Energy Consumption to Drop at VA Medical Center Thanks to Lighting Upgrades

July 20th, 2015
Parking garage lighting design

Project Fast Facts:  

  • 75% reduction in energy costs for three-level, 330,000-SF underground parking garage
  • Light power density dropped from 1.04 watts per square foot to .24 watts per square foot
  • Number of fixtures nearly cut in half with lighting solution that enhances visibility. Design takes existing fixture count from 910 to 556.

Convenience, availability and cost are usually top of mind when it comes to parking.  The Baltimore VA Medical Center has expanded this concept to include energy efficiency.  A recent project converted existing lighting in the Medical Center’s three-level parking garage to all LEDs.  The end result is a seventy-five percent reduction in energy costs and dramatically better visibility that creates a more welcoming experience for those working and visiting the facility.

AE Works collaborated with the Baltimore VA Medical Center on this project that improves lighting, visibility and energy efficiency in its campus parking garage, a three-level 330,000-SF underground structure.    Through the use of REVIT and Visual Lighting software, the team evaluated different lighting scenarios, considering payback and levels of brightness.  This exploration focused on analyzing how LED lighting would impact parking garage conditions, specifically safety and visibility.

With 25-foot spacing between fixtures, the new lighting design layout enhances visibility with even light throughout each level, supporting campus security measures while also enhancing the arrival experience to the Medical Center.   Replacing all existing ceiling-mounted light fixtures on all parking Levels, including ramps, the design converted the existing T-8 32-Watt and T-5 54-Watt High Output lighting into an all LED lighting solution.    With an annual kilowatt-hour (kwH) at 925,000, the existing facility lighting included approximately 910 lighting fixtures at about 116 watts per fixture.  The LED conversion slashes the number of fixtures to 556 at 45 watts per fixture and also reduces the annual kwH to 220,000.

“Healthcare and design are both about people.  Design can dramatically impact the experience of a space and delivery of healthcare services.   Every detail is opportunity – an opportunity that can enhance the sense of the space and improve a person’s experience,” expresses Michael Cherock, PE, AE Works Prez.

One of these opportunities rests on the strategic use of controls.   With the exception of the parking areas, the lighting solution is designed with occupancy-sensor controls and dimmable drivers.   Drive lanes, also on occupancy-senor controls, will reduce energy and lighting input by half when lanes aren’t being used.

Following the renovations, the light power density, the amount of energy being used, dropped from 1.04 watts per square foot to .24 watts per square foot, a seventy-five percent decrease.  Under the ASHRAE 90.1 allowance of 0.3 watts per square foot, the completed solution greatly enhances levels of brightness while dramatically reducing energy outputs.

This project offered great opportunity to take advantage of maintenance efficiencies and energy savings while embracing the healing mission of the Medical Center.