Environment Agency goes environmental with SunPipes

One of the first of many buildings in the southern region of the Environment Agency that are to be fitted with Monodraught SunPipes to bring in daylight is this office in Tonbridge — with over 40 SunPipes.
Monodraught has been awarded an annual contract to supply and install its SunPipe natural-lighting systems and controls in buildings throughout the Environment Agency’s southern region, which includes Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The contract was won in open tender based on price, performance and value for money. It will involve fitting SunPipes and Monodraught related products to a variety of buildings ranging from offices to operational depots. Construction styles vary from traditional single-storey brick buildings with pitched concrete roofs to modern steel-roofed industrial units. Nick Berry, environment management advisor for the agency’s southern region, comments, ‘We are one of eight regions throughout England and Wales which, in line with Government policy, have targets to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2012. Monodraught was awarded the contract as part of our commitment as champions of the environment to reduce energy use and our carbon footprint. Where practical, Environment offices in the region will be fitted with SunPipes.’ The first of four installations planned for 2008 has been completed. It is an office in Tonbridge that accommodates about 50 people. It is brick built with a concrete tiled pitched roof. It has a number of small offices off a corridor with no daylight. Sunlight coming in through the office windows often caused serious reflections on computer screens, so window blinds had to be closed. The building is now lit with over 40 SunPipes. Nick Berry says, ‘After Monodraught fitted a single 450 mm-diameter SunPipe in each office, staff reported that rooms were flooded with natural light and computer screen reflections were eliminated. Similarly, SunPipes introduced huge amounts of daylight to transform the gloomy corridor. Monodraught also provided daylight-linking controls using light and movement sensors to ensure electric lighting is automatically switched off when the SunPipes achieve a preset lux level. Monodraught’s managing director Professor Terry Payne, comments, ‘Where SunPipes are used to replace electric lighting during daylight hours, at least 75% of electricity costs used for lighting can be saved during daytime. We estimate that cost savings can result in a 5 to 6-year payback period.’
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