Ice Skating Training Facilities

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Ice Rink Construction

Environmental Air Quality and Safety

        Construction of an ice rink requires an experienced designer. An individual with this expertise is rarely found in an architectural firm unless they have previous experience in recreation centers, especially ones that feature aquatic centers and ice rinks.

        Just as indoor pools have special construction concerns caused by warm, humid environment with atmospheric contamination from chorine to treat the water, ice rinks pose specific problems from cold, damp environments causing mold, plus problems related to carbon monoxide from the resurfacing equipment, and potential accidental leaks of ammonia into the building.

Dehumidification For An Ice Rink - Everything Ice
An important design issue you may encounter in opperating an ice rink. We have dozens of tools to help you with your efforts. By John Burley.

Dehumidification: Athletic Facilities Cost-Effective Climate ...
Athletic arena events, indoor ice rinks require a dehumidification design based on years of experience dehumidifying skating and curling rinks to prevent corrosion, mold, and mildew.

Reduce Mold and Mildew in Locker Rooms  Modern locker rooms have utilized dry desiccant dehumidification to maintain humidity levels for the locker rooms.

Indoor Pool Ventilation
Indoor Pool Ventilation Indoor swimming pools continuously produce large quantities of chlorine laden water vapor through the process of pool evaporation.

    Environment monitoring is an integral part of protecting athletes and spectators from combustible gases such as Chlorine & Ammonia or Carbon Monoxide.  Detector monitors should continuously be in operation operation in confined areas and provide an audible alarm and visual indication of gas toxicity status.
Kernco Instruments Co : Portable Gas Detectors
Husaini Engineers
Carbon Moboxide Detectors

A full service recreational Complex with ice and aquatic facilities.
Combining other recreational sports and physical activities with one or more sheets of ice provides
a stronger economic model than a just an ice rink with no other amenities.

New Compact Ice Resurfacer
Sport Ice, a fully automated ice resurfacer being manufactured at the Everything Ice plant at 115 School St. in Salix.  Smaller size electric resurfacing machine for smaller practice ice surfaces.

Construct a facility that meets the needs of the users, and they will support it!
      The developer of the ice rink facility must bear the responsibility to understanding the needs of the users and spectators. These individuals will collective generate the revenues to produce a positive balance sheet.

      As a developer/owner who is responsible for management, insist on quality and build to reduce energy usage, maintenance, and repairs during the life of the structure.  Some speculators construct projects with the idea of selling the project for a profit before problems are likely to occur that require major and very expensive repairs.

The lowest bid may cost more over the life of the building
      There are four key factors that will determine potential future problems of the ice floor are likely to occur:
  • Sub-Floor Conditions
  • Rink Floor Construction
  • Refrigeration System
  • Waste Heat Utilization
      It costs a little more to construct the ice floor properly that will avoid refrigerant leaks, and sub-floor permafrost problems resulting in ground heaving that produces misalignment of rink barriers, and inoperative doors used to access the ice.

      Besides the expense, the repairs usually will require the facility to be out of service for several weeks, even months without revenue and disrupting the training of athletes who have signed contracts for ice time.
      Ice rinks face many maintenance challenges that are often unnoticed until it's to late to avoid major and costly repairs. Novice rink operators are generally unaware of how a ice rink piping system is constructed and attribute high and low spots in their ice surface to inconsistent Zamboni drivers or heavy rink use. Because of its multi-layer construction ice rinks are susceptible to cool floor leaks and ground heaves associated with sub-floor heat problems.

Source:   rinkspecialists

Basic Ice Rink Construction
      J Burley has produced this quick overview of minimum design criteria for the building. The investment toward this design approach has shown to quickly return the added construction cost with the total complex’s energy performance or has been found to be mandatory for the environmental demands of a skating complex. A more extensive building design scope is available through J BURLEY upon request.

Click Here to watch the video!
How Ice is Made
     To make ice, the floor is chilled to 24 degrees and then a thin sheet of water is poured over the floor. This process is repeated every 20 minutes until a ¾" sheet of ice is made. It takes approximately 12-18 hours to make a ¾" sheet of ice.

     When 1/3 of the ice thickness is completed, white paint is coated over the ice.

      When 2/3 of the ice is frozen, the lines and logos are painted onto the ice, then the final 1/3 is laid. 

Icy Facts:

  • An average of 50,000 gallons of water are used annually to form the ice floor.
  • This is more water than is contained in four standard-size swimming pools.
  • The ice rink floor features more than 13 miles of one-inch steel piping.
  • The floor has over 2,200 welds in the solid concrete slab.
Source:  Scottrade Center

 Multipurpose Arena Facilities

Changing over from ice to another event poses a major challenge and expense.

