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Timberline High School

Lighting retrofit reduces energy consumption
and boosts flexibility for Washington high school gyms

Rain tends to dampen sports practices at Timberline High School in Lacey, Washington, a suburb of Olympia. With an average 52 inches of rain falling each year, student athletes are often forced to remain indoors for practice and sometimes competition.

Timberline High School recently updated its 16,800-square-foot main gymnasium to accommodate student athletes and provide them a brighter, more pleasant environment for sports such as basketball, volleyball and wrestling. The nearly 1,500-student school was built in 1970 and had not been updated since it was constructed.

Home to the Timberline Blazers, the gymnasium was previously illuminated with 400-watt metal halide luminaires mounted against an exposed batt insulation ceiling with exposed duct work. The facility has no natural light—which tended to add to the gym’s dreary appearance. Forest green bleachers on both sides of the room and wall pads extending 121/2 feet up the walls on two sides made the gym look even darker.

”The ceiling was dark and gave the gymnasium a cavern-like feel,” said Seri Hamm, electrical designer, LEED AP for Hultz/BHU Consulting Engineers, Inc., the winner of the project bid. “The dark green bleachers and wall pads seemed to suck up the light.”

Holophane Intellivue® fluorescent luminaires with six T5 HO lamps were specified for the application, with no substitutions accepted. School officials wanted to install the new luminaires in the same location as the previous fixtures so they could reuse the existing raceway wiring. One footcandle of emergency lighting was required throughout the space since the school has no generator.

In addition, Washington’s strict state energy code mandated that only 1 watt of energy could be consumed per square foot, which would be nearly impossible to achieve with a metal halide lighting system.

Timberline installed IntelliVue® luminaires in its main gymnasium and a new 5,900-square-foot auxiliary gym. The fixtures feature patented Passively Optimized Lumen output with Automated Regulation (P.O.L.A.R.) to maximize the lumen output of the T5 HO lamps. They units include an integral battery for emergency lighting.

Forty-two Intellivue luminaires were installed in the main gymnasium and 15 in the auxiliary gym. Fixtures in the main gym are 20 feet on center and 20’ x 17 ½’ in the auxiliary gym. The luminaires are chain mounted 25 feet above the light-colored wood floor.  


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