The Eco Engineering Approach
Eco has had a long history of successfully completing energy efficient lighting projects in the education marketplace, especially the K-12 and University sectors. We have also been successful in partnering with larger Energy Service Companies (ESCO’s) as the lighting specialist on multi-million dollar “campus wide” lighting / lighting control projects involving all aspects of energy usage. Our experience offers some critical insights and key learnings about energy efficient lighting projects.
These experiences are most notable in two distinct sectors of the education marketplace – K-12 school/school districts and the University marketplace. The needs in each of these environments can be very different but the safety concerns of the administrators often rise to the forefront when discussing lighting. Outdoor lighting can be an overlooked area that provides additional energy savings and lower maintenance costs while making a positive impact on the students and faculty that directly translates to safety improvements. Advanced lighting controls armed with sensors can even provide tracking of occupants tagged with RFID badges, an extremely vital tool in the event of an emergency. Additional controls can be deployed which take advantage of “daylighting” principles and the use of natural light to not only reduce energy consumption but provide a superior lighting environment that researches have proven to aid in the student’s ability to learn and retain.
Additional insights from our experience in both the K-12 and University sectors:
24 / 7 Operations
Implementing energy efficient lighting solutions in many University, Government and School environments requires coordinating crews and installation in a bustling, tightly scheduled operation. Some of these projects must be implemented within a 24×7 operating cycle. Eco has earned the reputation of providing outstanding customer service and non-disruptive capabilities amongst our customers and we continue to provide maximum flexibility in scheduling and implementation in order to address the unique needs of a true 24×7 operation.
Whether you are talking about facilities that house students, children, or buildings that serve the public, you must take the unique and delicate aspects of the environment and its constituents into consideration while designing and implementing a lighting upgrade. Sensitive and expensive equipment may also be everywhere. Planning our work and tightly controlling how we work our plan helps us earn accolades in terms of safety, courtesy, public care, cleanliness, professionalism and proper disposal of all materials removed from the job site.
Financing Total Energy Conservation
The educational sector is constantly being asked to evaluate the potential savings associated with total energy conservation projects. The large financial commitment required for a complete and total energy efficient solution typically receives substantial scrutiny from political, community and board level audiences. Often times the complete project appears overwhelming from a financial perspective and potential savings can go unrealized. An energy efficient lighting solution as the first component of a larger conservation project can actually begin to free up cash flow and reduce monthly expenses immediately. As such, lighting projects actually help reduce the burden or offset the financial stress a total campus wide initiative involving all energy systems might create. Eco Engineering can help you demonstrate the savings and project payback timelines to interested parties in order to help move the larger project forward. We’ve done it before.
Retrofitting Design and Reputation
When working in the educational marketplace it is very likely that the existing lighting systems are an unstandardized mix of both older and newer technologies. Although technology improvements may yield some savings over the current (and older) lighting configuration, a complete re-design of the lighting placement and resulting coverage often yields the incremental savings necessary to make or break the project. When faced with the challenge of increasing the energy savings in an already high quality lighting environment, the system design is the mission critical step in the retrofitting project plan. Eco Engineering understands that the foundation of an energy efficient lighting solution begins with engineering and sound design, in addition to adopting state of the art lighting systems and technologies. Our reputation in this arena is outstanding.