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Warehouses GSA Middle River

GSA Middle River depot earns
40 percent rebate with Holophane lighting

One of the largest rebates in Baltimore was awarded to General Services Administration (GSA), Middle River, Maryland, for a recent energy efficient lighting retrofit. The rebate, presented by Baltimore Gas and Electric, amounted to 40 percent of the project.

The GSA Federal Depot, which houses various governmental agencies, has more than 2 million square feet used to store publications and forms distributed worldwide.

According to Norman Bodani, GSA buildings manager, the main objective in replacing the existing lighting system in one 1,200,000-square-foot building was to reduce energy. Previously the warehouse-like structure was lighted with a combination of four-tube, 40-watt fluorescent fixtures, 500- and 1, 000-watt incandescent fixtures . There were also a few mercury vapor units scattered throughout the building.

"An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation, as part of the Green Lights program, mandated that GSA reduce its energy consumption by 10 percent, " Bodani explained. "That reduction returned us to our 1985 energy base. "

Lack of lighting uniformity was another condition that helped spur the change. When the storage system in the facility had been modernized several years earlier, many of the racks had been installed without considering the location of the lighting fixtures. The result was dark areas within the racks, which made lettering on boxes and forms difficult to read.

"There were areas where the lighting fixtures were not even visible because of the racks. This created a maintenance problem because personnel were unable to reach the fixtures," Bodani said.

The new fixtures installed in the aisles between the racks on the structure's first floor, which houses government forms and booklets, are Holophane Indoor Refractopack VE luminaires with prismatic glass refractors. The fixtures use 250-watt high pressure sodium lamps, are mounted at 28 feet, and utilize long and narrow light distribution for maximum spacing.

Also on the first floor level, Indoor Refractopacks with 400 watt high pressure sodium lamps were employed because of the higher ceiling height, which is 55 feet. Bodani indicated this space was originally used to build war planes, which accounts for the unusually high ceiling.

"The unique long and narrow light distribution efficiently illuminates the rack areas, " he said. "It also enabled us to spread the fixtures as far apart as possible to reduce energy and installation costs. "

Prismalume luminaires with 250-watt and 400-watt high pressure sodium are installed in open storage areas.
Holophane's Bantam 2000 Enduralume(F) luminaires with prismatic glass refractors are mounted in the depot's basement, where the ceiling is 13 feet. The lamps are 150-watt high pressure sodium, with a symmetric light distribution pattern used to boost lighting uniformity and maintain wide fixture spacing .

Throughout the basement area, fixture spacing is approximately 25 feet. Footcandle levels meet the federal guidelines of 15 footcandles, maintained.

According to Mark Shenold, the GSA design and construction engineer, Holophane's computer aided lighting analysis (CALA) software was used to design the lighting system and determine optimum fixture placement.

"CALA gave US a quick, three dimensiotlal picture of the system. We had all the information we needed at one time, " Shenold said.

In an effort to further reduce energy, a bi-level lighting system was installed in the rack and open storage areas on the facility's first floor. The automated energy reduction system (AERS), from Holophane, switches fixtures to lower output levels when a space is unoccupied.

AERS is a combination of luminaires and sensors connected to a control module. Each control module operates a sensor-luminaire combination that signals the luminaires in a zone to switch from low mode to normal when motion is detected. When the sensors no longer detect motion, the luminaires switch back to low mode after a preset time delay.

AERS controls 80 percent of the first floor in the GSA facility. The entire lighting system is computer controlled by Holophane's Integrated Communications System. ICS is used to provide programmable ON/OFF control of the lighting system in order to maximize energy conservation. Since the ICS system utilizes power line carrier technology, the existing wiring and distribution system was used, minimizing the initial cost.

''The ICS system is particularly effective in reducing energy because not all agencies work the same hours, " Bodani said. "Computerized control assures us the luminaires are turned off during the weekends and evenings when the building is vacant. "

The rebate awarded to GSA was based OII a $400 per kilowatt reduction, or 40 percent of the cost of the project. The previous lighting system was drawing approximately 2500 kilowatts, compared to the 500 kilowatts the present system requires. Expected payback for the project is 2 1/2 years.

"We are very pleased with the lighting, " Bodani concluded. "In the future, the Middle River center will be used as a model for other GSA facilities. "

Presently, about 200 people are employed at the GSA Middle River center. In some areas, particularly on the 600,000-square-foot first floor, picking is performed with a forklift. In the downstairs area, which is also 600,000 square feet, employees pick items from bulk storage and place them ill bins. From there, the forms or literature are transferred to a packing area then shipped.


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