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System Bundling

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System Bundling is a list of ideas for creating projects that combine high-value activities to achieve efficiencies and cost savings. Bundling activities typically involve action at the intersection of two or more whole building systems such as Lighting and IEQ. System Bundling considers multiple related programs simultaneously, like optimizing daylighting and occupant comfort.

Building systems and technologies work best when they work together, and your building can operate more efficiently and potentially cost less up front when considering the impact of systems on each other. When specifying or replacing a component of the lighting system, consider bundling that component with others to deliver the largest beneficial impacts and greatest return on investment. For example, reduced lighting power can allow for the purchase of smaller chillers and electrical transformers. Leverage this section to understand whole building synergies and explore which technologies and components might best be bundled together.

Building Automation

Building automation consists of a computer-based system with integrated measurement sensors and control devices for components su...

Building automation consists of a computer-based system with integrated measurement sensors and control devices for components such as HVAC equipment, lighting, and renewable energy systems. Building Automation Systems (BAS) are a common form of energy management and information system (EMIS)opens in new window. Monitoring and controlling building systems allows building owners to identify opportunities for improved performance by tracking energy and water use, ventilation and other elements of IEQ, security and other operations. Investing in a BAS can realize significant savings:

  • Consider synergies among building systems.
  • Employ ongoing commissioning practices to ensure building systems are properly calibrated and maintained over their life.
  • Use data to address areas of concern.

Building automation is interrelated with energy efficiency, water efficiency, ongoing commissioning, systems level metering and lighting control. Consider these strategies and other cost-effective upgrades:

  • Occupancy sensors save energy by turning off lights when no occupants are present in a space. Occupancy sensors are often connected to lighting, HVAC and security control systems to display continual energy use data for verification and occupant education purposes.
  • A daylighting system that integrates photosensor controls, dimming and glare control can provide high quality natural light to workspaces while significantly reducing the need for electric light and the energy it consumes.

Cost-Effective Lighting Upgrade

When replacing older lamp technologies, consider replacing the entire light fixture to maximize energy efficiency and product life, avoid incompatibilities, and to ensure safety. Occupancy sensors...

When replacing older lamp technologies, consider replacing the entire light fixture to maximize energy efficiency and product life, avoid incompatibilities, and to ensure safety. Occupancy sensors should be considered for all spaces that may be vacant for long periods, such as enclosed conference rooms, support areas, restrooms, breakrooms, and private offices. Sensors should include manual overrides so occupants can turn off the lights for presentations or when there is sufficient daylight. Dimmers add control for occupant comfort and energy savings. Selecting colors and finishes with high surface reflectance for walls, ceilings, and furniture can improve lighting quality, while reducing the amount of electric light needed.

Optimizing Daylighting

Employ a layers of light approach which uses daylight for basic ambient light levels while providing occupants with additional lighting options to meet their needs. Set lighting goals (i.e., set a ...

Employ a layers of light approach which uses daylight for basic ambient light levels while providing occupants with additional lighting options to meet their needs. Set lighting goals (i.e., set a maximum Lighting Power Density goal and a daylight sufficiency goal) early in the project and craft a lighting strategy to achieve them. Utilize daylight harvesting best practices to supply ambient daylight to the space, and build upon this baseline with techniques and technologies to supply occupants with additional lighting options. 

Large windows can provide daylight to interior spaces, but the daylight can be best used when complementary technologies are employed. Lighting controls can automatically turn off overhead lighting in response to sufficient daylight. Dimmers designed specifically for fluorescent or LED lighting can also be incorporated into this control scheme, providing a gradual transition between natural and artificial light throughout the day. Light shelves can help reflect light deeper into the interior of the space, making the best use of a window’s area. Exterior shading or overhangs can let more light in the space during the winter, when heat from the sun is needed, and block higher-angled light in the summer, decreasing cooling loads. Window coatings also have an impact on the amount and color of light entering your building. Occupants seated near windows may experience glare on computer monitors and be tempted to close blinds, cutting off daylight to those in the interior of the building. Provide these employees with glare-reducing filters for computer monitors so that use of blinds is reduced.

Optimize Occupant Comfort

Optimizing comfort leads to happier occupants, every day of the week. The simplest way to ensure occupants are comfortable is to provide the greatest range of controllability over environmental con...

Optimizing comfort leads to happier occupants, every day of the week. The simplest way to ensure occupants are comfortable is to provide the greatest range of controllability over environmental conditions as possible. This controllability allows occupants to adjust their surroundings or seek out spaces conducive to their working patterns. Thermal zones and task lighting allow workers to alter their thermal and lighting environment respectfully. Consider using natural daylight with photosensor controlled electric lighting to create an effective and properly illuminated indoor environment. Providing mobility, through wireless internet connections and mobile laptops, gives even greater flexibility.

Solid Waste and Lighting

When upgrading your lighting system, consider the bulb lifespan and the waste stream generated by burnt-out bulbs. Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) require special handling du...

When upgrading your lighting system, consider the bulb lifespan and the waste stream generated by burnt-out bulbs. Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) require special handling due to their mercury content. Light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures have a higher first cost, but have a longer life and do not contain mercury (a toxic metal).

Staged Approach to Upgrades

Looking at fixing up the whole building, at once or in parts? If so, the order in which you make these upgrades will affect your long term energy and water savings as well as your up-front costs. ...

Looking at fixing up the whole building, at once or in parts? If so, the order in which you make these upgrades will affect your long term energy and water savings as well as your up-front costs. The ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual walks you through a five-stage approach to minimize cost and maximize effectiveness. These stages include retrocommissioning, lighting upgrades, supplemental load reductions, air distribution system upgrades, and HVAC upgrades. Read more in the Building Upgrade Manual.