Article
In new construction, sustainable building practices are becoming the 
norm. But even in existing buildings, simple strategies can be 
implemented quickly and easily to address inefficiencies, reduce energy 
use, improve comfort, and enhance productivity in the space.<br>

Simple Strategies to Reduce Energy

Andy Wakefield, M.SAME
In new construction, sustainable building practices are becoming the norm. But even in existing buildings, simple strategies can be implemented quickly and easily to address inefficiencies, reduce energy use, improve comfort, and enhance productivity in the space. Three of the most common contributors to lighting electricity waste in buildings include:
  1. spaces that are over-lit
  2. lights that are left on at full 100 percent of the time
  3. spaces that do not make adequate use of free daylight
For instance, occupancy/vacancy sensing, daylight sensing, and automated dimming control are three basic lighting control strategies that can easily be incorporated into lighting retrofits to address each of these factors. Essentially, when a facility is replacing any significant number of fixtures, it makes economic and practical sense to include lighting control at that time. By choosing a lighting control system that incorporates digital dimming ballasts and wireless controls, you can minimize labor and materials costs, while enabling the building to realize energy savings of up to 60 percent, and achieve a more attractive return-on-investment.

An Energy Makeover
When the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in Seattle opened in 1974 it was considered a marvel of innovation, earning an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. In 2009, the U.S. General Services Administration, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, initiated a 21st Century Energy Makeover to improve occupancy comfort and increase its energy efficiency and save taxpayer dollars. In 2013 alone, lighting controls installed as part of the renovation helped to save $289,000 in lighting electricity costs.

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Photo courtesy of Lutron
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