Retrofit : Volume 3 Issue 1 2014
RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 3 NUMBER 1 2014 • 13 Lighting | sleepiness and cognitive functioning. They found that subjects were significantly more alert after exposure to daylight than artificial light. Interestingly, even short-term lighting conditions had an impact on cognitive task performance in the evening. This latest study reinforces a raft of research that finds that comfortable, bright facilities promote alertness and motivation. The 'Office Lighting KnowHow' report, published in 2008, found that if poorly designed lighting distracts the average worker for only one per cent of the time, this is equivalent to a US$5 per square foot annual loss. Applying simple green building practices, such as providing access to natural light, can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing, patient outcomes, learning environments and productivity. The Green Star environmental rating tools contain credits that encourage and recognise designs that provide good levels of daylight for building users. For example, the retrofit of the Harry Seidler-designed MLC Centre in Sydney, now home to the GPT Group, involved a reconfiguration of each floor plate. The traditional design of light-filled offices around the perimeter and dark, cavernous workspaces in the interior of the office has been replaced with a more equitable design. Today, the airy, open-plan workplace, with a 6 Star Green Star -- Office Interiors v1.1 rating, is enjoyed by all. Efficiencies were gained with the installation of suspended T5 lights, LED downlights and desk lamps. Energy-efficient fittings, combined with lower overall artificial light provision and the installation of motion sensors, have cut the amount of energy used for lighting within the GPT tenancy by 70 per cent, with overall energy bills halved. (See www.gbca.org.au for more case studies.) Access to daylight is only part of the productivity equation. Good artificial light and task lighting are also important. Green Star awards points to building projects that incorporate lighting that is not over-designed, and also for projects that include greater flexibility for light switching. At the Green Building Council of Australia's headquarters in Sydney, known as The GreenHouse, a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) system controls the lights above each workstation. Task-based lighting is controlled by each user via a program on each user's computer. All lighting zones are less than 100 square metres, and are controlled within enclosed spaces by sensors and a touch screen near reception. This initiative contributed to The GreenHouse's 5 Star Green Star -- Office Interiors v1.1 rating. According to Dave Anderson, Senior Lighting Designer at Wood & Grieve Engineers, one of the first considerations of any owner looking to improve their building's sustainability is to assess whether lights are actually required in all areas. 'Even the most efficient light will always consume more power than one that is turned off,' Dave says.
Volume 3 Issue 2 2014
Volume 2 Issue 3 2013-2014