ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR recently published a very informative article detailing the results of a survey of more than 700 readers about lighting and lighting controls, conducted by Renaissance Research & Consulting.
In 2009, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) introduced the 2030 Commitment Program, a voluntary initiative for AIA member firms and other entities in the built environment that asks these organizations to make a pledge, develop multi-year action plans, and implement steps that can advance AIA’s goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030. At the end of the 2010 calendar year, firms were asked to submit an assessment of their 2010 design work using a tool released by the AIA last year. A new report, Measuring Industry Progress towards AIA 2030 Carbon Reduction Goal, includes data from 56 firms accounting for nearly 385 million gross square feet (GSF) nationwide. A key energy reduction initiative included in the survey was installation of occupancy sensors.
“If you boost the lighting at certain times of day, you’ll get a better performance from workers,” remarks Dr Martine Knoop, a senior lighting specialist at Philips Lighting, commenting on the study that took place at Bartenbach Lichtlabor in Austria. The scientists found in 2007 that if offices used more adjustable lighting, the employees working within them would work more productively.
NYSERDA sponsored a demonstration project featuring a new Integrated Classroom Lighting System (ICLS) created by Finelite, Inc., a fixture manufacturer, installed as a retrofit into 28 existing classrooms at seven schools and universities. The Lighting Research Center (LRC) assessed teacher and student satisfaction. The result is a design template demonstrated to satisfy audio-visual needs and improve teacher and student satisfaction while reducing lighting power density to an average 0.73W/sq.ft., nearly 50% less than ASHRAE 90.1-2004/2007. Although Finelite optimized the design into an engineered system integrating the company’s light fixtures with state-of-the-art lighting control strategies, the template, if properly designed, can be treated as open source with suitable products from a wide range of manufacturers.
What are the benefits of combining advanced lighting control strategies in the same space? Are the energy-saving benefits of lighting controls persistent over time? Can advanced lighting controls be successfully applied to open offices given concerns about jurisdiction conflicts, lighting uniformity, etc.? Can they enhance worker satisfaction? A new office lighting field study addresses these questions. Involving about 90 workers in a real-world open-office environment, the one-year study determined that occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting and individual occupant dimming control worked together in the building to produce average energy savings of 47% while correlating with higher occupant environmental and job satisfaction. The study demonstrates that sophisticated lighting control strategies can be combined successfully to generate persistent, large energy savings in open-plan offices while improving occupant satisfaction with their jobs and workspace.