The bigger picture
Singapore 20th January 2012
I have recently started to engage in a cooperation with environmental specialists to add further value to our goal in providing the greenest and most sustainable possible lighting solutions to our clients. The point is that we as professional lighting designers are specialist in our own little field of lighting design but have little knowledge or understanding on how our lighting design may further influence the design of other disciplines such as air and temperature control, electrical design, the integration with building management systems, architectural day lighting design and control and so on. In fact lighting is just a small part in the chain of sustainable design.
So in engaging further with environmental specialists will help us to better understand the bigger picture and most of all reinforce the message of the sustainable impact of our lighting design. For example, by embarking on an LED driven design, rather than halogen, we will create multiple saving effects. By reducing the power intake we reduce the direct energy consumption, yes, but do we know and understand what that means in terms of savings in regards to air-conditioning and temperature control equipment for instance? What is the impact on the electrical switchboard design? Because of the reduced heat emission of the lights, the sizing of the room temperature control equipment can be reduced, what are the savings there? There is a ripple effect throughout the building that we (I speak for myself here) do not fully understand as we are not specialist in these areas. So by engaging with the other specialist of related disciplines we will be able to make a much stronger case for the additional investment that may be required for sustainable lighting systems.
To make this more tangible, we may even need the QS to re-think the way budgets are put together by looking at the overall picture rather than the individual costs (of lighting). Comparing halogen to an LED equivalent is no longer and apple to apple comparison if you do not understand the bigger picture. The savings that you create through lighting should come back to lighting and not disappear in some-one else’s budget!
Light Watch 3-8: I leave you with a selection of “cool” building designs that at least have the “green” look. Whether they are really sustainable I don’t know but the design sort of implies it is! I don’t know anything about the lighting of these building but I would think that the above thoughts should heavily apply here!