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Cooper Lighting Solutions Help Long Lake Elementary School Become a Model of Energy Efficiency

Officials at Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) recognized that Long Lake Elementary School needed a major overhaul. Out of renovation options, the District opted for a complete rebuild of the nearly 50-year-old building in an effort to make the new school a model of energy efficiency and sustainability. To help achieve its overall goal of creating a high-quality, LEED-certified visual learning environment, the school turned to energy-efficient solutions from Cooper Lighting, an industry leader committed to delivering innovative products and driving transformational technology in the lighting industry.

"The project originated from the need to replace an outdated elementary school that was built in the 1950s and out of options for renovation," says John E. Dancer, AIA, vice president, Cornerstone Architects. "The project is part of an overall effort to bring the TCAPS elementary schools into the twenty-first century, and to design efficient 'Learning Centers' to serve TCAPS students in today's world."

The building design team's lighting goal for the new $8.3 million, 50,752 square foot facility was to provide a comfortable atmosphere with flexible controls for the interior and sufficient illumination for safety in the exterior areas of the school. After analyzing the project based on cost and lighting calculations, the TCAPS design team selected a wide range of highly efficient interior fluorescent fixtures and exterior LED products from Cooper Lighting.

"To satisfy the interior lighting goals, we designed recessed, pendant and high-bay linear fluorescent fixtures with multiple controls to allow users to determine the level of light that best suited their needs," says Jason VanBrocklin, PE, president, Nealis Engineering, Inc.

The fixtures included Cooper's Portfolio downlights in the media center and corridors, as well as multiple products from the company's Corelite and Metalux lines used in the classrooms, offices, cafeteria, gymnasium and other locations throughout the school.

For each exterior space, the design team specified conventional lamping with an LED alternative in order to compare initial cost during the bidding process. For the entries and exits, compact fluorescent wall packs were specified; for the parking lots and driveway, pole-mounted metal halide fixtures were chosen. The resulting analysis, based on cost and lighting calculations, overwhelmingly favored LED fixtures for all three applications. This guided the design team to choose LED products including Invue Entri LED Wall Mount Luminaires for the entries and exits and McGraw-Edison Ventus Outdoor LED Area Luminaires for the parking lots, main entrance and along the driveway.

"The biggest lesson learned from this project has to be the even distribution of light that the Cooper Lighting LED fixtures produce," says VanBrocklin. "There are no hot spots directly underneath the pole-mounted fixtures, creating a more even distribution of light."

Cooper Lighting's outdoor LED luminaires incorporate patent-pending modular LightBAR(TM) technology that features the company's patented AccuLED Optics(TM) system, setting the industry benchmark for reliable photometric performance, scalability and energy efficiency. The system's unique application-specific design allows lumen and energy output to be customized to fulfill the exact needs of the outdoor space -- eliminating wasted energy and obtrusive spill light. The technology provides up to 75 percent energy savings over standard H.I.D. systems while also providing a 50,000+ hour rated life, six times longer than the traditional metal halide sources found in most outdoor applications.

"Working with Traverse City Area Public Schools provided us with a great opportunity to showcase the extent to which our efficient solutions can help facilities achieve energy-saving goals," said Mark Eubanks, president, Cooper Lighting. "We are honored to be part of the Long Lake Elementary project that has become a model for energy efficiency and sustainability and we encourage other school districts to follow their example."

Long Lake Elementary School was completed in September 2011 and is currently seeking LEED Silver Certification.

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