Energy Cost Savings of Systems-Based Building Retrofits: A Study of Three Integrated Lighting Systems in Comparison with Component Based Retrofits

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Most building retrofit projects are still component-based in that they typically address only one piece or type of equipment at a time. Systems-based retrofits that seek to address multiple components in an integrated manner have the potential to provide significantly greater energy savings.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) partnered with several utilities to develop and evaluate three different integrated retrofit packages involving lighting systems: automated shading with daylight dimming controls, workstation-specific lighting with daylight controls, and task/ambient lighting with plug load occupancy controls. Specifically, our analysis sought to quantify the marginal benefits of these systems (energy savings as well as lighting performance and visual comfort) relative to component- based approaches. The analysis was based on a combination of measured performance data from LBNL’s FLEXLAB® test facility and energy simulations. All three systems were compared to a simple fluorescent-to-LED retrofit, which represents the component-based approach. While the simple LED upgrade provides significant lighting energy savings of 63%, the systems yielded energy savings of 81- 93%, which equates to additional savings of 49-82% over the simple LED upgrade (Table A-1).1 All systems tested provided satisfactory visual comfort as well, indicating good potential for market acceptance. 

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