Case study: Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Lincoln, Neb.

The challenge was to design of a light-filled, 110-bed, 250,000-sq-ft rehabilitation hospital, which requires and is dependent on direct access to natural light to nurture a healing environment.


Figure 1: Indirect lighting in this space at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., also reduced glare of direct lighting, giving the space a softer light with heavy reliance on daylighting. Challenge: Design of a light-filled, 110-bed, 250,000-sq-ft rehabilitation hospital, which requires and is dependent on direct access to natural light to nurture a healing environment.


  • The lighting power density was 0.78 W/sq ft, compared to the code maximum of 1.2, which is a 35% improvement.
  • The lighting controls were designed around ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.
  • Patient rooms: Individual room controller with combination of 0 to 10 V dimming and switched lighting loads. Manual daylight zone control.
  • Corridors: Bi-level switching throughout all corridors. Lighting to 50% is always on, although controlled by a relay if future adjustment of the control scheme is desired, with manual control of the additional 50% output at the nurses’ stations.
  • Rehabilitation gymnasiums: Relay control for automatic-off control of lighting after hours, and low-voltage switches with the room broken up into multiple zones to allow for some lights to remain off if the entire gym is not in use.
  • Occupancy sensors, in a manual on and auto off configuration, were used in offices, work rooms, storage rooms, restrooms, etc.

Eric Kamin is a principal leader in DLR Group’s electrical engineering practice. He is skilled in developing specifications for primary and secondary power distribution, standby power systems, voice and data cabling systems, security systems, interior and exterior lighting design, and sports lighting design.

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