Measure and manage
A brighter, greener way to build
by Lee Chapman
Building project sites are typically lit up as brightly as Christmas trees around the clock, even at night when no workers are present.
But just as a greater focus on energy conservation has made high efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors commonplace in finished buildings, why can’t contractors use greener solutions for lighting buildings still under construction than always-on incandescent or metal halide fixtures?
I had that thought in mind at the 2009 Greenbuild in Phoenix. I tried to find a lighting manufacturer making strands of light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures for temporary use on jobsites. It seemed wasteful to pay large sums to power traditional fixtures when LED lights are much more efficient. Even if LED lights cost more than incandescent or metal halide fixtures, I sensed that the money would be more than recouped on longer projects, or by re-using the LED lights on multiple, shorter jobs.
I didn’t find a manufacturer that made temporary LED stringers, but I found a firm that was filling to try: Clear-Vu Lighting of Westbury, N.Y. Skanska and Clear-Vu collaborated to develop this new lighting product. The LED luminaries not only use less electricity than incandescent bulbs, but they are brighter as well for increased safety. And no more having your jobsite double as a Christmas tree: Clear-Vu incorporates a time clock that can dim the lights at night.
Skanska piloted the LED jobsite lighting in 2009, and it was a great success. Today, several Skanska projects are using it. We’ve found that the LED lighting pays for itself in three to five months, depending on utility rates. Even better, this product may earn a LEED Innovation in Design point depending on how it’s used.
With this LED lighting solution, we have a way to make construction a bit greener.
Lee Chapman is an Assistant Project Manager at Skanska USA.