      A change over is the physical alteration of the building from one event to another. The change can be simple or it can require considerable time and effort of rink personnel. To speed the process additional laborers will need to be hired. During hockey season the ice is left down and is covered with a Styrofoam insulated plastic-coated floor and the basketball floor or concert is placed on top. For the circus the ice is removed and then re-made after the final performance.

      In a multipurpose arena it may be necessary to change quickly from a hockey game to a non-hockey event. Sometimes the events fall on the same day. These quick change overs allow approximately three hours between events. Changing from hockey to basketball is more difficult than the reverse because the basketball floor is more difficult to lay down than it is to pull up.

       It takes a minimum of two hours to complete a hockey to basketball changeover, using 13 maintenance workers and 40-50 call-in laborers. Over 100 cleaners are employed to clean the building during the 2-3 hours between events - a job that normally takes eight hours.

Sealing Ice Rink, Ice Floor Perimeter Expansion Joints
Sept. 29, 2010 ... Other Selected Ice-Floor References: RBC Center, Raleigh, NC; Tampa Ice Palace, Tampa, FL; Sioux Falls Ice Arena, Sioux Falls, SD

Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink
unique Roof Design
      Since hosting its first intercollegiate game on December 3, 1958, when the Bulldogs faced Northeastern, the rink has been an architectural marvel. Designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen ’34, the arena gets its distinctive exterior look from a humpbacked roof, supported by a 300-foot backbone. The building has been compared to a Norse helmet and a brontosaurus, but neither of those names stuck like the Yale Whale, the arena’s most common colloquialism.  Ingalls Rink is the home of recreational skating, the Figure Skating Club (, Yale men’s and women’s varsity hockey teams, Intramural hockey, and Yale Youth Hockey.

      The roof supporting system is deceptively simple in appearance. Although the ice rink itself is a standard rectangle with rounded corners, it is housed in an elliptical building. Moreover, the architect took a radical turn in creating the roof, conceiving a graceful concrete arch that forms the axial spine of the building.

      Roof-support cables are suspended laterally from this spine, extending to the perimeter wall of the building, where they are attached to a horizontal compression beam at the top of the wall. A curved plaster ceiling is suspended above the upper seating area and circulation ramps of the vast, column-free interior.

      The building’s plan is elliptical and cast-concrete walls run round the two long edges of the ellipse. These walls slant upwards and outwards at an angle of 15 degrees; above them the drama of the roof occurs. A central arch spans the major axis of the ellipse and from this great spin-like arch, cables take out two catenary curves in both directions. The concave and the convex forms create a mutual tension and through this a dynamic building emerges." – Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p225.

      "Ingalls Rink, which seats 3,486 spectators, is located near the heart of the Yale Campus, on the corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets.

      A major renovation that spanned from 2008 to 2009 has preserved that tradition while also dramatically adding to the usable space in the facility. A 12,700 square-foot underground addition now contains a strength and conditioning center, numerous locker rooms, equipment rooms, an athletic medicine center, a varsity player lounge, coaches offices, a reception room, a student-athlete study area, new training rooms, and special changing rooms for community skating programs, installation of low maintenance, energy- efficient light fixtures; refinishing of the original wooden benches, with corner seating added for improved sight-lines; the refurbishment or replacement of the Rink’s exterior wood doors and the use of new Low-E insulating curtainwall glass; and the addition of new, larger press- boxes providing exceptional sight lines, among other improvements.

Source – Yale Press Release

Cable Roofs & Tensioned Fabric Structures
Yale University Skating Rink. · Tulsa Exposition Center , Tulsa , OK ... California – Lindsay Park Sports Center , Calgary , Alberta – Munich Ice Rink, Germany . · Air-Supported Roofs: Walter Bird's First Radome/ Radome Technology

Locating a new rink inside an old and sometimes historic building

Depot Ice Rink Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Depot rink is located in downtown Minneapolisis. It is housed in a historic train shed, which makes it an architecturally rich environment. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls encasing the modern-day rink showcase views of the city’s skyline.

  1. Park and Recreation owned and operated community rinks
  2. Church Owned and Operated Community Centers
  3. Private Membership Skating Clubs
  4. Privately Owned Rinks Open to Public
  1. Market Analysis Summary
  2. Amenities and Services
  3. Naming Rights
  4. Strategy and Implementation Summary
  5. School and Community Programs & Activities
  6. Charter Schools
  7. Competitive & Recreation Athletes Health & Wellness Services
  8. Management Summary
  9. Financial Plan
  10. Ice Rink Executive Summary
  • Historical Background:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

The Ultimate Ice Skating Facility
Planning a New Ice Skating Rink
Summary - Developing New Ice Skating Rinks
Executive Summary
Formulating a Rink Proposal
Feasibility Study
Business Financial Structures
Rink Feasibility Study
Facility Design Issues
Facilities Concerned with Design
Design Principles
Ice Skating Rink Business
PDF  When Bigger is Better
PDF  How An Ice Arena Works

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