- Understand the interior lighting control requirements for typical health care facilities.
- Explore the differences between wired and wireless lighting control systems and their applications as they relate to health care occupancies.
- Review the latest energy code adoptions and the major changes to the latest editions.
One of the fastest changing technologies in the building industry today is lighting controls. The technologies are advancing in such a way to future-proof buildings in an effort to reduce that post-mortem feeling of old technology in a brand-new building. Intelligent, network-based systems with full building integration and more recently, wireless controls, are making huge advances in the market.
Total building lighting control solutions using wireless technology boast the benefits of being scalable, flexible and easy to install. But when it comes to wireless, there are certain facility types that are hesitant to accept the new technologies due to real or perceived fears. As the industry continues to gain momentum in wireless control solutions, what is the future of wireless lighting controls in critical applications such as a health care environment?
As with most aspects of building engineering design, codes and standards regulate the design and installation of building systems, including lighting controls. There are numerous energy codes and standards:
- ASHRAE Standard 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
- California Title 24.
- International Green Construction Code and ASHRAE 189.1.
- International Energy Conservation Code.
- Various state energy codes.
Two key codes/standards are applicable to most building types: ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC. They contain pertinent requirements related to lighting controls and are widely adopted as the benchmark for energy efficiency in buildings.
It can be challenging juggling multiple codes and standards, however, deciding which energy standard applies is a consideration on every building project. Most jurisdictions enforce the IECC, and the IECC references ASHRAE 90.1 as an acceptable compliance path.
Similarly, most of the green building ratings systems mentioned above enforce ASHRAE 90.1, so it is important to have a deep understanding of both. While there is some consistency between the two, there are several nuances within each making it important to understand which code is applicable to your particular design. To check the status of current energy code adoption across the United States, refer to the U.S. Department of Energy (see Figure 3).