Case study: Health care building lighting controls design
A lighting sequence of operations met energy codes in this medical building
LEO A DALY provided full architectural and engineering services for OrthoNebraska’s new 31,707-gross-square-foot orthopedic clinic and physical therapy clinic in Elkhorn, Nebraska. The project, due to open in fall 2021, provides a prototype for expanding OrthoNebraska’s clinical, physical therapy and ambulatory surgery practice.
The project incorporates a medical office clinic of 16 exam rooms and two larger treatment rooms with two general radiology rooms to support this clinic. Rooms are organized in the patient-aligned care team model, which optimizes efficiency of exam rooms for patient scheduling while enhancing staff collaboration within a central teamwork area. This approach creates an environment of staff comfort and patient privacy by separating onstage and offstage areas.
The building’s physical therapy component supports sports therapy with a 9,000-square-foot gym and turf section, highlighting the healing process that patients will experience. The patient’s healing journey concludes with athletes’ performance and agility being on display, creating an exciting and active environment for new patients to observe.
The site is planned for a future ambulatory surgery center to be added as patient volumes increase and this need and the practice grows.
Lighting control sequence of operations
This is the first LEO A DALY project in the state to use a sequence of operations process since Nebraska adopted International Energy Conservation Code 2018. Previously, building code in the state conformed to IECC 2009, having skipped both the 2012 and 2015 code updates. With this leap forward, Nebraska adopted one of the most progressive codes in the country, a fact that challenged the design team to reinvent its process for electrical design specifications.
Lighting controls represented the main challenge for LEO A DALY’s engineering team, as the 2015 and 2018 code updates required the implementation of many new energy savings requirements and the use of cutting-edge lighting control systems. The design team used the sequence of operations process to pursue an aggressive sustainability agenda.
- Partial automatic-on is used in lieu of fully automatic-on/off to reduce energy use in most spaces, including offices and work rooms. Specifying this functionality reduces energy use because, although lights are on more of the time, they are on at a lower output level.
- Automated daylight harvesting is done in spaces with access to daylight. Photocells are used to detect the amount of light reflected off surfaces and dim the lights as needed to optimize spatial quality and reduce energy use.
- Wireless lighting controls are used on exterior site lighting, with each pole individually dimmed according to a schedule, cutting energy use and meeting new code requirements. One hour after closing, exterior lighting dims by at least 30%.
- Lighting subzones are used in the open-plan office areas, which strategically reduce lighting when the space is not fully occupied. Detailed functional instructions are included in the sequence of operations.
The use of sequence of operations allowed the developer to meet code while providing maximum flexibility to the end user and optimizing energy use in every space.