Lutron lighting controls contribute to GSA-approved green building certification

June 6, 2014

Federal agencies can earn points toward certification with lighting controls

(Coopersburg, PA) -- On October 25, 2013, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued its recommendation regarding the federal government's use of third-party green building certification systems. Federal agencies working to meet sustainability goals can now use either the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009 or the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) Green Globes® 2010 green building certification system. Prior to the announcement, LEED had been the only green building certification system recommended by the GSA.

In light of the strong focus on sustainability and energy mandates, this announcement is significant as it gives government agencies greater flexibility and more options for meeting green building standards. Lutron Electronics, a leading manufacturer of energy-saving lighting and shade controls continues to take a leadership role in developing lighting control strategies that can significantly contribute to helping buildings achieve either certification. Some examples of lighting control strategies that help to contribute points to green building certifications include: - Digital dimming -- Spaces are often over-lit. Digital fluorescent dimming ballasts can be used to reduce maximum light levels in a space by 30 percent or more (a strategy often referred to as tuning, or high-end trim). Because the human eye readily adapts to slight variations in ambient light, those changes are virtually undetectable to occupants, and yet they typically save 10-30 percent lighting electricity.1 - Occupancy/vacancy sensing – Occupancy/vacancy sensors work to ensure that lights are not left on when a space is vacant, generally saving 20-60 percent.2 - Daylight harvesting – In perimeter spaces, daylight sensors can be used to automatically adjust light levels based on the amount of daylight in the space. Daylight harvesting can be used to automatically contribute 25-60 percent lighting energy savings.3 Lighting control is often overlooked in strategic plans despite the fact that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting is, by far, the largest end-use of electricity in commercial buildings. It consumes 38 percent of a building's total electricity use -- approximately the same as space heating, cooling, ventilation, office equipment, and computers combined.4 "Lighting controls can eliminate up to 60 percent or more of the wasted lighting energy in buildings, while contributing to points in both the LEED and Green Globes certification programs, and helping to meet ASHRAE 90.1 standards which are essential in every project," said Andrew Wakefield, Lutron Director of Government and OEM Solutions. "Federal agencies have a great opportunity to make their buildings sustainable models for others to follow as they continue to evaluate the performance of hospitals, schools, office buildings and more for environmental impact." About Lutron Electronics Founded in 1961, Lutron Electronics is headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the Lehigh Valley. From dimmers for the home to lighting management systems for entire buildings, the company offers more than 17,000 energy-saving products, sold in more than 100 countries around the world. In the US alone, Lutron products save an estimated 10 billion kWh of electricity, or approximately $1 billion in utility costs per year. The company's early inventions -- including the first solid-state dimmer invented by Lutron's founder, Joel Spira -- are now at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.1Williams A, et al. 2012. Lighting Controls in Commercial Buildings. Leukos. 8(3) pg 161-180.2VonNieda B, Maniccia D, & Tweed A. 2000. An analysis of the energy and cost savings potential of occupancy sensors for commercial lighting systems. Proceedings of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Paper #433Reinhart CF. 2002. Effects of interior design on the daylight availability in open plan offices. Study of the American Commission for an Energy Efficient Environment (ACE) Conference Proceedings. To achieve maximum lighting savings, automated shades are utilized.4Energy Information Administration. 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey. Building Characteristics Tables, released December 2006. Online. Retrieved from


Jenna Tucker, Public Relations -- Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.


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