Case Study Details

LOCATION: University of Akron, Akron, OH

University of Akron to Feature LED Lighting Throughout Residence Hall to Support Goals for Sustainable Design and Energy Conservation

The University of Akron – with 28,000 students representing 46 U.S. states and 80 foreign countries – is a vibrant community within metropolitan Akron, featuring more than 80 buildings on 218 acres. Since 2000, the University has added 16 buildings, completed 17 major additions, acquisitions and renovations, and created 34 acres of new green space.


Throughout this impressive development process, the University has moved aggressively toward sustainable design and energy conservation across its campus. In fact, it established a “Blue, Gold, and Green” committee to guide the University in these efforts. This committee is chaired by Frank Horn, AIA, Vice-President Capital Planning and Facilities Management at the university, who has been instrumental in its initiatives.

Ronald Radabaugh, P.E., L.C. principal and electrical engineer with Scheeser Buckley Mayfield, LLC (SBM) explained, “The Multiplex residence hall project was no exception; from the outset, the designs for the five-floor residence hall have incorporated a selection of efficient lighting fixtures that exceeded required energy standards.”

Although LED lighting was not the initial choice, a request was made by the University to determine if LED technologies could be incorporated into the design even this late in construction.

“The request came in and one of my first concerns was how to incorporate the LEDs while minimizing the impact on the work already completed on the project,” explained Raabaugh. “A lot of the branch circuiting and lighting fixture flex connections were already installed. All that was missing on some of the floors were the lights themselves. As a result, we were tasked with finding the right LED fixtures for the project, which involved the energy efficiency, lighting performance and the look of the fixture, plus the ability to replace the fixtures one-for-one.”

SBM worked with Jack Giljahn, AIA, the project architect with Design Group, to review multiple fixtures from multiple manufacturers. In the end Lithonia Lighting RTLED luminaires provided the best solution for this project.
Patrick Duffy President of Jack Duffy & Associates, said that multiple lighting manufacturers were investigated, “Ultimately, Lithonia Lighting RTLED fixtures were selected due to the architectural look, lighting performance and the reputation of the company,” said Duffy.


The University of Akron installed nearly 700 RTLED fixtures in the new building.