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SWITCH THE SWITCH

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SWITCH THE SWITCH
SWITCH THE SWITCH
When owners and tenants look at building systems to save money, they’re typically more focused on the mechanical systems, but savings can be found in lighting by adding retrofits like dimmers, occupancy detectors, and software controls, says Encelium Technologies’ VP Rick Schuett. With a bigger push for sustainability, more space users will consider lighting retrofits. Consider NYC’spublic school system, which plans to convert its aging PCB fluorescent-lighting fixtures in its 772 school buildings to a safer, more energy-efficient and sustainable lighting and building control system over the next decade. Many of these buildings were built in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s and have older-technology lighting ballasts and switches that were banned from new construction in 1979, but can be retrofitted without much (if any) rewiring, says Rick, whose firm has helped dozens of K-12 schools throughout North America with similar retrofitting.
Goshow Architects' office
How much can you save? Rick says lighting retrofits can save 40% to 75% of the lighting energy costs. Take client Goshow Architects: in ‘09, it relocated to a new 8,000 SF office space on 28th Street, above, and its main goal was to design a sustainable office space (LEED-CI Silver at minimum) and reduce energy consumption by 30%. However, a major obstacle was the HVAC system, which was owned and operated by the landlord. In order to make an impact on its energy usage, Encelium helped them instead shift focus to energy efficient lighting, installing a comprehensive lighting control system with personal controls, task tuning, daylight harvesting, smart scheduling, occupancy sensing, and load shedding. The result: a66% reduction in lighting energy consumption, 51% in lighting energy demand, nearly 40,000 lbs of CO2 emissions eliminated, and six points toward LEED cert.