Improving energy performance at Coppin State University’s LEED Gold Science and Technology Center is paramount for the institution. One major factor in achieving this superior performance is the building’s highly sophisticated lighting control system. Lighting control strategies have typically employed time scheduling or occupancy control; only recently have building designers begun to incorporate both. The Science and Technology Center, however, uses both time scheduling and occupancy control, plus four additional strategies: daylight harvesting, task tuning, personal control and load shedding. Combined, these six strategies significantly reduce the building’s electricity consumption and maximize efficiency.

Coppin Lighting Control System

In most spaces, occupancy sensors signal the central lighting control system to switch lights off 30 minutes after a space is vacated – but unlike a typical occupancy sensor scheme, the system does not turn lights on – only off. Occupants manually activate lighting in each lighting zone via a low-voltage switch. To maximize daylight harvesting, the system automatically dims lighting when daylight is available, disallowing user override. To prevent overlighting, the system sets maximum lighting levels for particular tasks and uses in specific rooms. In individual workspaces, users are able to tailor lighting to their personal preferences, even in open offices. The system also helps modulate building-wide electrical loads by turning off lights in certain areas at times of peak demand.

  • The energy performance is 20% below the baseline for an equivalent code-compliant lab building.