Case Study Details

LOCATION: Helsinki, Finland


U.S. Embassy Repurposes Century-Old Building with Innovative OLED Lighting

The U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland decided to upgrade a century-old building with 21st century technology for its new Embassy Innovation Center. The Innovation Center would house the public offices of the U.S. Embassy in Finland.

Bruce Oreck, the U.S. Ambassador to Finland, envisioned an Innovation Center that would achieve recognition as one of the most energy efficient Embassy buildings in the world. Ambassador Oreck integrated energy-efficient lighting into the initial plans of the new center, with the goal of creating building design strategies that would help use 38 percent less energy than other buildings of its type.

To accomplish its lighting goals, the Embassy chose Clanton and Associates, Inc. from Boulder, Colo. as the project lighting designers. Josie Wratten and Nancy Clanton were tasked with integrating solid-state lighting (SSL), including standard and organic LED options, into the pre-existing layout plans.   

“We understand LED lighting and have used it in numerous applications, but the Ambassador asked us to figure out something new… something that had not been done before,” said Clanton. “The answer was state-of-the-art OLED lighting.”

Clanton and the Ambassador contacted Acuity Brands to identify the newest options for OLED lighting. “We wanted to use Acuity Brands for OLED lighting solutions because it was the only company that could create and deliver exactly what we needed and wanted,” said Clanton.

After renovation began in the Innovation Center, the Trilia™ OLED luminaire from Winona® was selected for use in a high profile conference room to illuminate the conference room table at its center. Four LED downlights were added to light other spaces within the room. The two light sources were used to complement each other with their individual features. The OLED luminaire was used to provide diffused light in the central portion of the room while the LED lighting gave direct lighting to the room’s perimeter.

“The Trilia OLED luminaire provides a diffused and very soft light source that you cannot get with an LED,” said Clanton. “We used LED lighting for areas that needed more directional light, which complemented the beauty of the OLED luminaire. There is an unmatchable aesthetic in that conference room.”

The new lighting is projected to reduce energy usage attributed to lighting by more than 40 percent. Renovation construction was completed in late February 2013. The Innovation Center now houses the public offices of the U.S. Embassy in Finland.