The Eco Engineering Approach
Eco Engineering has successfully completed hundreds of projects across freight terminals, shipping locations, and distribution centers that entail millions of square feet of total space.
The most important decision you will make is the fixture design for your space. This choice will determine whether your light is spread evenly over the vertical and horizontal areas being measured, or whether you want “hot spots.” Considerations for the fixture selection will depend on factors such as mounting, required width of the light distribution, lens or cage covering, fixture appearance and similar.
In warehouse areas without 24×7 activity, motion sensors conserve significant energy by shutting lights down when there is no activity. We often test our systems using light loggers on lamps and fixtures. One sensor study found average energy savings of 78% from adding motion sensors in distribution centers that the local managers deemed relatively busy! Safety issues must be elevated to paramount importance when considering motion sensors. Some areas in a facility, such as maintenance bays, are unlikely candidates to install motion sensors since they may need to stay lit even when no one is using them.
Sensors can automatically control the output of a lighting technology source based on the availability of natural daylight, thus saving more energy. There is no need to operate a fixture by a window or dock on a sunny day. When designing replacement lighting systems, the engineers at Eco Engineering explore what areas within the facility can harvest available natural light.
Important factors when dealing with freight and distribution facility types include temperature and the effects that extreme cold or hot temperatures may have on the light output. Additionally, the mounting heights of fixtures impact the light distribution. In both cases, it is imperative that the design team selects the correct “lighting system” for the specific facility needs.
Total Building Savings
While the warehouse and loading docks of these facilities are often fairly uniform, the buildings often contain office and employee space that is unique not to mention a range of exterior lighting. If these add-on spaces are audited and evaluated for a lighting upgrade project, the extra square footage may produce added energy savings. The solution designed for these areas is likely to be very different from the warehouse spaces. We look carefully at maintenance practices to ensure our design will be able to be easily maintained with common technologies amidst the range of applications. Eco Engineering has experience with many projects fitting this situation and has seen the added impact of the non-warehouse square footage create the difference between an acceptable project payback and a borderline financial business case. Additionally, energy rebates and tax credits may allow for different methods of computing savings based on partial versus total building solutions.