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Cree Announces Volume Availability of 2×2 LED General Lighting Fixture

Cree, Inc. has announced the volume availability of the LR24, a 24-inch square recessed LED general lighting fixture. The LR24 is intended for suspended-ceiling applications traditionally addressed by linear fluorescents,…

Cree, Inc. has announced the volume availability of the LR24, a 24-inch square recessed LED general lighting fixture. The LR24 is intended for suspended-ceiling applications traditionally addressed by linear fluorescents, also known as lay-ins or troffers.

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The LR24 is the newest addition to the Cree family of recessed LED fixtures and delivers uniform, high light levels required for offices, schools,hospitals and retail environments while consuming less energy than most linear fluorescent systems.

The LR24 features a CRI rating of 92 and is dimmable from 100-5% using standard protocols.

“With the addition of the LR24, we can light an entire office using Cree LED fixtures,” said Neal Hunter, Cree president of LED lighting.

He added: “The volume availability of the LR24 builds on Cree’s success to-date, as we’ve already installed more than 1,000 early-production LR24s in various national-account projects.”

With a 24-inch square form, the LR24 offers architects and designers a modern lighting aesthetic. The lens is recessed above the ceiling for glare reduction and a distinctive look.

“We have installed LR24s on one floor at the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. as part of our ongoing energy-efficiency program,” said Chris Jennings, U.S. Federal Reserve, plant manager. “The graphic designers in the department love the uniformity and the color rendering of the new lights. We are impressed with the amount of light delivered by the LR24, and we look forward to evaluating additional Cree LED lighting products in other applications within the Federal Reserve.”

According to Cree, the LR24 can deliver recommended light levels at only 0.5-0.75W/sq.ft.

Click here for more information about the LR24.

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USGBC Reaffirms Commitment to Developing Green Building Code

The U.S. Green Building Council recently reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Standard 189.1P, which will be America’s first National Standard developed to be used as a green building…

The U.S. Green Building Council recently reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Standard 189.1P, which will be America’s first National Standard developed to be used as a green building code when completed.

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Created specifically for adoption by states, localities, and other building code jurisdictions that are ready to require a minimum level of green building performance for all commercial buildings, Standard 189.1P is being developed as an ANSI standard under ASHRAE’s leadership, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and IESNA.

Doubts about the future of Standard 189.1P were raised in late October by ASHRAE’s decision to reconstitute the volunteer committee responsible for the development of the green building code. While rebuilding the committee will mean delays, USGBC remains confident in the quality of the final result.

It’s an interesting (and ambitious) move to merge 90.1 and LEED to create a green building standard, which will likely see first use for public construction in the greener states and for commercial buildings in municipalities committed to green construction. Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example, require most commercial buildings to reach LEED Silver, and in 2008, the State of California authored and adopted a statewide green building code. In terms of lighting, the latest draft of Standard 189.1 that I saw is aggressive and looked like a preview of what is likely to appear in ASHRAE 90.1-2010.

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Annual Rate of Construction Valued at $1.08 Trillion in November

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce recently announced that construction spending during November 2008 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,078.4 billion, 0.6% (±1.6%)…

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce recently announced that construction spending during November 2008 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,078.4 billion, 0.6% (±1.6%) below the revised October estimate of $1,085.3 billion. The November figure is 3.3% (±2.2%) below the November 2007 estimate of $1,115.3 billion.

During the first 11 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $998.4 billion, 5.3% (±1.3%) below the $1,054.3 billion for the same period in 2007.

First, let’s look at private construction:

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $756.4 billion, 1.5% (±1.1%) below the revised October estimate of $767.7 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $328.3 billion in November, 4.2% (±1.3%) below the revised October estimate of $342.6 billion.

Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $428.2 billion in November, 0.7% (±1.1%) above the revised October estimate of $425.1 billion.

And now for public construction:

In November, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $322.0 billion, 1.4% (±2.6%) above the revised October estimate of $317.6 billion. A bright spot in the construction industry in 2008, educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $88.7 billion, 1.3% (±2.7%) above the revised October estimate of $87.6 billion.

The November numbers surprised some economists who thought nonresidential construction would have taken a significant hit by that point. But the value of put in place construction increased in November over October, and what’s more, it increased 16% over the first 11 months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. As the below graph shows, as of November, data representing the nonresidential construction market has yet to peak for either the private or public components. This is likely because there were so many projects underway at the beginning of 2008.

