green in the face

Singapore 20th February 2012

I am really starting to get worked up about these power-load issues…are we pushing it too far? I am beginning to think so. What is worst is that these so called “green” specialists just approach this form an engineering point of view (at least that is how it looks like)…I already blogged about my frustrations on this subject just a few days ago. Today again it came up in yet another project. Now it is about meeting a 7W/m2 LEED requirement. Our design after much blood sweat and tears (and many LED’s later) still ended up above the 10W/m2. We are talking about a multi-room high end serviced apartment.

Now this LEED requirement was not communicated to us in the beginning, but that in itself is not a big thing as we design to the most energy efficient lighting systems anyhow. The problem is coming from outside the lighting design field…we are often stuck with an interior or architectural design concept that does not consider any energy saving at all. Details like cove lighting, pendants, decorative features, artworks, etc. imply that some related lighting is required, not just a general fluorescent or LED bulb in the ceiling. Space modelling and visual interest are key ingredients to create a visually comfortable mood and environment. Is this accounted for in the LEED requirements?…not that I know of.

Another contradictory issue I find is that operators/ developers have in one hand the guidelines about lighting levels and other (lighting control) requirements they have to achieve and in the other hand these energy saving power loads for the various areas. Have these been crossed checked and brought into balance?…not that I know of. Yes there are some relations to lighting levels in LEED guidelines but then the operator guidelines should be matching!

This is the part that I am now trying to reconcile in our design work, finding myself as a mediator between client, lead design consultants (such as architects and interior designers) and the green (LEED) specialists. There is still a lot of education to be done in relation to lighting design and sustainability…

Light & Learn 3-6: I want to leave you with some food for thought when it comes to lighting design. There are many solutions to a lighting design challenge. Here are a few to start with, all with 4 lighting points.

Example 1(point source):
Same space/ same power load/ same physical appearance/ different layouts/ different lighting levels/ different uniformities/ different visual effects

Example 2 (point vs linear source):
Same space/ different power loads/ similar layout/ different physical appearance/ different lighting levels/ different uniformities/ different visual effects

20. February 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, going green, Light & Learn, lighting design | Leave a comment

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