Design and energy

Dear Editor,
Energy in lighting is going to be a big topic for the next few years. It is going to be important that the industry pulls together in a coherent manner to produce sustainable lighting schemes by default whilst allowing good and innovative design to be brought to the fore. This is achievable and design compromise can be avoided.

So what are the factors that the lighting industry needs to address to avoid design compromise? I have put together a list of what I believe are the most pressing issues.

1. Education – Lighting education is key to sustainable schemes being produced and recognised.
2. Contracts – Our clients need to look at the project procurement methods and ensure that their contractual frameworks can actually deliver the types of buildings they are expecting.
3. Briefing – We need proper briefing from our clients at the appropriate time. If the brief is not properly set by the midpoint in RIBA stage C, then it is unlikely that an optimal design will be achieved.
4. Greenwash – We need to have a range of products that can deliver against recognisable standards and benchmarks.
5. Daylight – We need to take more account of daylight use in our buildings.
6. Lighting control systems – We need lighting control systems to deliver beyond their current capabilities.
7. Commissioning – We need proper commissioning of lighting and lighting control systems to be undertaken to both CIBSE and BSRIA guidance.
8. Fees – We need the appropriate fees to be able to carry out the growing workload that increased investigation into energy saving is causing designers to undertake.
9. Recognition – We need our clients to have an understanding of the complexity of lighting design.
10. Design practice – We need our design guidance to reflect the three separate workflows for daylight design, artificial lighting design and lighting control design.
Let’s shed some efficient light into those dark corners.
Yours faithfully,
David Mooney
Regional Associate, Infrastructure
Parsons Brinckerhoff

Can ethical audits be credible?

Dear Sir,

Today’s UK/European lighting business would not survive without supplies from ‘the developing world’ – but the problem of verifying the ethical audits of factories is contentious, and has recently been highlighted in the press, including The Guardian.

Tulips or people?

Dear Editor,
I just flew into Amsterdam airport at 5am and noticed an amazing number of small, bright sodium light patches on the clouds at relatively low level. It struck me that these are above the fields of poly-tunnels where flowers are grown. Apart from the light pollution aspect, is this really a sensible use of energy?