Built in 1857, the Administration Center at Indiana Tech University is a landmark for generations of alumni who know that even as the campus grows, they can always count on recognizing the familiar historic brick building when they visit.
And now, the oldest building on campus is historic for another reason: It’s the first building on campus to boast energy-efficient Cree LED lighting.
The 153-year-old building was gutted for renovation in October 2009 with the goal of achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The resulting work transformed the pre-Civil War era building into a haven of energy-efficient technology and sustainable design.
The historic Administration Center at Indiana Tech is a landmark for alumni.
When architect Terry Thornsbury of Viridian Architectural Design began planning the project, he said he knew he wanted to incorporate LED lighting.
“We wanted something that would help get us as many points as possible in the LEED system and reduce energy but also have a pretty good return on investment,” Thornsbury said. “Anyone who comes to me saying they want to save energy, the first thing I’m going to tell them is you’re going to want to do LED lighting because it makes sense these days to reduce energy consumption.”
Ninety-eight percent of the building is lit with Cree LED lighting.
The three-story building is lit 98 percent with Cree LED lights, helping the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based college conserve energy, reduce maintenance and provide beautiful light for employees, students and alumni. The 10,957-square foot building features:
- 97 Cree LR24™ LED troffer lights. Offices, conference rooms and corridors illuminated with beautiful, clean white LED light. Each light consumes only 44 Watts while delivering 3,200 lumens. The high-quality light features rates 90 on the Color Rendering Index with a color temperature of 3,500K.
- 61 Cree LR6C™ LED downlights. Each light consumes only 10.5 Watts while delivering 650 lumens. The lights rate 92 on the Color Rendering Index and also feature a color temperature of 3,500K.
- Long lifetime. The Cree LED lights are designed to last 50,000 hours. At the 50,000 hour mark, Cree’s LED lights are designed to provide at least 70 percent of their initial light output. That means the lights in the Administration Center could last more than 19 years based on the university’s projected use of 10 hours a day, five days a week.
- Energy Efficiency. Over the long life of the LED lights, compared to a fluorescent downlight, the energy-efficient lighting in the Administration Center can save an estimated 259,700 kWh, which avoids 270 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Intelligent Control. The Cree LED lights work with an Intelligent Lighting Controls system with occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting, a control system that helps conserve even more energy by automatically adjusting the light level based on how much natural daylight is shining through the building’s large, preserved windows.
The University also worked with Primary Engineering, Inc., a Ft. Wayne, Indiana-based firm dedicated to sustainable design and CM Buck and Associates, Inc. which distributes Cree LED lighting in the Ft. Wayne area.
Indiana Tech Facilities Director Mike Townsley said he was skeptical an all LED-lit building would provide enough light for employees to work under. But that hasn’t been a problem, he said. Instead, employees are taking advantage of dimmers installed in each room. He said most employees are keeping the lights in their offices dimmed to 50 percent, which helps save even more energy.
“We’ve heard positive feedback about the lights,” Townsley said. “So far I’m pleasantly surprised.”
Mike Peterson is one of the university officials who moved into the newly-renovated building in July. He said he likes the controllability the dimmer in his office offers. He also enjoys the quality of the LED light.
“There’s good light distribution around the room,” Peterson said. “It doesn’t feel like there are dark areas or shadows.”
As director of Alumni Relations, Peterson says there’s another benefit to the LED lighting: Alumni like it.
“When you’re talking with alumni, any time you’re doing anything that’s technologically advanced it’s a plus,” Peterson said, adding that it’s a bonus that LED lighting technology is helping the school conserve energy. “[Alumni] feel like we’re being smart with the money that’s invested by them,” he said.
The building houses the Alumni Welcome Center, which is designed to be an inviting place complete with a fireplace made with bricks salvaged from the building. The warm, recessed Cree LED lighting adds to the ambiance, he said.
Cree LR6C LED downlights and LR24 LED troffer lights illuminate the building.
The Administration Center renovations were made possible by a $2 million donation from alumnus Wilfred Uytengsu, Sr., who wanted the money to go toward energy-efficient improvements. The building was recently renamed the Wilfred Uytengsu, Sr. Center in his honor.
And while Thornsbury was initially hoping to achieve LEED Silver level certification, the project exceeded expectations and has been submitted for Gold level certification. We’ll let you know when Indiana Tech receives final word from the U.S. Green Building Council.