With MBIE launching the first of their public consultations under the new Building for Climate Change programme, we should all be making product decisions based on reducing carbon now.
One simple solution is to reduce a building’s reliance on electricity for lighting. Solatube Tubular Daylight Devices have been used worldwide to successfully reduce energy consumption across a range of building types.
Warehousing and manufacturing
When Aqua Lung wanted to decrease energy consumption by reducing the need for electric light in their 5,500m² high bay manufacturing and warehouse facilities, based in Vista, CA, they looked at products to introduce natural daylight. Their solution was to retrofit 194 x SolaMaster 330DS. The results were phenomenal. Without having to interrupt the work going on in the facility, the employees were excited to see daylight displace the need for the electric lights. As soon as photocontrols were installed and a dedicated phone line was set up with the local energy provider to monitor electric consumption throughout the building, Aqua Lung noticed an immediate site-wide electricity consumption reduction of 33%.
“We selected Solatube because the product quality and pricing was right," says Paul Claybagh, Facilities Manager, Aqua Lung. "It is certainly an effective product for lighting manufacturing facilities, and it will pay for itself over a short time. Plus, the employees respond positively to the natural light.”
Byerly’s is an upscale supermarket chain with locations in the Minnesota region. When the company decided to open a new store, CEO Tres Lund directed the architecture team to incorporate sustainability into the design, including daylighting. The installation of 37 x SkyVault Series M74 not only provided ongoing natural light, but also helped reduce energy consumption during construction — another advantage the construction team hadn’t expected.
“We were able to almost eliminate the need for ‘temporary construction lighting’ during the construction phases of the project," says Mike Edgett, Senior Project Manager, Lund Food Holdings, Inc. "The addition of the Solatube systems provided ample lighting levels for our construction crews to build out the interior finishes, as well as allow our equipment installation crews to fit out the store before the permanent lighting was installed. The permanent lighting ended up being a very late delivery item and we were still able to complete the project on time without the need for temporary lighting.”
The City of Akron, USA, CSO Retention Tank No. 2 is an underground storage tank serving a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system within an industrialised area. The project included rehabilitating a large concrete storage tank (55m wide, 55m long and 9m deep), buried approximately 2.4m below ground with new maintenance-friendly applications, including lighting. Past efforts to illuminate the underground storage tank failed within months of their initial installation.
“During our design process, it is standard practice for the City of Akron to look for innovative products and ideas for our projects that provide a long-term solution, with minimal maintenance. When designing a lighting system for our underground tank, typical lighting systems installed in sewage tanks corrode and quickly fail,” said Michael J. Teodecki, Design Division Manager, City of Akron.
They needed a system that would live for the next 30 to 50 years or longer inside what was essentially a sewer. Electrical lighting systems in this environment weren’t feasible. A natural lighting system was thought to be a better approach.
The solution was 24 x SolaMaster 330DS. Solatube daylighting devices provided the means to light the tank naturally so that no additional lighting sources were needed. Teodecki added, “In this case, we found Solatube products and engineered a new installation method that has very little contact with sewer gases and uses no energy to operate in this underground tank. Upon completion, we are very impressed with the light levels achieved during the daytime," says Tony Burgoyne, Project Manager, GPD Group. “The results are simply remarkable. Equally important, the city now has a natural lighting system that not only meets its needs but reduces the industrialised footprint on the environment and is free of any long-term power consumption costs.”
Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices also carry the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label by The Solar Impulse Foundation. Any product or solution bearing this label is worth specifying on any project.