However, there are signs of underlying weakness, such as a decline in retail construction that is not surprising considering the weakness in retail sales over the past few months, and nonresidential construction is being forecasted down in 2009 because of weakness in the overall economy (deep recession, actually). I’ll have more on 2009 soon. But in the meantime, expect 2008 to close at more than $1 trillion in total construction spending.

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Study Captures Daylighting’s HVAC and Lighting Energy Savings Impacts

Daylighting is recognized as best practice in energy codes and industry standards due to its documented positive effects on worker satisfaction and performance and potential to generate substantial energy savings….

Daylighting is recognized as best practice in energy codes and industry standards due to its documented positive effects on worker satisfaction and performance and potential to generate substantial energy savings. Daylighting and daylighting control are now encouraged or required by California’s Title 24 energy code, LEED-NC v.2.2, Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings. At the time of writing, ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and 189.1 standards are expected to include requirements for daylighting controls.

While the benefits of daylighting and daylighting control are clear, demonstrated savings vary widely based on many factors.

The New Buildings Institute states daylight harvesting systems can generate maximum potential savings of 35-60%. The Lighting Design Lab states lighting energy savings can reach 60-80% in offices, classrooms and gymnasiums. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, daylight-response switching coupled with skylights has demonstrated energy savings in warehouses of 30-70%.

And that’s not counting HVAC impacts.

One of the challenges in estimating typical savings is it’s difficult to compare high-performance daylighting and glazing strategies against standard designs because of the numerous differences between buildings. How do we know realized energy savings are due to the daylighting strategy and not some other factor such as building orientation?

To address this question, the Energy Center of Wisconsin conducted a controlled experiment at the Energy Resource Station near Des Moines, Iowa. Two sets of four identical rooms provided the comparison testbed, with each supplied by independent lighting and HVAC systems. One set of rooms, the Test Rooms, were configured with high-performance glazing and direct/indirect light fixtures with daylighting dimming control. The other set of rooms, the Control Rooms, were configured with standard clear-glass glazing and recessed fluorescent fixtures with no photosensors or dimming control.

This allowed a direct comparison of lighting and HVAC energy consumption during three rounds of study conducted during the summer, fall and winter of 2003—or a total of 70 days of operation—based on three conditions: 1) the base case described above, 2) reduced fenestration (simulated by the use of exterior panels to partially cover the windows), and 3) adding an interior light shelf to enable deeper penetration of daylight into the room interior.

The Energy Center of Wisconsin measured lighting and HVAC energy savings exceeding 20% based on operating costs of abut $1.13/sq.ft.

Lighting energy savings were determined to be about one-third, or 32%, based on $0.15/sq.ft. annual operating costs for the Test Rooms compared to $0.22/sq.ft. for the Control Rooms, resulting in $0.07/sq.ft. savings per year. Cooling energy savings were measured at 25%, fan energy savings at 3%, and savings in demand charges at 24%, while heating energy increased marginally.

The Test Room fixtures frequently operated at some level of reduced output, around 50% on sunny days. Note that the building geometry offered a ratio of 75% perimeter area (friendly to sidelighting) to 25% core areas, so about a quarter of each room’s floor space did not receive daylight or daylighting dimming. (The windows also did not include blinds.)

The biggest operating cost savings, however—about two-thirds—resulted from lower cooling loads. About one-half were related to reduced demand charges. Interestingly, the three Test Room configurations (base case, etc.) showed very little change in lighting or HVAC energy use, although the reduced fenestration option did produce somewhat higher lighting energy consumption because of less daylight.

The researchers concluded: “The data from this experiment demonstrate clear and substantial reductions in lighting and HVAC energy consumption due to the lighting and window specifications.”

The “Energy Savings from Daylighting” report can be downloaded free here.

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GE Debuts Incandescent-Shaped CFL

Miniaturized electronics developed by GE Consumer & Industrial engineers and scientists are the enabling technology of a new covered GE Energy Smart CFL featuring the GE Spiral® CFL inside the…

Miniaturized electronics developed by GE Consumer & Industrial engineers and scientists are the enabling technology of a new covered GE Energy Smart CFL featuring the GE Spiral® CFL inside the glass bulb. With this new CFL, protected by more than a dozen U.S. patent applications, the electronics fit in the neck of the bulb. The result is a profile that’s virtually identical to a standard incandescent light bulb.

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The new covered GE Energy Smart® CFL debuted nationwide at Target on December 28, 2008. It is being launched at selected Ace Hardware stores this month and more broadly around Earth Day (April 22, 2009) at retailers such as Sam’s Club and Walmart.

