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Recapping session highlights

Better Buildings LogoThe Integrated Lighting Campaign (ILC) presented at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Summit on Wednesday, May 19, in a session titled “Driving Adoption of High-Impact Envelope and Integrated Lighting.” [DOWNLOAD THE SLIDES] The session was one of two back-to-back informational sessions presented alongside representatives from the Building Envelope Campaign. The session was attended by over 150 Better Building Summit participants. 

During the second part of the session, Felipe Leon, ILC Lead, introduced the ILC, a concerted effort by DOE and partners to help building managers take advantage of energy savings and other benefits of advanced lighting controls and the integration of lighting systems with other building systems. This year, the campaign attracted a diverse group of project submissions, from large retailers to schools, manufacturers, hospitals, banks, state and local governments, office buildings, and more. Notable projects will be recognized at the 2021 Illuminating Engineering Society Annual Conference in August and may be featured in future case studies.

After giving an update on the ILC, Leon introduced featured speakers Scott Hackel, Director of Research and Innovation at Slipstream, and Jay Amundson, Energy Engineer at the University of Minnesota. Both speakers—representing partners of the ILC—shared their experience, best practices, and lessons learned from integrating their lighting systems with other building systems to operate their buildings smarter.

Slipstream is an energy efficiency nonprofit that works closely with a variety of partners and clients as an integration coordinator. Hackel highlighted several notable integrated lighting pilot projects from validation work funded in part by DOE and performed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, along with several ways to calculate savings and return on investment. Leveraging lighting’s occupancy and photosensors to inform other building systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and plug load controls, allowed many of Slipstream’s clients to achieve deeper whole-building savings.

During his talk, Amundson talked about the lighting, HVAC, and plug load integration project at Jones Hall at the University of Minnesota. Although the pandemic has challenged the measurement of savings, the investment in integrated lighting has already resulted in nearly $9,000 in estimated annual energy cost savings. Amundson said one of the main reasons the project was successful was because internal stakeholders and occupants were involved early on. Not only were big wins and savings communicated with all internal stakeholders, but occupants learned how lighting controls could provide comfort and other benefits. But the project didn’t come without its share of challenges. For example, wall controls required a specific wire contrary to how the building was originally wired, and the integration necessitated that internal engineers team up with vendors and the IT department. Also, mapping control points between lighting and HVAC involved considerable controls engineering. Amundson advises that training occupants on proper use of lighting controls is essential.

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