Energising-savvy authority budgets
When undertaking a new school build project, local authority budgets often come under increased scrutiny. With new builds especially, there is a growing focus on investing in future-proof systems with longevity that can eventually provide significant returns on investment.
Unnecessary energy consumption accounts for over 16% of the UK’s average energy usage. With lighting accounting for 20 to 25% of total energy consumption in UK schools – says the Carbon Trust – the cost of wasted light energy can rapidly drain school budgets.
Of late, energy management is an area that educational facilities are looking to as a measure to reducing spend. Local authorities are seeing the value in investing in an energy-efficient lighting system as a future-proofing method to reach sustainability and spending goals.
These systems are even more vital when it is not one, but two schools that are being simultaneously constructed. With over £17m set aside to forge the UK’s first-ever joint faith campus in Scotland, linking separate Catholic and Jewish faith schools onto one shared site, Luxonic was selected alongside consultants and contractors to supply a cost-effective, comfort-promoting lighting system.
With a history spanning back to 1986, Luxonic has contributed highly-efficient lighting schemes to some of the biggest educational projects across Scotland and England, including the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory on the University of Nottingham campus and Ayr Academy in South Ayrshire, West Scotland. Every Luxonic product is manufactured from its HQ in Basingstoke, and the LED specialist tests every fitting to continually drive energy efficiency and pass on considerable savings to the schools that opt for a Luxonic solution.
One of a kind
The Faith Schools’ Joint Campus, located in the East Renfrewshire town of Newton Mearns, is now home to two Catholic and Jewish primary schools, St Clare’s and Calderwood Lodge respectively. Each school is intended to ease the demand Newton Mearns faces, by introducing an additional Catholic primary and the town’s first Jewish school.
The site is purpose-built to support the faith of every pupil, with separate educational facilities linked by an impressive communal amphitheatre. The playground, and facilities for sport, art, science, music and drama, will become shared spaces for the benefit of students of each school.
Luxonic supplied luminaires from its Alterlux, V-LED 200 and Academy ranges. Alterlux, with its low profile and slim design, was easily installed into shallow ceilings and at 109 luminaire exit lumens per circuit watt, providing a highly energy-efficient light choice for classrooms.
The high-efficiency V-LED 200 was also selected for the campus, to be positioned along corridors and communal spaces enjoyed by the students of each school.
Human-centric lighting is receiving increased consideration and for good reason; it benefits natural human responses to light and, when delivered correctly, attempts to induce circadian responses to artificial light sources. Pupils and staff often spend between six and seven hours indoors when school is in progress, and in winter months, may not see sunlight in the hours before and after the school day.
This can result in a drastic underexposure to optimal levels of natural light. This underexposure has been linked to insomnia, reduced concentration and alertness and tiredness – impairing our normal functioning, and having a potentially negative impact on schoolchildren and staff.
On some educational projects, Luxonic specifies solutions that allow schools to benefit from intelligent light functions, including presence and absence detection and daylight harvesting. Each fitting can monitor the levels of daylight within a space, adjusting luminaire output in response.
This means for rooms that benefit from high levels of natural light, luminaires can reduce brightness automatically, saving on energy spend. For those short winter days, luminaires will be able to automatically adjust to imitate natural light, providing staff and students with a much-needed boost to their circadian rhythms.
Building for the future
Claire Thompson, Luxonic’s Sales Manager in Scotland, consulted with contractor, Tuv Sud, on the Faith Schools’ Joint Campus: “It’s a project that is one-of-a-kind and, as a new-build, Luxonic needed to provide really efficient lighting to future-proof the campus.
“The campus itself benefits from a flood of natural light, so we specified a lighting scheme that would account for this and, in the long-run, make some significant savings on energy costs.”
The campus opened its doors to pupils for the first time this August. Equipped with a system that now contributes to a highly efficient building with an EPC rating of 13, each school can also ensure its lighting optimises the comfort of students and staff. With Luxonic on board, the campus now has a truly future-proof system capable of considerable energy savings that does not scrimp on the comfort of pupils and staff.