Click here to see videos showing the prototype.

GE anticipates its new 15W Energy Smart CFL will appeal to people that want the energy savings and long-life performance of a GE Energy Smart Spiral CFL with the appearance, size and fit of a traditional incandescent bulb. The equivalent of a 60W incandescent bulb, the new 8,000-hour CFL is guaranteed for five years based on four hours of daily use.

”These fit in more lamps and fixtures than standard GE Spiral CFLs with the plastic base,” says Kathy Sterio, general manager of consumer marketing, GE Consumer & Industrial. ”Some people just want an incandescent bulb profile so they can easily use it with clip-on lampshades or smaller table lamps. Other people may see it as more aesthetically pleasing than GE Spiral CFLs in lamps or fixtures where the bulb is visible. It provides a more finished or tailored look that appeals to a lot of consumers.”

Between April and June 2009, GE plans to introduce 9W and 20W versions as 40W and 75W equivalents, respectively. Each will offer the same rated life and guarantee. The 20W CFL will have a slightly taller profile that mirrors a standard incandescent 3-way bulb. A 100W equivalent, meanwhile, could be introduced as early as 2010.

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DOE Releases LED Streetlight Demonstration Project Report

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Phase III report from the solid-state lighting (SSL) demonstration of LED streetlights in Oakland, CA, according to an email I recently…

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Phase III report from the solid-state lighting (SSL) demonstration of LED streetlights in Oakland, CA, according to an email I recently received from Jim Brodrick at DOE.

The GATEWAY demonstration report, prepared by Pacific Gas & Electric and Energy Solutions, provides an overview of project results measured over a 12-month period, including comparison to Phase II luminaires, energy consumption and illuminance levels, and economic analysis.

In this project, four LED fixtures on one of the Phase II streets were replaced with next-generation LED luminaires (58 watts) from the same manufacturer, with the same chip and driver.

Key findings include:

• Energy savings increased by 25% relative to Phase II (LED luminaire wattage dropped from 78W to 58W) and by 52% relative to the baseline system (from 121W to 58W)
• Luminaire cost decreased by 34% between Phase II and Phase III (from $610 to $400)
• Lighting performance was maintained

Check out the photos below for a quick before/after. The difference in lighting quality is compelling.

Click here to download the complete report (PDF).

Click here to learn more about DOE’s GATEWAY demonstration program.

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Lighting and ASHRAE 90.1-2007

In March 2008, TED Magazine, the NAED publication for electrical distributors, published my column summarizing the lighting changes of the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 energy standard. ASHRAE 90.1-2007 did not make power…

In March 2008, TED Magazine, the NAED publication for electrical distributors, published my column summarizing the lighting changes of the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 energy standard.

ASHRAE 90.1-2007 did not make power allowances more stringent, but did include a number of significant refinements.

Click here to read the article.

According to the Building Codes Assistance Project, as of January 2009, no state has yet adopted ASHRAE 90.1-2007 in whole or as the basis for their commercial energy code.

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Why Recycle Fluorescent Lamps?

Facilitymanagement.com has published an article about recycling fluorescent lamps here. Learn more about recycling at NEMA’s website, www.lamprecycle.org.

CrushingFluorescentBulbs1Facilitymanagement.com has published an article about recycling fluorescent lamps here.

Learn more about recycling at NEMA’s website, www.lamprecycle.org.

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U.S. Architects Report Increased Adoption of Green Building

Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the results of the 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable…

Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the results of the 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement.

Green Business

This year’s index shows an increase in the implementation of sustainable design practices from architects and building owners. In addition, it shows that architects’ clients have experienced a doubling in the market demand for green buildings over the past year as well as positive shifts in architects’ attitudes toward their ability to impact climate change.

A major finding of the 2008 Green Index was that 42% of architects report clients asking for green building elements on a majority of their projects, with 47% of clients actually implementing green building elements on their projects, an increase of 15% from 2007. Client demand remains the leading driver for green building, with 66% of surveyed architects citing client demand as the primary influence on their practice of green building. Architects believe that the primary reasons their clients are asking for green buildings are reduced operating costs (60%), marketing (52%) and market demand (21%, up from 10% in the 2007 survey).

