EXTERIOR EXEMPLARS
Down by the riverside

The London Borough of Southwark has slashed energy consumption for lighting by nearly three-quarters along Bankside. Pennie Varvarides reports exclusively


The south bank of the Thames is rarely free from tourists and locals. It is rich in history and fast becoming a strong business improvement district.

The area has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years and is now home to some of the iconic sights of London – the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre built in the 1990s; the Millennium Bridge, which links Bankside to the City of London on the north bank; and Tate Modern, formerly Bankside Power Station, that dominates the skyline with its tall brick chimney.

As London prepares to host the Olympic Games, it was time for Bankside’s streetlighting to get a facelift. The ageing and inefficient indirect lighting along the path was proving problematic from a maintenance point of view, and large areas were frequently closed off for maintenance staff to replace lamps and deal with water that got into fittings. This had be resolved.

DW Windsor, which also refurbished the vintage lanterns on Tower Bridge (see page 16), supplied LED luminaires. They replaced 54 150W (212Wcct)ceramic metal halide luminaires on Bankside’s busiest pedestrian route. The aim was to improve brightness and uniformity while maintaining the overall look and feel.

It is hoped the lighting upgrade will encourage evening visitors

Surpassing objectives

The original indirect CDM-TT lanterns with magnetic gear used a total of 131.7kWh a day. The 58W Milano LED luminaires were able to cut that to 36kWh a day – a saving of 73 per cent. This figure far surpassed the borough’s objectives. Annual carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced from almost 26 tonnes to seven. The savings add up to more than £3,500 a year.

The contemporary post-top luminaire, which has been used at a number of well-known London locations, was retrofitted to the original columns.

Maximising potential

Daniel Robinson, senior lighting engineer for the borough, says: ‘It was essential that the public could enjoy using the riverside walk and feel safe when doing so.

‘The lighting improvements to Bankside provide substantial energy savings, while complementing the surrounding architecture, helping towards our aim of boosting the night-time economy and maximising the potential of the river.’

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