Government Retirement System Invests in Long-Term Energy Saving SolutionsThe Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS), a public pension fund for employees of state and local governments in Iowa, has occupied its current headquarters for more than a decade. In the face of growing energy challenges, IPERS had two choices: upgrade the 43,000-square-foot building or find new space.
IPERS property manager Suzan Stuchel met with the team at Key Professional Engineers, Inc. (KPE) to determine the best strategies to reach its goals. The overarching goal was for the IPERS building to become Net-Zero Energy ready by reducing the electric load on the facility.
“The purpose of the whole project was to introduce new energy efficiencies with the long-term goal of integrating solar power wherever possible and practical,” said Brad Lauritsen of KPE. “As it related to lighting, IPERS knew it was interested in LED lighting fixtures as a means to save money.”
“We realized that an LED lighting system would work inside the building, as well as outside and in the parking lot,” said Stuchel. “We were also interested in introducing occupancy sensors as a way to increase control and management of our luminaires.”
IPERS wanted to have individually programmed offices to make sure vacant or unused areas were being controlled on an individual basis. It also wanted to achieve light levels that were visually comfortable for the staff.
IPERS decided advanced LED lighting seamlessly integrated with robust digital controls was the ideal solution for its total renovation.
“In the end, we decided to go with Acuity Brands® products because of the indoor ambient LED lighting option,” said Lauritsen. “The RT Series luminaire from Lithonia Lighting® neatly integrates with Sensor Switch® nLight® controls to create a total solution from a single supplier.”
Existing T8 fluorescents were upgraded to Lithonia Lighting RT Series LED fixtures, and occupancy sensors were connected to nLight and RT Series fixtures by way of CAT5 cabling.
Additionally, IPERS incorporated Peerless Lighting “high-performance, high art” solutions from Acuity Brands to create a modern look and feel in the conference rooms, while still impacting energy use.
“Even before the project was complete, IPERS saw a $12,000 reduction in costs associated with energy over the same three-month period from the previous year,” said Lauritsen.
The project helped IPERS become Net-Zero Energy ready and the electrical load was reduced by an estimated 70 percent between the lighting and HVAC solutions.