Image: Diane Auckland / Beard
Construction on a glass sports hall floor that lights up and changes its line markings depending on the sport being played has been completed in what is thought to be a UK first.
The sports hall floor, at the University of Oxford, was officially opened on Saturday 2 June.
Main contractor Beard Construction and property consultancy Bidwells delivered the floor as part of the first phase of a masterplan to improve the University of Oxford’s Sport Centre located at the Iffley Road Sports Hall site.
Completion of the £9.3m project means that seven sports can now be played in a single four-court 699m2 space. Below the floor are hundreds of LED bulbs inserted in metal channels allowing users to select only the lines they require for their particular sport.
Players can choose between volleyball, basketball, futsal, korfball, badminton, netball, or handball.
The floor was designed, manufactured and installed by German firm ASB.
It is made up of sheets of glass, backed with colour (black in this case), etched to provide slip resistance and installed on shock absorbers and steel supports, which as part of the project were tested extensively by Sport England and other sporting governing bodies.
Richard Todd, project management partner, said: “The university play numerous sports, each with different requirements, so adding all the overlapping lines required into the space available using traditional techniques would make the floor unmanageable and look very messy.”
David Jobbins, senior project manager, added: “By taking this innovative approach it means no more different colours for different sports, no more confusing line calls and no wasted space. We are incredibly proud of this project and particularly because it’s the first in the UK to be delivered to the public.”
Phase one of the masterplan has also seen the creation of new multi-purpose fitness studio space, changing spaces and an entrance area; as well as the refurbishment of the existing sports hall café, reception and swimming pool changing facility.
Construction of the sports hall project started in August 2016 and was handed over 82 weeks later in March this year. The contractors were Beard and the architects Faulkner Browns.
Video credit: ASB GlassFloor / Bidwells