SIDEBAR: LED Upgrade at Princeton Gym Light-Years in the Making
Part four of a four-part article on Princeton's LED upgrade
Princeton University’s maintenance and engineering team put plenty of thought into lighting upgrades at Jadwin Gymnasium, the school’s basketball arena and indoor track facility.
“It was a project that was seven to nine years in the making,” says Brian Robertson, senior project manager for the university’s engineering and campus energy department.
Jadwin is one of the 150 buildings receiving LED upgrades as part of Princeton’s campuswide lighting efficiency upgrade program. In addition to hosting the university’s sports teams and other university functions, Jadwin hosts notable speakers, such as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Dalai Lama.
The Jadwin project took place in 2015. Contracted help relamped 839 lighting fixtures with high-bay LEDs in the 250,000-square-foot facility. The project also included the installation of a control system. The university realized energy savings of 40 percent for the Jadwin project, and should add an additional 20-40 percent savings with the controls optimization, Robertson says.
“The big challenge for us was aesthetics” of the new products, Robertson says. “The architects wanted it to be a one-for-one replacement, even though LEDs were more efficient and we could have reduced the amount of fixtures.
“The specification required it to be a round fixture, and it had to have a lens with very little glare and include an up-light component, painted housing and looking very similar to the existing fixtures. Through seven to nine years of sampling different products, they couldn’t find one.”
When Princeton finally found a manufacturer, the window to complete the upgrade was closing quickly.
“We were able to work with the manufacturer to develop a fixture, and the challenge for us was we had to have it designed, manufactured, onsite and installed prior to the basketball season in November,” Robertson says. “But it could only be installed in the late summer.”
Installation proved tedious. Princeton hired contractors for the two-and-a-half-month project. The height of the gym — 80 feet at its highest point — required the use of aerial lifts for installation. Princeton used three lifts to get the job done but also needed to monitor weight limits.
“There are four floors below (the gym floor), so there’s a structural limit, and most lifts, aerial and articulating, exceed that maximum load that you can put on the floor,” Robertson says. “We had to find lifts that were suitable to meet the loading requirements and locate multiple ones to meet the schedule with the challenge. We got two bigger lifts and one smaller lift to do the lower fixtures. With three crews, we were able to get it done a week ahead of schedule.”