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Sports Petit Ice Arena

Petit Ice Centers "shines" with Holophane luminaires

There was cause for celebration on New Year's Eve last year when the $13.3 million Pettit National Ice Center opened its doors . The 172,800-square-foot center boasts the first indoor 400-meter racing oval in America, and is only one of six such facilities in the world.

According to Bob Doucette, chairman of the Pettit National Ice Center Committee, speed skating, in the past, has often played the "poor cousin" to the more glamorous sport of figure skating. Yet, speed skating has proven to be America's most successful Olympic sport, with American speed skaters capturing more gold medals than all figure skaters and alpine skiers combined.

The Pettit National Ice Center is fashioned after Calgary's Olympic ice track, where several world records have been set, and includes two hockey rinks. The center plays host to the U. S. Olympic Speed Skating team for training, and is also being utilized by figure skaters, speed skating clubs and various hockey teams. The facility is also open for recreational use by the general public.

This variety of uses called for a multi-level lighting system that could be used in both recreational mode and competition mode, and was capable of providing sufficient footcandles for television. David Gennrich, vice president, Staff Electric Co., Inc., the design/build electrical contractor for the Center, indicated a secondary goal was to use as few fixtures as possible to reduce energy usage and installation costs.

The system installed is a combination Holophane Prismalume highbay prismatic glass fixtures with 1,000 watt metal halide lamps, and Holophane Prismbeam floodlights with 1,000 watt metal halide lamps and NEMA 5 x 3 beam spread. Gennrich said the Holophane fixtures were selected based on the design submitted by the company, price and product availability. (Pettit Center was constructed in 10 months).

"We considered fixtures from other manufacturers, but most were unable to meet the design criteria for vertical footcandles, " Gennrich said.

A total of 249 Prismalume fixtures are installed with 22 ft. x 25 ft. centers. The units are suspended five feet below the structural ceiling, in the truss space, 31 feet above the ice.

As specified, the Prismalume fixtures are enclosed and gasketed for safely reasons. The units also feature an oversize reflector designed specifically for the 1, 000 watt lamps .

When the Center is used for recreational use, less than 50 percent of the Prismalume units are lighted. The lighting system was designed for 30 horizontal footcandles and 15 vertical footcandles during recreational use, with the actual levels achieved 35 and 15, respectively.

"The light is very comfortable, " Gennrich said. "The glass refractor on the Prismalume fixtures provides 32 percent uplight to illuminate the ceiling above and create a totally luminous environment. "

Fifty-four Prismbeam floodlights are also mounted in the truss space and enhance vertical footcandle levels for competition and television. The fixtures are mounted on the underside of the metal roof decking and are 36 feet above the ice. Spacing is 30 feet.

Originally, the lighting system in the hockey rinks was designed for 100 horizontal footcandles and 50 vertical footcandles. The levels achieved are 110 and 65, respectively.

For competition on the oval, the system was designed for 120 horizontal footcandles and 80 vertical footcandles, with actual levels , 125 and 80, respectively.

"When we were designing the lighting, glare was particularly a concern because it is distracting and dangerous for both hockey players and speed skaters, " Gennrich said. "The Prismbeam fixtures' prismatic glass lens produces the light distribution required while shielding the lamp from direct view. There are minimal shadows and glare. "

The illumination in the Pettit center is so comfortable that it prompted world class speed skaters Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair to refer to it as "perfect. "

"Overall, we are pleased with the lighting, " added Arnie Stelter, P.E, electrical department head, Arnold & O'Sheridan Consulting Engineers, Inc., who specified the criteria for Pettit National Ice Center. "The lighting fixtures blend well with the interior and produce very little glare. "

The Holophane system is controlled l olled by computer . They are illuminated approximately 18 hours a day, seven days a week.


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