When an entrepreneur decided to turn a gigantic airship hangar in Germany into a tropical paradise resort destination, he turned to ITT’s Lowara unit to provide pumps systems and expertise to power the water supply system.

Under the heading of “unlikely juxtapositions,” an artificial tropical paradise built on a former Soviet air base in a small town in Germany is near the top. But here in Brand, a town about an hour’s drive from Berlin, Colin Au, a businessman and entrepreneur from Malaysia, bought a gigantic hangar where dirigibles used to be built. He has converted it into a sort of Prussian tropics, complete with a rain forest of about 40,000 imported plants, a Balinese gate, Indian dancers and a “South Sea” beach.

For many years, Au, successful owner of a cruise line, had brought tourists to tropical and subtropical regions. Recently, the ambitious businessman, together with other investors, footed a bill of $70 million to bring the tropics to Germany. Known as “Tropical Islands,” Europe’s only tropical paradise opened in the world’s largest self-supporting hall. Originally intended for the assembly of cargo dirigibles, the location now is home to an attractive recreational area more than 16 acres in size, featuring shows, entertainment, swimming, sports activities, a children’s club, beach parties, restaurants and shops.

The impressive hall, 1.200 feet long, 700 feet wide and 350 feet high, presents authentic tropical vegetation with 500 different plants, and allows insights into the cultures of Brazil, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia and Kenya. Well-known interior decorators, landscape gardeners and botanists participated in this project.

With the resort featuring a rain forest of about 40,000 imported plants, a Balinese gate, Indian dancers and a “South Sea” beach, the supply of water is of paramount importance. Pump systems from ITT’s Lowara unit are used for water supply and water pressure throughout the resort. The Krausnick water works are in charge for supplying the Tropical Islands resort. They obtain their drinking water from deep wells.

From a 4-mile-long water pipe, a Lowara booster unit is used to pump the water under constant pressure into two intermediate reservoirs with a capacity of 10,500 cubic feet each.

Tropical Islands’ need of 6,300 cubic feet of drinking water per day also includes the daily refilling of the pools, which is demanded by sanitary regulations. This daily demand is supplied by means of two vertical multistage pumps, with a constant pressure of 6 bar. Both pumps are monitored by a control system, which, by way of its RPM control, operates in a very energy-efficient way.

The special control module makes it possible to compensate for varying levels of water demand by changing the rpm. The systems are laid out in such a way that they can cover the needs of the future outside expansion. After a certain running time, the operational pumps are exchanged automatically so that the load is equally distributed among the reserve pumps as well.

The water supply system is integrated into the central control system of the Tropical Islands resort through a collective malfunction notice. The systems’ controls regarding pump-in-operation notice, running time, water pressure and water volume, are computerized and operated by the employees.

The resort has its own power station that supplies heating and energy. Thus, an overall air temperature of 77 degrees F to 82 degrees F is maintained – in some parts even up to 95 degrees F. The temperature of the water is 82 degrees F in the “South Sea,“ and 90 degrees F in the “Lagoon.“ The tropical ocean’s surface amounts to nearly 22,000 square feet.

Approximately 5 million people living within an hour’s driving distance are the potential visitors of the Tropical Islands resort. 850 employees are waiting to take care for them, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The maximum daily capacity runs up to 7,000 visitors.