Lighting consultant Brian Ford Associates Client West Oxfordshire District Council

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Building plan

Section through swimming pool

The Chipping Norton Leisure Centre is a dual use facility completed in 2002. It contains a 25 m x 4 lane swimming pool, a four-court sports hall, fitness suite, dance studio and three squash courts.

Computer and physical modelling of the proposed daylight solutions was explored, the final solution allowing the sports hall and swimming pool to operate in daylight hours without the need for artificial lighting.

An analysis of the daylight conditions in the sports hall and swimming pool were undertaken to determine both the quantity, distribution and quality of the daylight within these spaces for various rooflight and diffuser options. Annual energy use, energy costs and CO2 emissions, related to the artificial lighting requirements, were also estimated for the different rooflight design options.

Since both computer and physical models were used forthis work it is of interest to note that significant differences were found. Generally higher Daylight Factors (DF) were predicted using the physical models than those obtained from the computer, but the pattern of light distribution was found to be similar, and the visual effect of the various options could be assessed by the architects more readily with the physical models.

There were various reasons for the differences, perhaps the most significant being the imperfections at junctions in the model.

The resulting solutions may be seen in the photographs.

In the swimming pool the large windows down the west side of the pool make the most significant contribution, supplemented by the rooflights running the length of the pool on either side. The daylight design obviates the danger of reflections off the water from obscuring the view of swimmers in difficulties.

In the sports hall an entirely different approach is adopted by means of runs of overhead rooflights, controlled by fabric diffusers, which solve the problem of solar glare.

The success of the daylighting of the Chipping Norton Leisure Centre has resulted from the application of careful daylight studies, and the willingness to take the necessary time to apply the results of energy studies, thus ensuring asustainable solution.

Section through swimming pool

Sports hall detail of fabric diffuser

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