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BAA Aberdeen Airport - Roadway Lighting


Transport terminals present some of the largest lighting design opportunities but are perhaps overshadowed by the more prestigious projects involving the exterior lighting of buildings. However, the particular problems concerning the lighting of transport terminals are typified by a recent installation of street lighting for the new forecourt at Aberdeen Airport.
As with all major projects there were varying and sometimes conflicting demands put upon all those involved with the design and the lighting design was no exception. Clearly any light fitting proposed had to be fit for purpose, providing the quantity and quality of light required for the airport to operate effectively. The issues of capital cost of the fittings had to be weighed up against the lifetime costs, which included maintenance and the impact on the environment.
With regard to maintenance the main concern was that, because the airport operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year, there is no down-time during which maintenance could take place. Unless a fitting could be found that was effectively maintenance free, the forecourt section of the airport would have to be closed down during the maintenance procedure. Not withstanding the associated expense over and above that related to the maintenance itself, closing down the forecourt would cause a degree of disruption that was considered unacceptable and therefore to be avoided if at all possible.
The impact on the environment now goes further than evaluating the comparative energy consumption of separate lighting proposals. Consideration is also given to manufacturing practices and end-of-life disposal; even the humble fluorescent lamp requires special disposal.Aberdeen Airport
Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever tried to find a car parked in an airport car park at night will testify, the quality of lighting has not always been what it might be. The poor colour rendition and uniformity is something that we have all got used to. If this was simply an inconvenience to travellers that would be one thing. But the poor quality of light can present security issues at a time when all organisations have to be increasingly vigilant.
Aberdeen Airport is an airport with ambition. Named Œ most improved¹ in 2008, BAA has an exciting expansion programme that has included recent alterations to the forecourt. This has provided the opportunity to look again at the airport street lighting, which in many cases was thirty years old.
The transformation has been little short of incredible with Robert Arnott, WSP and Project Manager describing the difference as between Œ Night and Day¹. Robert goes on to say that the lighting quality is superb, with good uniformity and almost perfect colour rendition. The light fittings themselves have an expected lifespan of over 100,000 hours, which in the current installation will take them to beyond the year 2040.
With regard to the environmental impact, Stuart Torpey, Environmental Compliance Manager is delighted with the new lighting. Based on a one to one comparison with an alternative fitting (similar to the existing) the new lighting runs at 45% of the load, which will deliver 55% energy savings. The new lighting can also be controlled to run at 50% output during periods of low passenger numbers, which could reduce the energy consumption by as much as an additional 15%. Furthermore, the new lighting contains no harmful or hazardous materials so even those tasked with the ultimate disposal have been taken into consideration.
Comments from staff have been complimentary ­ the improved quality of light makes them feel safer and more secure. And the security service reports that images are crisp and clear, and that that lighting produces no discernable glare that had been a problem with the old fittings.Aberdeen Airport
There is, of course, only one light source that can deliver all the benefits that the project team at Aberdeen Airport were looking for. LED lighting was considered to be the perfect solution. Although the capital cost of LED fittings is still significantly higher that alternative, the incremental cost in relation to the rest of the scheme was easily justified. Other benefits of the LED lighting include a reduced mounting height ­ the 120w fittings have been mounted on 8m columns ­ this compared with the alternative 250w fittings on 10m columns.
As the economic case for using LEDs becomes more compelling, it will become even more important for lighting designers to understand how LED lighting differs from the more familiar light sources. And like all innovations there will be leaders and followers. The installation of LED lighting at Aberdeen Airport shows that BAA are taking the lead, providing lighting that enhances the environment for passengers and staff, saves energy and is virtually maintenance free.

For more detailed information on the project please contact us at Telephone 0330 822 0260