Fire stairs - Code compliant savings

December 22, 2014 - Green Buildings

George Crawford, Green Partners

Code compliant fire stairs and public corridors don't come cheap. Code requires fire stairs and public corridors be lit at all times, albeit at different lighting levels. Maintaining these required lighting levels 24/7 is not an incidental expense. Take a quick survey of the existing lighting in your fire stairs and common areas and use this chart to compare operating costs with LED.
Consider a LED upgrade - not only to reduce expenses, but to join NYC in achieving its PlaNYC goal of a 30% Green House Gas (GHG) reduction by 2030 - recently increased to 80% by 2050. To date a 19% GHG reduction has been achieved from the 2005 base year. Because NYC buildings are big users of energy, buildings hold the key to achieving these reduction goals. To get there, literally every building will need to participate. As an incentive, Con Ed is currently offering generous funding for a limited time to encourage energy saving LED retro-fits.
For buildings considering LED, it is important to note that LED technology has advanced to levels where warm light options are now available - under 3,000 K, similar to incandescent. These new LEDs have been successfully used in hotels, art galleries and department stores, all of which require high levels of light quality. While the color range of LED products may not be an important consideration for fire stairs, light color can be a concern for other common areas, such as lobbies and hallways.
While LED retro-fits will have higher upfront costs than incandescent or fluorescent options, by working with an experienced Con Ed marketing partner, you can source funding in the range of 20 - 25% for smaller projects and 40% or more for larger projects. Combining the energy savings from LED along with the funding, expect a payback within two years.
Given the investment involved in a LED retro-fit, it is important to ensure a successful outcome for your LED project by working with a knowledgeable team.
In this regard, if you need to check on NYC lighting code issues, we recommend the Metropolis Group - Andy Pisani (212) 233-6344 and for a Con Ed marketing partner with expertise in both LED and sourcing Con Ed funding, we would recommend LED Source - Rick Lindemann - (212) 645-0025.
George Crawford is the principal of Green Partners, New York, N.Y.
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