Text: Marjukka Puolakka
Pictures: Juha Tuomi
The survival training unit in Lohja has top-quality equipment, even by international standards, and offers unique conditions for comprehensive learning. The equipment includes a helicopter with a rescue hoist, self-balancing life rafts for 4-101 people and rescue chute systems. Lohja has the only facilities in Finland for Helicopter Under Water Escape Training (HUET). The hall wall has been modelled after a side of a boat and includes a net for climbing, and other authentic rescue equipment. The pool is used for training 3 000 - 5 000 seafarers every year. The nearest similar training location is in Denmark, which means that Meriturva also has many customers from abroad, mainly from Estonia and Sweden. "We train, for example, shipping company staff, rescue staff and students from maritime academies. The training is available for everyone and our customers range from canoe groups to astronauts" says the Equipment Manager Michael Blomqvist from Meriturva. The training hall was built in 2002 and renovated in summer 2018. As a part of the renovation project the lighting installation was upgraded to modern LED products.
Millions of Litres of Water
The training pool is four metres deep, 43 metres long and 27 metres wide. It's the biggest indoor pool in Finland and can take up to 4.7 million litres of water, which meant that it took ten days to empty the pool for the renovation. Water is a difficult element when it comes to designing lighting, as it absorbs light. The pool is efficiently lit with i90-P luminaires hanging from the ceiling, 15 metres above the water. The output of the three luminaires is 45 000 lumens. Of the four i90 lighting options, the medium beam luminaires were selected. The protective glass is heat-soak tested hardened glass, which has been treated on both sides in order to guarantee good light penetration. "The pool area offers various challenges for lighting, for example the humidity. The i90 lights are the most effective and durable choice for these conditions", says the Electrical Designer Pasi Tamminen from Sähköinsinööritoimisto Ahonen Ltd. Glamox provided the Meriturva pool building with all the new light fixtures. "I have used Glamox products for years and I know them to be reliable. Using only one lighting supplier also makes operating easier", Tamminen states. There are additional MACH 2 floodlights installed to offer more effective lighting for the survival training. Installed below the walking platform, they are long-lasting and can withstand the challenging conditions. The training and equipment area next to the pool is lit with the durable and efficient i80 luminaires, hanging from the dark grate ceiling.
The high-quality and glare free lighting ensures unobstructed visibility for both rescue procedures and equipment and gear testing. After each training course, which last between one and five days, the staff checks the condition of the equipment before it's used again. "Safety comes first for us and everything has to be in perfect working order. After the training course, the technical staff washes and dries the rescue overalls, pack the vests and look after the equipment", Blomqvist explains. The training is carried out in variable and realistic conditions. With a push of a button, the pool will be taken over by waves over a metre tall. The wave machine produces seven different types of waves, which is extremely rare. The wind machine will produce wind up to 30 metres per second with rain beating on your neck. While the helicopter is hoisting up the evacuated people, rotor sounds blare from the speakers. The evacuation training also includes rescue in the dark. "The old lights took a long time to regain their full power. Now the LED lights relight the space in an instance. The space is now better illuminated, and the lights don't blind even those who are floating face up on the pool", Blomqvist continues. The cool white light of the 4 000 kelvin LED luminaires is also an improvement to the slightly yellow light emitted by the discharge lamps. The robust and long-lasting LED lights make lighting maintenance easier in the tall pool building.
The lighting solution in a nutshell:
Meriturva training hall renovation, Lohja
Constructor: Senate Properties
Electrical planning: Sähköinsinööritoimisto Ahonen Ltd.
Electrical work: Uudenmaan Rakennus- ja Maalauspalvelu Ltd.
Pool area ceiling: i90-P
Pool area spotlights: MACH 2
Pool edge area: i80
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