively as 70 medium- sized deciduous trees. The team will be monitoring the success of

this system with a view to using it again in other projects, says Swift.

extensive facilities From the outside, the building resembles a block of ice thanks to its striking facade, which provides the insulation required to keep the building running efficiently and avoids glare in both the ice rink and the swimming pools. The building is named in honour of the

Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee. Started in April 2016 and completed in December 2017, the project took a total of 21 months to build. The centre, which is operated by Everyone Active, opened in February 2018 with more than 8,000 people attending the open day to try out the new facilities for free.

With its extensive range of facilities, the

council says that Sapphire Ice and Leisure will help with the regeneration projects taking place in the borough while acting as an activity hub for the local community giving more people the opportunity to get active. It will also help in the implementation of the council’s sports strategy, which incorporates ice, aquatic and sports development.


“Initially our focus was on value engineering, ensuring the electrical elements could perform effectively within the required budget. As the timing of the project shifted, so did the design with a greater emphasis on lighting performance and more use of LED,” explains Steve Jamieson, technical manager at REL Building Services.

From the original 2012 design to the final installation in 2017, there had been a considerable revolution in LED lighting technology. By reviewing the lighting design, the team managed to significantly improve both design performance and running costs.

“The ice rink and the swimming pool were built in a double height space, so the lighting had to be installed seven metres high. In the ice-rink, we used high- bay LED luminaires coordinated with AV equipment gantries that ensure good uniformity over the rink and minimise glare, which is essential for sports events,” he says.

There were similar requirements for the swimming pool. The original architectural design comprised downlights around the pool perimeter, but REL changed this to ensure compliance with Sport England and to reduce maintenance. The company used LED uplighters instead and arranged them to ensure no glare on the water, maximising safety. This was achieved by directing all the light evenly over the ceiling; thereby the ceiling effectively becomes the luminaire.

Outside of the building, REL delivered lighting to harmonise and emphasise the architectural cladding, giving the facility its unique appearance.

“We had to create a vertical ribbon of light at specific points, comprising a very thin watertight LED strip just 16mm wide. This was installed between two panels to give the desired effect. We also advised on the use of cool-white LED lights to set off the blue panelling and give maximum impact.”

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