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Student Safety Drives Exterior Lighting Design at California Campus

Plaza Verde is a housing complex on the University of California Irvine (UCI) campus and is home to over 1,400 undergraduate students. It has become a central community hub. Students living on the East Campus walk past on their way to and from classes, and on-site facilities include classrooms and study rooms, community centers, vehicle and bike parking, storage, and a bus stop.

Communicating a sense of security was important for the undergraduate student housing facility, both for the resident students and their parents. To this end, transparency is an intentional design element, inside the buildings and out. All structures have portals, or breezeways, on the main floors, so pedestrians always have a clear visual path through the various buildings and across the courtyards. 

Lighting is a significant contributor to wayfinding. Luminis’ Lumistik CL821 provides the exterior lighting around the perimeter of the Plaza Verde buildings and interior courtyards. The column fixtures accentuate the walkways between buildings and pathways leading to the main city sidewalks. The Lumistik CL821, with 4000K color temperature, illuminates the courtyards with bright yet comfortable light. 

A 20-foot vertical grade change on the land required some special considerations, including sloped pathways to ensure accessibility. The clear lens of the Lumistik luminaires provides a wide distribution of light along the path and surrounding area, enabling students to safely navigate the elevation changes.

One of the key accomplishments of the project was designing to net-zero energy standards. The state of California has set goals to reach net-zero by 2030, but the UCI campus has already adopted this initiative for all new construction. Lumistik CL821 positively contributes to energy efficiency on campus. Its LED light source only consumes 48 watts but the luminaires deliver 88 lumens per watt.

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