When e-mail marketing and software firm AWeber Communications, Chalfant, Pa., decided to move from its original location in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., the design team was challenged with creating a lively, forward-thinking space that was energy-efficient and sustainable, and would help to attract and retain top-quality talent. It's new offices were designed to be fun and free-form, reflecting core values that Sean Cohen, the company COO, says are great for business. As part of the facility renovation, Wulff Architects proposed a complete Lutron lighting and controls retrofit, including automated shade controls, that contribute to the building's 32% total lighting energy reduction and 70% of those savings can be directly attributed to the lighting controls strategies, according to a Lutron case study.
Digitally addressable fluorescent dimming ballasts, wireless occupancy and vacancy sensors, wireless daylight sensors, and a solar adaptive shading system all work together to ensure a space that maintains an ideal lighting environment, free from glare, that is basically invisible to the team members who work in the building. Despite being designed to achieve LEED Silver, the owners, engineers, and architects alike were pleasantly surprised when the building actually achieve LEED Gold certification, with the Lutron lighting and shade control system contributing points in several categories.
Wulff Architects and Bala Engineering worked closely with AWeber to provide energy-saving information as part of the renovation. Prior to the renovation, baseline lighting electricity use was 242,830 kWh. Subsequent analysis shows that AWeber has reduced lighting electricity use to 166,489 kWh. Further analysis by Rafael Carrero of Bala Engineering shows that 70% of the savings can be attributed to the lighting control strategies.
How does the environment affect productivity and retention? Cohen sums it up this way, “The lighting system is essential to our goal of creating an environment that plays to our strengths and has a huge impact on our long-term success.”