Monitored lighting energy savings from dimmable lighting controls in The New York Times Headquarters Building
Digital addressable, dimmable lighting controls were introduced to the US market in the early 2000s with the promise of facilitating capture of potential energy savings with greater flexibility over their historic, typically unreliable, analog counterpart. The New York Times Company installed this emerging technology, after having tested the system thoroughly prior to procurement, in their new building in New York, New York. Four years after full occupancy in 2007, the owner agreed to participate in a post-occupancy monitored evaluation of the dimmable lighting system to verify actual performance in the field. Annual lighting energy savings from daylighting, setpoint tuning and occupancy controls were determined for the daylit, open-plan office areas on three typical floors (6, 11, and 20th floors) of the 51-story high-rise tower. Energy savings were calculated from ballast control signal and occupancy data recorded by the manufacturer's lighting control system. The ballast data were calibrated with independent measurements of lighting energy consumption. Savings from dimming controls (daylighting and setpoint tuning) were 12.6 kWh/m2-yr (1.17 kWh/ft2-yr) for the daylit spaces on the three floors overall, or 20%, relative to ASHRAE 90.1-2007. Compared to the prescriptive code in effect at the time of the building's construction (ASHRAE 90.1-2001), savings were 21.0 kWh/m2-yr (1.95 kWh/ft2-yr) or 28%. Annual lighting energy use with all lighting control strategies was 33.9 kWh/m2-yr (3.15 kWh/ft2-yr) in the daylit, open plan zones on average for the three floors. A simple payback analysis was conducted.