The Impact of Codes and Standards

Building-codes and standards can have an enormous effect on what controls can be designed and installed into a lighting system...


Building-codes and standards can have an enormous effect on what controls can be designed and installed into a lighting system. Depending on how one looks at it, this can be a help or a hindrance.

"I think several state energy codes are actually very useful, from the standpoint that they force you to think about how you will structure the lighting control systems in a building," explains Scott Easton, Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Madison, Wis. "By thinking 'out of the box' one can develop numerous control strategies that are creative, user friendly, save energy and minimize the impact on initial costs."

According to Mary Alcaraz, P.E., Ewing Cole Cherry Brott, Philadelphia, the common use of efficient control systems will most likely wait until they are well defined in building codes and standards.

"The standard, which will be leading the forefront to widespread use of lighting controls, is the newly published ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Building ," she says. "When ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 is accepted by various states as code, then all buildings in that state larger than 5,000 square feet will be required to have automatic interior lighting controls in all spaces ... our role as lighting designers and electrical engineers will be easier because facility owners will have to accept the design of lighting controls for their buildings."

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