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Washington State Correction Center

PrismGlo fixtures enliven prison facility

Budget was a primary issue when the Washington State Correction Center for Women, located in Purdy, Washington undertook an expansion project.

"Money was a consideration for everything," said Terry Moreau, lighting designer and project manager "We had probably $30 million worth of work and only $20 million to do it with. Time was also a factor."

One of the buildings added to the 23-building campus, which houses 750 inmates, is a minimum security dining hall. The facility is used not only for meals, but as a site for visitation.

"This is probably the most accessible space within the institution," explained Douglas Bailey, project representative with Integrus Architecture, P. S., Seattle. "It's the only place on the campus where the public and inmates interact, so it was important to have a nice facility that would make a good impression on visitors."

The dining hall has a vaulted gypsum board celling, and to keep the open feeling of the space, Moreau said he chose Holophane Lighting PrismGlo® Mentor® lighting fixtures with 175 watt metal halide lamps. The fixtures, pendant mounted on a 24-inch stem, follow the roof line, with the lowest luminaires installed at 9'6", and the highest fixtures at 11 feet. The luminaires are mounted in a square pattern, spaced 12 feet apart.

"One of the benefits of the PrismGlo fixtures is the 40 percent uplight, which brightens the ceiling. Linear fluorescent fixtures were not considered for this project because we would have had to install them on such close centers to reach desired illumirlation levels," said Moreau.

"The PrismGlo luminaires are also more durable, and their appearance really suits the building," he added.
Holophane Lighting's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used in designing the lighting system to confirm the centers for the 16 fixtures installed. Footcandle levels are 40 to 45.

"The illumination levels may be a little higher here than they would be for a facility used only for eating. Inmates have enough light so that they can read or play games, " Moreau described.

He said that Washington State has a very strict energy code, and the Holophane fixtures enabled the facility to meet the watts per square foot standards specified by the state.

The luminaires are lighted approximately 130 hours per week, controlled by local switching. Fixture maintenance in provided by an in-house staff that dates the lamps with a marker so that personnel know when the lamps were installed and the fixtures cleaned.

"The PrismGlo units are easy to clean and maintain. With the metal halide lamps, they also provide the benefit of longer lamp life," Moreau said.

Prison officials have indicated that they like the lighting.

"The illumination is very uniform, which makes the room appear inviting," Bailey concluded. "Officials feel the fixtures themselves are interesting to look at, yet they are not intrusive."


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