When Lighting Goes Green

 

What’s the most important thing to consider when lighting an office building for an architecture firm specializing in sustainable design? Energy efficient, eco-friendly choices, of course. We asked Sanjeev Coelho, Senior Associate at architecture firm HOK, to tell us how his company incorporated the latest lighting technology into the design of their new office in Dubai.

Leading the way in sustainable lighting

Dubai’s focus on ensuring efficient and sustainable energy consumption is a key consideration for any company looking at building or renovating its offices. But, when that company is also a pioneer in sustainable energy development, a recognized advocate of the green building council and a globally-recognized architectural firm, the need to create aesthetically pleasing offices that meet the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards is high. This is precisely the situation that global architecture and urban planning firm HOK faced when moving to its new offices in the Rolex Tower in Dubai. As Senior Associate Sanjeev Coelho, explains, “We’re pioneers in sustainable development and we take it very seriously. Therefore all of our offices have to be, at a minimum, LEED certified.”
When lighting goes green
Choosing the right light

While the office space had a great deal of natural light, the reception area was very dark since it was located next to the tower core. In keeping with the company’s focus on sustainability, finding the best lighting solution was a critical factor. “Lighting was the most important part of our design – both in the work we do and the environment in which we work. As architects, we spend substantial amount of time drawing, sketching and looking at and reviewing minute details. Lighting is critical,” says Mr. Coelho.

Additionally, in line with the highest LEED standards, HOK had to be mindful of watts per square foot when looking at lighting, both in terms of energy consumption and light output. Mr. Coelho continues, “It’s not just the lighting level but also aesthetics. The lights needed to look futuristic and blend into the interiors – I almost didn’t want to see them. And the defined lighting criteria had to be met: it had to be intelligent and responsive.”
When lighting goes green

A happier, greener office

The result of HOK’s partnership with Philips is a bright, vibrant office that meets LEED Standards, resulting in the HOK Dubai office being awarded with LEED Gold certification. Mr. Coelho is exceptionally happy with the results. “I think we not only surpassed what we wanted to achieve as a brand, we added value to our day-to-day work life. Our employees are happy, and the office is bright and well-lit. And the selection of lights, the fittings and the controls all contribute to that.”

A happier, greener office

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