Exhibit on advanced lighting systems opens in downtown Manhattan resource center

Lighting the Future is an interactive exhibit on advanced lighting and shading systems at the Building Energy Exchange (BEEx). Lighting is the single largest energy use in commercial buildings, and recent advances in technology make retrofits of lighting a key opportunity to reduce New York City’s carbon footprint. The exhibit showcases ‘state of the shelf’ lighting and shading technologies, details the essential steps of a successful lighting retrofit, and outlines the significant energy and financial savings available for building owners and tenants.

The exhibit is the first in a series of resources BEEx is developing as the physical and virtual information hub of the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

December 8, 2015

New York City – A new exhibit, Lighting the Future, showcases the technology and processes of a successful commercial lighting retrofit. Visitors can see and interact with the latest shading, fixture, and control technologies, while gaining an understanding of how to select and install these systems. An effective lighting retrofit saves both money and energy, while greatly increasing functionality, performance, and occupant comfort. A recent BEEx study, Let There Be Daylight, found that implementing lighting retrofits across New York City’s 542 million square feet of commercial real estate would save owners over $70 million annually, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million metric tons.  On average, more energy is expended lighting commercial offices than for heating or cooling those spaces. Recent advances in technology, and a history of neglect due to code loopholes and other factors, make lighting retrofits an enormous opportunity to reduce New York City’s carbon footprint.

“We are thrilled to present Lighting the Future, an exhibit that demystifies the various types of lighting control systems, demonstrates the enormous benefits available through new technology, and provides objective guidance for those considering retrofitting their lighting,” said Richard Yancey, Executive Director of the Building Energy Exchange. “These dynamic and sophisticated systems can provide powerful, yet flexible capabilities to existing commercial spaces, creating 21st century work environments. Lighting efficiency is just the tip of the spear, and the first of many resources BEEx will provide, as part of the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, to help building owners, tenants, designers, and operators save money while reducing their carbon footprint.”

“We are delighted that BEEx is featuring lighting and shading first up for the Retrofit Accelerator. These are typically the most cost-effective and easiest ways to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions for buildings, as well as make the indoor environment more comfortable. And the money saved upfront can free up funds to put in place deeper energy strategies down the line that will pay off over the long run,” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Lighting the Future will be a great way for building owners and others to find smart strategies and be on their way.”

New York City is primed to take advantage of these opportunities. Under the Lighting Upgrades and Sub-Metering Law, all large nonresidential buildings must upgrade the lighting in tenant and common spaces to meet the current energy code by 2025. Huge advances in LED and other technologies have made significant savings available to almost every building owner or tenant. To support this context, the newly launched NYC Retrofit Accelerator will help guide building owners through energy efficiency retrofits to accelerate market adoption of money-saving technologies and help the City meet it’s ambitious climate action goal of an 80% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Building Energy Exchange serves as the physical and virtual information hub for the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, providing extensive resources for real estate, design, and building professionals. The Lighting the Future exhibit is the first in a series of resources being developed, which include technical trainings, forums on advanced lighting controls, case studies, and virtual resources such as an LED selection guide and a retrofit incentive map for building owners. Learn more about the NYC Retrofit Accelerator at: nyc.gov/retrofitaccelerator

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council Environmental Committee, said “The new exhibit at the Building Energy Exchange shows our community how new lighting technology can save both money and energy. We have over 540 million square feet of commercial real estate throughout our city and retrofitting buildings with this new lighting and shading technology saves $70 million per year and reduces our carbon emissions by 2.3 million metric tons. Public-private partnerships, such as BEEx, will help bring us closer towards our goal of reducing our citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. I thank BEEx for their leadership on this important issue.”

“Buildings use 60 percent of the energy consumed in New York State, and simple measures like increasing lighting efficiency can assist building owners and managers in reducing energy use – and saving money. By promoting the economic and environmental benefits of lighting retrofits, the Building Energy Exchange is helping New York advance Governor Cuomo’s ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in the building sector,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“Advances in lighting technology have tremendous potential to help our state and city move toward the lower-carbon, more energy-efficient future we all want,” said John Shipman, department manager in Distributed Resource Integration, Demand Management and Customer Engagement for Con Edison. “The Lighting the Future exhibit can show lighting experts and laypeople alike what is available on the market to make flipping a light switch less expensive and impactful on our environment.”

The content of the Lighting the Future exhibit is based on the Living Lab Demonstration Project, a joint venture between the Building Energy Exchange and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that has organized the installation and monitoring of advanced lighting, shading and control systems in occupied office spaces.  In collaboration with two prominent partners, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, the Living Lab team has developed performance specifications and managed a national call for technologies, resulting in the installation of lighting, shading and control systems at Goldman Sach’s flagship New York City headquarters.

“Goldman Sachs supports BEEx in its mission to further energy and lighting efficiency solutions through education and research,” said Cindy Quan, Vice President and Global Head of Environmental Sustainability in the Corporate Services and Real Estate Division of Goldman Sachs.  “Low carbon lighting systems such as LEDs with advanced controls are dramatically impacting the market.  Through our participation in the Living Lab, we gained valuable insight into our own portfolio and helped develop knowledge that will enrich the larger real estate and design communities.”

The Living Lab team has carefully catalogued the process of selection, procurement, installation and commissioning to create guidance and resources for industry stakeholders.  These efforts have demonstrated the significant financial and energy savings available through retrofitting commercial spaces with advanced lighting control systems and have tracked the essential steps that are common to successful projects. The Living Lab is funded through the generous support of the US Department of Energy, NYSERDA and the Scherman Foundation.

“We hope this exhibit, and the BEEx/LBNL collaboration on the Living Lab project, will mark an important tipping point in the broader implementation of advanced lighting and daylighting design solutions,” said Stephen Selkowitz, Senior Advisor for Building Science, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. “We are pleased to be working with motivated building owners and innovative technology suppliers to demonstrate new performance capabilities that we hope will accelerate progress towards achieving NYC’s energy and carbon goals.”

A virtual tour and additional resources can be found on the exhibit’s webpage:
#lightingthefuture #BEExhibit #livinglab

About the Exhibit
This exhibit was made possible by the generous support of Con Edison and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Living Lab Project Partners:

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Technical Lead)
  • Goldman Sachs & Company
  • Bank of America

Technology Partners:

  • Acuity Brands Lighting
  • Crestron
  • Eaton Lighting Division
  • Enlighted
  • Fluxwerx
  • Lutron Electronics
  • MechoSystems
  • OSRAM Sylvania, Inc.
  • Philips Lighting
  • Selux Corp.

About BEEx
BEEx: the building energy exchange connects the New York City real estate and design communities to energy and lighting efficiency solutions through exhibitions, education, technology demonstrations, and research. We identify opportunities, navigate barriers to adoption, broker relationships, and showcase best practices at our resource center in the Surrogate’s Courthouse.

Yetsuh Frank, Managing Director, Building Energy Exchange

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