High-efficiency lighting exceeds expectations

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - The green lighting system at the New York Times' new building is outstripping its benchmarked 70 percent reduction in energy use by delivering savings that amount to $30,000 per year per floor, according to new performance figures.

Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., whose Quantum total light management system is featured in the building, released the performance data recently.

The New York Times' 52-story tower, some 1.6 million square feet of Class A office space, opened in late 2007. The building on Eighth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets was designed by the award-winning Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects working in collaboration with several other firms.

Seasonal information gathered on the lighting system since the opening shows energy savings of 72 percent on the floors where it had been installed, Lutron said, quoting a recent presentation by Glenn D. Hughes, the director of construction for The New York Times Company during the design, installation and commissioning of the building.

The cost savings resulted from a significant reduction in lighting and cooling load, Hughes said. And, based on what was described as a conservative estimate of a 1 percent increase in productivity, Hughes also said the lighting system had paid for itself in less than a year.

In 2008, Hughes was widely quoted as saying, "We designed our building to use 1.28 watts per square foot of lighting power. With Quantum, it's using only 0.38 – that's 70 percent less."

In fact, in three of the past four seasons, the lighting system delivered better performance. Here are the figures released by Hughes and Lutron:

• 0.37 watts per square foot in winter 2008-2009

• 0.37 watts per square foot in fall 2008

• 0.33 watts per square foot in summer 2008

• 0.38 watts per square foot in spring 2008


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