A simple corridor lighting scheme at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst demonstrates the potential to save energy without compromising quality of light. Mark Burgess reports

The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst has been the centre of British Army officer training since 1802. Some of the buildings on the sprawling site are almost as old as the college, and it can be a challenge to improve efficiency without compromising the historic look and feel of the buildings.

The Old College is the most recognisable building on the site and dates back to 1812. When successful cadets become fully-fledged officers of the British Army, the Old College is the backdrop for the Sovereign’s Parade. After the outdoor ceremony, the cadets pass through the Grand Entrance and proceed down the east corridor.

Numerous rooms in the Old College house historic artefacts. The Indian Army Memorial Room, for example, was turned into a museum in 1948 and currently commemorates the service of the Ghurka and Indian regiments of the British Indian Army.

Curtailing energy use

Installing more efficient lighting is a quick and easy way to curtail energy use in the Old College and throughout the academy. But the quality of the light is particularly important in the Old College, where there are artworks on display that must be shown in the right light. Also, the art must be protected from ultra-violet and infra-red light that could diminish their vibrancy over time.

Osram worked with energy saving and water conservation specialist Environment 2000 to devise a lighting system for the corridors of the Old College that maintains the historic aesthetics of the building while demonstrating the potential to save energy across the entire site.

Brightness boost

Lumilux fluorescent tubes were installed throughout the east and west corridors. They not only cut energy consumption by 50 per cent, but also significantly boost lux levels.

Ninety-two new luminaires were installed along the east and west corridors and they were equipped with 184 T5 Lumilux High Efficiency (HE) 21W fluorescent tubes. The performance of the lamps is optimised by Quicktronic Professional electronic control gear, which replaces the original switch start magnetic ballasts, some of which had failed, creating dark patches on the ceiling.

The Lumilux tubes emulate daylight and ensure all the artworks and people passing through appear as they would in daylight.

Bert Ring, energy adviser at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst says: ‘The increase in the light level and the decrease in energy consumption are both significant factors for us and we will now look into how we can build upon this and make the whole site more efficient.’

LEDs take a back seat

Conventional, not solid state, light sources dominate the lighting toolkit for future Pret A Manger stores. But that doesn’t mean it is inefficient, as Mark Burgess discovers

From barn to bijou

Luxury interiors need not mean profligate use of energy – not for lighting at least. Here, we peek inside a converted barn. Mark Burgess reports