Iconic building achieves flexibility and aggressive energy savings
The Problem and Opportunity
Seattle’s Pacific Tower was an iconic building with a big facility maintenance challenge: its older systems were inefficient and falling short in meeting occupants’ expectations. After the Washington Department of Commerce signed a 30-year lease to take over Pacific Tower, the team wanted to implement bold system upgrades and energy conservation measures to bring the building into the modern era and provide a better lighting experience for occupants.
The team hired McKinstry to research and install the best lighting option, with a special interest in integrating the building’s HVAC system with occupancy sensing. McKinstry and the project team decided the Enlighted System featuring Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLCs) was the ideal choice to enable this integration, reduce energy use and provide the flexibility to adjust to individual tenants’ lighting needs.
“The Enlighted System is incredibly versatile,” says Joe Moroni, McKinstry Building Systems Optimization Consultant and project engineer for Pacific Tower’s LLLC installation. “It is adjustable down to the individual fixture and gives feedback to the operators in real time, based on the energy use and temperature of the space and occupancy of the space. That sort of granular data is really helpful in achieving the types of aggressive energy savings that we’re going after.”
Why Luminaire Level Lighting Controls?
According to Moroni, an LLLC system is an ideal solution for buildings like Pacific Tower with a variety of tenant types with different occupancy uses. From traditional office spaces to Seattle Central College’s dental and nursing school laboratories, each tenant is able to get the right lighting for their individual needs. “The system can be recommissioned without actually changing out any of the hardware or infrastructure,” commented Moroni.
In addition, tenants reap other benefits due to energy savings. “This is a state-ofthe-art lighting system,” says Stan Price, then-Executive Director for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, a building tenant since 2014. “We are probably getting the lowest-cost lighting services as we could expect from any office building. That, combined with a number of energy efficiency features, make Pacific Tower a great place for us to be a tenant.”
Recommendations when considering an LLLC system:
- Work with your utility. In this case, utilities can serve as a key partner to help vet the technology and provide incentives that help offset project costs.
- Take into account the cumulative cost effectiveness created by the technology and equipment you are considering. Installing LED fixtures with integrated sensors (Luminaire Level Lighting Controls) is a high return on investment measure that can significantly cut down the time it will take to achieve payback.