Showing the way towards low-carbon lighting

The clever integration of daylight and artificial light in the second phase of the Arup Campus at Solihull saw this project win the low-carbon category of the Lighting Design Awards.
Modern lighting equipment and lighting practice is far from wasteful in its use of energy — but still achieves aesthetically pleasing lighting installations, as the new low-carbon category of the Lighting Design Awards demonstrated.While it is increasingly accepted as good practice that lighting in buildings should be energy efficient, prompted by Part L of the Building Regulations, that is far from being the only criterion for a good lighting installation. Aesthetics and energy efficiency in lighting must go hand in hand, or buildings would be uninspiring places in which to work, live and spend leisure time. The task of finding the country’s best-lit buildings falls each year to the judges of the Lighting Design Awards, who spend three months visiting churches, hospitals, schools, nightclubs, shops, homes and other buildings to find examples of outstanding illumination. One of the judges, Ray Molony, editor of Lighting magazine, says, ‘The Lighting Design Awards are widely recognised as the ultimate stamp of excellence, Therefore these on-site visits are crucial to ensure that the high standards are maintained.’ Other judges included Martin Valentine, lighting group director at FaberMaunsell, Theo Paradise, head of Lighting design at Max Fordham Consulting Engineers and Peter Lummis, chief lighting engineer with Huntingdonshire District Council. A new category for this year’s awards reflected the importance of the carbon footprint of buildings and recognises installation that balance exceptional creativity with minimal environmental impact. This low-carbon category was won by the second phase of the Arup Campus at Solihull, which is an extension of the original award-winning sustainable office development. It comprises a new 2-storey pavilion and has deep-plan office floors with cellular office and meeting spaces around the perimeter; there are also new internal and external circulation spaces.

The energy efficiency that was a crucial part of the brief for Beachside House at Studland in Dorset extended to the lighting system.

The key lighting challenges were to integrate advances in technology since the completion of the first building, without compromising continuity, and deliver further improvements to lighting efficiency and quality. Great effort was made to maximise the use and control of daylight, bringing it deep into the building through the series of chimney pods, which also act as exhausts for the natural ventilation system. It was this clever integration of daylight and natural ventilation, with daylight brought deep into the building, that especially impressed the judges. Demonstrating the application of energy-efficient lighting in a refurbishment project was the shortlisted Beachside House at Studland in Dorset. Energy efficiency was a crucial part of the brief for the refurbishment of this 1970s house. Many of the fittings use compact fluorescent lamps, including the main lighting for the bedrooms. Cold cathode is used extensively as a light source in fittings specially designed by John Bullock and commissioned artistic pieces by local glass artist Aline Johnson featuring local natural motifs. Tungsten halogen light sources are used only when specifically required, and the whole house is on an easily operable control system. The provision of artificial lighting in a zero-carbon home is a challenge that will increasingly be faced and which was fully addressed in the shortlisted Kingspan LightHouse in the Innovation park at the Building Research Establishment near Watford. LightHouse is a net zero-carbon home, and the connected load for its lighting is 63% lower than an equivalent home built to the latest Building Regulations. Fozz fittings by Megaman have been used throughout this house. Downlights include the directional Vog, which uses 11 W GU10 lamps and the surface-mounted Arko, which takes GX53 lamps.

Kingspan LightHouse on the Innovation Park at the Building Research Establishment is a zero-carbon home and has a connected lighting load 65% lower than an equivalent home built to the latest Building Regulations.

Punchier lighting for the kitchen of LightHouse is provided by the recently introduced AR111 narrow-beam reflector lamp. Not only is lighting one of the most visible users of energy, both inside and outside buildings, but it is also a user of energy that cannot be designed out entirely. While energy management is one of the judging criteria for all entrants in the Lighting Design Awards, for the low-carbon category, the judges were looking for schemes that exhibit exceptional energy efficiency without sacrificing visual interest in the lit environment.
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