Energy reduction and incentives help retail complex save big on lighting retrofit project

May 24, 2018

Anchored by notable retailers Loblaws, Home Depot and LCBO, College Square is a retail complex spanning 389,244 sq. ft. The shopping destination has been serving a busy area near Algonquin College, in Ottawa, Ontario since 2003.

When property managers Leikin Management Inc. moved forward on an exterior lighting upgrade, they had four very clearly defined objectives.

“Saving energy was the primary concern,” explained Barbara Farber, for Leikin Management. “We also wanted to reduce maintenance costs, improve the aesthetic quality of the complex, and make the area even safer after dark.”

The property management firm teamed up with Concept Illumination to plan and execute the renovation, which was subsequently completed over two phases. First, wall packs along the rear of each block of buildings were replaced with the latest LED products.

With several of the then existing wall pack lights burned out and daylight hours shortening in the middle of the Ottawa winter, Concept Illumination understood the urgency of replacing the lighting as quickly as possible. Despite battling freezing rain and snow, the install of the wall packs was done within a day, minimizing disruption to tenants and ensuring that the complex remained a safe place to visit.

A couple of months later the pole lighting illuminating the parking lot was also switched to LED, providing a crisp light on the parking lot and storefront facades.

Forty-two metal halide pole mount fixtures, thirty-two metal halide floods and forty-one wall packs of various light sources were replaced with energy efficient LED luminaires around the building.

All of Leikin’s objectives were achieved with the lighting change.

Energy savings, the property manager’s main concern, are expected to be significant. The total energy savings are estimated to be 160,000 kWh annually. The project also qualified for incentives through Hydro Ottawa’s saveONenergy retrofit program. With Concept Illumination’s help, Leikin Management was able to apply for the program and succeeded in recovering around 20% of the overall project cost - an outcome with which Farber says Leikin is “very pleased”.

Tenant and customer safety has been elevated with the installation of the new, brighter and more uniform LED lighting, with visibility significantly increased for drivers and pedestrians alike.

The property managers will also benefit from reduced maintenance. The long life, durable LED products will not need replacing for tens of thousands of hours, reducing the resources required to address lighting failure.

Aesthetically, the whole complex has benefited from being “brightened up.” The storefront facades are now bathed in an even, attractive light, making signage more visible and generally making stores feel more welcoming. The contrast between the illumination of the buildings and parking lots and the surrounding areas can be seen clearly in photographs taken after the renovation.

“We were impressed with the knowledge and service provided by Concept Illumination,” said Farber. “They were very helpful in assisting us to secure incentives through the saveONenergy program.”