World Environment Day
Yangon, Myanmar, 5th June 2012
As I am ploughing through the hotel area by area to inventorise the lighting and list out the current state of affairs, it seems apt that today is world environment day. At least so I am told here in Myanmar, but assume everywhere else too :). One of my key tasks is to develop a sensible lighting approach considering long term sustainability, not just for today and tomorrow, but for years to come. My task as a lighting designer here is to analyse at what state the lighting is in, highlight the current issues that operations is facing and prepare a lighting strategy for the renovation that will allow the hotel to keep leading the pack in Myanmar. From my understanding there are only 3 major high(er) end hotels in Yangon, probably considered 4 star level, in a country where players like Hyatt, Starwood, Intercon have yet start their accounts! But that is only a matter of time as far as I can see, so it is important that this renovation, which will take 2-3 years (including the extension), will be build on future technology and not be a catch up on what is considered acceptable today.
What strikes me most in my assessment of the hotel condition is the “irresponsible” impact that so called energy consultants have on our environment. Why do I say that (on world environment day)? As it appears, the hotel consulted an “energy specialist” some time ago towards becoming more sustainable and the only thing that they were advised is to change all the light bulbs to energy saving types. Unfortunately the energy consultant had no clue about what good lighting means and as a result of his (unfounded and irresponsible) advice, the hotel is in an absolute horrible state where it comes to mood, ambiance and lighting performance. Measurements have shown that current lighting levels are down to less than 25% of the originally designed levels. Down lights designed for reflector/ beam controlled lighting effects have hap-hazardly been changed into CFL or other unsuitable light sources, taking all punch and vibrancy out of the visual environment. Most areas look dead and totally run down as a result. Besides down lights lamps in decorative pendants and wall sconses have been replaced by CFL regardless whether the circuit is on dimming. Some still with a mix of CFL and GLS in the same fixture. As a result all the scene setting does not work and most lighting control panels are faulty. In the Italian Restaurant the staff have to call engineering department in the morning and evening to switch on and off the lights…what environment, mr energy consultant??
We will have our work cut out…