Energy-efficient lighting upgrade at large apartment complex

Cosmoluce Pty Ltd
Saturday, 28 July, 2007

The Balmain Shores development, built by Australand on the site of the old Balmain Power Station in Sydney, comprises 460 apartments and townhouses across nine separate strata titles.

Australand's building and community site manager for Balmain Shores, Eric Burns, is responsible for the efficient operation of the buildings and the minimisation of operational life cycle costs, as well as ensuring services are delivered effectively and efficiently, while improving returns for owners and investors.

"For most residential developments, architects specify dichroic halogen lamps, as they consider the mini floodlight effect to be best suited for showcasing design features," says Burns. "Here at Balmain Shores, we have up to 650 fittings in halls and lift lobbies which, due to low daylight penetration, have to be in constant operation. This of course impacts on the running and maintenance costs and, with the heat generated, can make these areas just too hot.

"From an ongoing perspective, it became quickly apparent that the failure rate of 50 W dichroics was huge. The maintenance, replacement and energy costs were astronomical and were going up! We were replacing up to 20 lamps per week, so my priority was to find a solution quickly."

Scott Wiggins, from Wiggins Electrical, manages the electrical and security maintenance for the complex and together with Burns looked to trial CFLs. Burns put together a cost analysis of the financial benefits to each owner's corporation and has monitored the savings on an ongoing basis since then.

Burns says, "Previously we had dichroic lamps on timer switches to save energy and reduce heat, but with the introduction of CFLs in the hallways and lobbies alone, the major benefit has been a reduction of 17% in energy consumption across the whole complex.

"There's nothing better then using a great product like Megaman energy-saving lamps which save money and help the environment. Every cent saved goes back into the buildings and is spent on upgrading the facilities. For Balmain Shores, we saw significant financial savings within the first six months, so we can accurately predict the projected savings over a 10-year period.

"Sustainability is a key corporate aim at Australand and we're very proud of saving nearly 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) annually at Balmain Shores, the equivalent of taking 48 vehicles off our roads each year. Coupled with annual savings of $29,808, we're making a huge difference to the environment each year."

The benefits to the client included running cost savings on electricity and maintenance, with a payback period of just one year, along with a reduction in heat and its associated dangers. The environmental benefit was a reduction in GHGEs equivalent to taking 471 cars off the road over a 10-year period.

Balmain Shores is one of many situations where Cosmoluce has used and is recommending Megaman CFLs to support Greenlight Australia's strategy to reduce lighting energy consumption by 20% by 2015.

The Megaman CFL range is available in 7, 9 and 11 W formats; warmwhite 3000 K and coolwhite 4000 K colour temperatures; and with a 119° beam angle. It consumes up to 80% less energy than incandescents, saves on energy costs, has a 15,000-hour life and produces less heat than dichroics.

New building regulations targeting GHGEs reduction have greatly increased demand for energy-efficient CFLs. In residential markets, for example, Queensland's Sustainable Buildings Code 2006 - Part 29 calls for at least 40% of a home's total floor area to be lit by fluorescents. In commercial markets, BCA 2006, Part J6 qualifies the use of more energy-efficient lighting in its maximum illumination power density criteria.

In NSW, the Building Sustainable Index (BASIX) aims to reduce GHGEs by 40%. Since lighting accounts for approximately 10% of residential GHGEs, any reduction here equates to points gained in BASIX. Cosmoluce's energy-efficient GreenEco lighting range receives extra points by using dedicated fittings in BASIX. Used with Megaman CFLs, this assists in a lighting installation achieving the BASIX target.

The new building regulations for both commercial and residential lighting effectively limits the use of low-voltage halogen lighting to very small portions of an entire lighting installation and sets targets for energy-efficient lighting and overall energy usage.

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