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New project shines a light on large building lighting energy

By Bryan King, Chair of committee P4097 – Energy performance of lighting in buildings

Wellington harbour at night

We’re developing a standard to provide standardised metrics and estimation and measurement methods for systemic lighting energy in non-residential buildings. 

The energy performance methods in ISO/CIE 20086:2019 Light and lighting – Energy performance of lighting in buildings are well proven and have been used in European and British lighting standards for more than 15 years. With this in mind, we’ll be modifying ISO/CIE 20086 for New Zealand purposes. 

Industry experts representing non-residential buildings and lighting

The development committee brings together lighting and energy experts from:

  • Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ)
  • Carbon and Energy Professionals New Zealand
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority
  • Engineering New Zealand
  • Lighting Council New Zealand
  • Massey University
  • Master Electricians
  • Property Council New Zealand
  • The Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand (IESANZ)
  • The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) ANZ

We aim to open the first round of public consultations within the next month with a second round in the middle of the year. By subscribing to our Keep Me Up To Date email, you’ll be notified when it’s time to have your say.

The issues being addressed

The existing standard, NZS 4243.2:2007 Energy efficiency – Large buildings – Part 2: Lighting, provides the technical basis for the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations 2002. It also informs H1 of the New Zealand Building Code in terms of energy efficiency for non-residential buildings with a floor area greater than 300m2. 

However, NZS 4243.2 employs only the static (non-adaptive) energy performance method and metric of lighting power density (W/m²). It does not accommodate systemic and dynamic applications resulting from the use of smart lighting controls. The development committee will therefore be addressing these matters. 

Modifying ISO/CIE 20086 to supplement NZS 4243.2 will give lighting designers ways to estimate and measure the result of adaptive lighting with hourly, daily, weekly, seasonal or annual variations. Adaptive lighting, through smart controls and selective switching, reduces energy consumption, which leads to reduced operational carbon emissions.

The ISO/CIE:20086 methodology provides values for a project’s lighting energy numeric indicator, known as LENI (kWh/m²/Yr), a measure of the annual energy outcome for a building resulting from the combined effects of the lighting design, luminaires, sensors, controls, commissioning, operation, and maintenance of the system. Separate metering of lighting energy is included, and the calculation method covers new, refurbished and existing buildings.

Who will be affected by the new standard?

  • Lighting designers, architects and engineers will have encompassing methods to evaluate and compare their design ideas and technology choices before sign-off and construction.
  • Building owners and tenants will be able to evaluate the lighting operational energy use, carbon emissions and costs of their current or prospective buildings.
  • Lighting controls suppliers will have an effective new sales tool for validating the commercial value of client investment in smart controls.
  • Electrical contractors will be able to use the methods as a commissioning and continuous improvement framework to add ongoing value to their services.

The new standard will also facilitate public policy objectives by enabling reporting methods that meet the desired outcomes of:

  • The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019
  • The Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP)
  • The Building for Climate Change (BfCC) programme.

The BfCC programme for non-residential buildings proposes systemic quantification, reporting and reduction of operational energy and carbon emissions, including sensor devices and communication networks on standby. But while operational carbon reporting for lighting is a quickly determined extension from a systemic energy calculation, the simplistic methodology of NZS 4243.2 is unable to accommodate such requirements.

The need for change

There is a pressing need for this update, now that LED lighting products with smart lighting controls (internet wireless controls using Bluetooth or similar connectivity) are frequently used in commercial and institutional new-build and retrofit applications.

Economic benefits of the new standard

The new standard will provide a basis for business case analyses regarding investment in new controls technologies and the net present value of LED lighting with smart controls. The availability of adaptive and dynamic lighting metrics and calculation methods allows comparative return on investment assessment information for boardroom investment decisions, and the astute allocation of construction or retrofit project budget priorities. 

For building owners and tenants, there will be financial benefits in optimising lighting and potentially reducing overall energy consumption. For state sector stakeholders working to the Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP) 2025 deadline, energy savings may well reduce the need to purchase carbon emission offsets, with knock-on effects for operational budgets.

Trade policy and combatting Technical Barriers to Trade

Aligning New Zealand “good practice” principles with international standards facilitates trade and can remove obstacles identified by the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade rules. As such, we believe the ISO/CIE:20086 adaption will lead to better outcomes for both building owners and tenants.