After investments in fuel cells for a consistent source of clean electricity, as well as an under-floor air-distribution system to reduce heating and cooling loads, LPL needed a similarly energy-conscious lighting strategy to help achieve its net zero goal.
“We went in assuming we couldn't afford LED office lighting within the project scope, and were hesitant to trust the technology in an interior space," said Otto Orr, V.P. of project management, corporate real estate, LPL Financial. "We'd seen a lot of advancements with LED in exterior and commercial areas, but we hadn't come across counterparts doing it in a classic office setting. We pushed hard to explore available options with other manufacturers, before we realized GE was in the indoor fixtures market segment."
"After we sat down with them, we got very comfortable with the technology very quickly."
By analyzing architectural drawings, GE's experts conceived a new lighting scheme that converted fluorescent fixtures to LED, and further eliminated a number of them entirely, reducing total fixture count by nearly 40 percent. Lumination™ BL Series LED luminaires were chosen for common aisles and employee areas―the long, narrow bands of light are integrated within the ceiling to lend a stunningly clean, contemporary look to LPL's new office.
“GE rolled up their sleeves and got to work,” said Orr. “They flew to Charlotte and immediately got engaged with our engineering team―looking at sketches, switching from fluorescent, eliminating fixtures. I've never seen a supplier jump in like this.”
Orr also explained that when it came to office lighting controls, GE again simplified and streamlined what could have been a complicated process.
“We were actually looking at a fairly complex lighting control system that added a lot of cost to the project. That's when GE demonstrated a much simpler solution that met our needs. More importantly, when you have a project this size, typically you have a lighting supplier, a controls manufacturer and a project manager involved.
“With GE it felt good to have all of that—a full lighting solution and a controls package to go with it―all in one bucket.”
With GE's LightSweep™ lighting control system and Aware™ occupancy sensors, LPL now enjoys dimming and daylight harvesting capabilities on every floor, which are zoned to allow individuals to make their own adjustments.
Results & Benefits
LPL will save an estimated $38,000 annually in lighting energy costs with LED opposed to fluorescent. Each floor of its new San Diego tower is metered to measure HVAC, plug, and lighting electrical loads separately. This data, displayed on an LCD monitor in the main lobby helps to make employees more informed about energy savings in the building.
The tower utilizes three fuel cells to convert biogas into carbon-neutral electricity that will allow the building to achieve net-zero energy status, and all surplus power is pushed back to the grid through San Diego Gas & Electric. Eighty-eight percent of the tower's water consumption, nearly 2.5 million gallons annually, is recycled and used for irrigation and other building needs. On-site charging stations for electric vehicles are also available for employee use at no cost.
The near 100-percent LED-lit building also uses GE's Lumination™ BT Series LED recessed troffers in ceilings, as well as LED architectural lighting on walls and LED task lighting at workstations.
LPL will closely study the San Diego building for the next few years, and will immediately employ best practices like LED lighting in new construction projects, including an office in Charlotte, N.C.
“We believe we are the country's largest net-zero commercial office building,” Orr said. “The passion was there, and now our group, including GE, drives it forward. This building shows our dedication to our employees and the environment―we created a net-zero strategy that, when we look back, we'll be proud to say our activities and outreach started here.”