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Addressable Dimming Controls Help Buildings Achieve Leed Points

DANVERS, Mass. – With today’s broad awareness that green buildings offer lower operating costs, increased value and improved ROI, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification has become the framework of choice for achieving sustainability at commercial properties. Lighting, which accounts for 40 percent of energy use in office buildings, often dominates the opportunity for energy savings among all electrical systems and can potentially contribute up to 19 credits towards LEED certification, according to Encelium.

“Implementation of a proper control system for lighting is pivotal for a building to earn LEED certification, as energy performance is the largest driver of the points needed to qualify,” said Terry Mocherniak, former chief operating officer of Encelium, a manufacturer specializing in advanced lighting control and energy management systems for commercial and industrial buildings. “It is also important to note that more accurate monitoring and control of energy-intensive systems like HVAC and lighting help keep energy costs in check.”

Studies by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s lighting team and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show that advanced lighting controls, in conjunction with various energy management strategies, can typically yield a combined lighting energy savings of 40 to 80 percent in office buildings. The use of addressable dimming lighting controls, in particular, can help a building achieve points toward LEED certification.

Addressable dimming allows for individual controlling of each fixture or peripheral device (such as occupancy sensors, photo sensors and wall controllers) in a facility. “All devices are networked and centrally controlled through a central software interface,” Mocherniak explained. “This allows for addressable dimming or switching of light fixtures independent of electrical circuiting for the purpose of energy management.”

Commissioning and administration of the entire system can be performed via a front-end software interface. Once addressable dimming controls are implemented on a facility-wide basis, a number of advanced lighting energy management strategies – such as Daylight Harvesting, Load Shedding, Smart Time Scheduling, Task Tuning, Occupancy Sensing and Personal Control – can help to optimize energy performance and improve lighting quality.


Buildings can earn up to 19 credits (toward the minimum 40 credits needed to qualify for LEED certification) through efforts to “Optimize Energy Performance,” a subcategory of the LEED’s “Energy & Atmosphere” category. “These credits are based on entire building energy use, not just lighting,” Mocherniak explained. “That said, reductions in lighting energy can have profound impacts on building energy usage and may also result in associated reduction of HVAC loads.”

The Energy Control System™ (ECS) from OSRAM SYLVANIA Encelium, which currently is installed in more than 40 million square feet of commercial space, uses the collaborative power of addressable networking technology in conjunction with advanced control hardware and software. ECS can help clients achieve LEED energy credits – for both new construction and retrofits – in multiple ways.

This includes simultaneous use of the six aforementioned energy management strategies. ECS also integrates lighting controls with building automation systems to optimize HVAC energy performance. Also, the use of its Polaris 3D™ software can provide advanced energy modeling and analysis to optimize the lighting control system’s energy performance.

When it comes to the LEED “Innovation in Design” category, ECS also can contribute to earning points in a number of pilot subcategories. These include light pollution reduction, demand response, quality interior lighting, advanced energy metering, and integrated process. Additional credits can be achieved in “Sustainable Sites” and “Indoor Environmental Quality.”

“The LEED rating system is based on accepted energy and environmental principles and strikes a balance between known, established practices and emerging concepts,” Mocherniak noted. “Lighting is the single largest energy consumer in commercial buildings, and effective control of lighting energy consumption is critical in gaining LEED certification. Clearly, addressable dimming controls can be an indispensable tool in achieving this goal.”


Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 12/22/2011

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