Sherrerd Hall Controls Save Energy
Sherrerd Hall, one of the newest buildings to open on Princeton University’s campus, houses the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, a rapidly growing department of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Center for Information Technology Policy. The building was planned, designed, and built to support the sustainability mission of the University. One key feature of the building that helps optimize energy efficiency is the sophisticated lighting control system.
The lighting system in the ORFE building is comprised of microprocessors and environmental sensors. These components combine to provide energy savings, increased comfort, and reduced maintenance. Most of the system is invisible to the building’s occupants. While the energy savings can be dramatic, the effect of the system in offices or work areas is subtle. One can still turn the lights on and off manually, but the system will automatically turn off lights in unoccupied areas. Also, using the daylight sensor, the system will read the amount of light coming through the windows and adjust the brightness of the lights in the room to compensate. This isn’t just a simple dimmer, one may notice that the lights nearer a bright window will dim more as they are not really needed, the lights further from the window will dim less, the goal being to have even lighting throughout the room. This is where much of the remarkable energy savings come from—a technique known as “daylight harvesting.” At night, or on very dark days, the lighting automatically goes to the preset “fully bright” setting.
The lighting systems, and other sustainability features of the ORFE building, combine to make it a “good citizen” on Princeton’s campus. See the project profile on the Office of Design and Construction website for a more complete description of the building’s sustainability features.