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Parking Garages MIT Parking Garage
 

MIT boosts parking garage security
with Holophane lighting



Students come and go at all hours from Building E42 -- the parking garage near graduate student housing on the busy Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 60' x 140' facility, which is an older structure open to the weather, is lighted 24 hours a day as a security measure.

Originally, the three-level garage was illuminated with 84 202-watt incandescent fixtures at a cost of $14,800 per year for energy. Not only was the lighting system expensive to operate, but maintenance costs were high, with approximately eight hours devoted each week to changing lamps.

"The system wasn't reliable because there were always burned out lamps," explained Don Olsen, supervisor, building power and lighting for MIT. "The garage was also dimly lighted, with a lot of dark areas and shadows that made it difficult to see in and around the cars."

The structure was retrofitted with 36 Holophane Parkpak luminaires with 100-watt high pressure sodium lamps. Mounted at 13 feet against the flat, concrete ceiling, the prismatic glass fixtures direct light in a uniform square pattern, allowing for 22-foot spacing. Light levels are 20 footcandles maintained.

"We tried to light up the areas as much as possible to promote safety. The Parkpak units have a 360-degree light disbursement, which makes the lighting very uniform. Students now feel comfortable walking to their vehicles because they can see everywhere," Olsen said.

Energy savings for the new system is approximately $11,000 per year and an annual savings of $3,000 in labor and materials is expected. Although a regular maintenance schedule has not been developed, the luminaires will be cleaned and relamped every two to three years.

As of yet, there has been no maintenance needed for the new system. "The reliability factor with the Holophane lighting units is 100 percent," Olsen concluded. "The time and dollars we are saving in maintenance are tremendous."


 

 
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