In response to the rising client demand for green buildings, architects are increasing their use of certain sustainable design practices. According to the survey, 34% of architects are now implementing green or vegetated roof coverings on more than half of their new projects, compared with 7% of architects in 2007. Also, 39% are using renewable, on-site energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydro, biomass or bio-gas on over half of new building designs, compared with just 6% last year. Architects indicated a significant increase in their use of design software over the past year to help predict and evaluate HVAC operating costs (39%, up from 31% in 2007), conduct energy modeling and baseline analysis (33%, up from 29% in 2007) and evaluate and explore alternative building materials (35%, up from 20 percent in 2007).

Positive Attitudes about Sustainable Practice

The 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index found that 89% of architects believe sustainable design should be practiced whenever possible, up three percentage points from 2007. Over seven in 10 architects (71% compared with 67% in 2007) agree that when thinking about architecture and the environment, they feel the profession is headed in the right direction. Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated that their organization is starting to implement standard operating procedures to inform clients about green building, up from 49 percent in 2007.

U.S. Architects Aligned with European and Asian Peers in Green Design

Over the past year, Autodesk also conducted similar green index surveys of architects in Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom, in partnership with organizations including the Japan Institute of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects. When asked why their clients were interested in green building, architects in all countries agreed that it was due to the desire for reduced operating costs. AIA members lead their global counterparts in the belief that architects should practice sustainable design whenever possible, with 89% of architects in the United States agreeing, followed by 88% in the United Kingdom, 73% in Italy and 59% in Japan. However, the reasons architects are building green vary across countries. In the United States green building designs are driven by client demand (66%), whereas in the United Kingdom and Japan the primary factors are regulatory requirements (75% and 64% respectively) and in Italy, rising energy costs (70%).

Our Take at LightNOW

Sustainable building practices have taken root and are slowly entering the mainstream of construction. Part of the reason is that greener, better-performing buildings often present only a modest premium on the total cost of construction, while adding to building value and posing lower life-cycle costs. Green is simply good business here.

What will be particularly interesting is the 2009 survey results, which we should see at the end of the year. Will green practices continue to grow in a down construction market in which nonresidential construction is expected to take a major loss of more than 10%? The answer will be highly revealing. If green construction practices hold their ground in a downward market, it will confirm that sustainable design is not a passing fad.

Click here to see the full Autodesk/AIA Green Index report, available at the Autodesk website.

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Free PIER Technical Briefs Available for Download

Interested in new lighting technologies? PIER has published three briefs about emerging technologies that are available for free download. Note: All files download as PDF files. Savings Persist with Monitoring-Based…

Interested in new lighting technologies? PIER has published three briefs about emerging technologies that are available for free download. Note: All files download as PDF files.

Savings Persist with Monitoring-Based Commissioning (TB-39) shows how monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx), a program approach that combines permanent building-energy-system monitoring with standard retrocommissioning practices, can provide substantial, persistent energy savings. A pilot program conducted at 25 California university campuses demonstrated that MBCx has the ability to:

* Reduce peak-period electricity use and total annual energy use;
* Trend and benchmark building-performance data continuously;
* Catch problems with control systems that are normally hard to detect; and
* Identify cost-effective retrofit opportunities.

MBCx can be used in commercial and institutional buildings with energy information or energy-management systems that are capable of trending building energy use.

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Daylight Harvesting Made Simple (TB-36): Daylight harvesting systems, which automatically adjust lights in response to the amount of daylight in a space, can provide significant energy and demand savings. However, these systems are usually expensive to install, commission, and maintain and may not perform as well as expected.

This brief explains how researchers at the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California at Davis developed a new approach called the Simplified Daylight Harvesting system that is easy to install and provides automatic and continuous calibration. The system uses photosensor readings to set lights to on, off, or intermediate levels and gives users the ability to adjust settings. The fixtures can be cost-effectively used in daylit spaces in commercial buildings to produce energy-cost savings and reductions in peak demand charges.

LED Hybrid Porch Light Cuts Energy, Maintenance Costs (TB-37) addresses the problem of wasted energy in keeping outdoor areas, such as porches and walkways, illuminated all night long. A new hybrid lighting design features a low-wattage, high-brightness LED integrated with an occupancy sensor that turns on a CFL or incandescent lamp only when motion is detected—enough to light a path or allow a person to unlock a front door. After a few minutes, the occupancy sensor turns off the CFL or incandescent, while the LED array continues to run. The hybrid porch fixture enhances security while saving energy. The fixture is well-suited for entry and walkway lighting at office buildings, hospitals, apartment complexes, residential housing, universities, hotels and motels.

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