Building such a large, unique structure in the middle of a heavily populated city like Milwaukee surely turns heads, but doesn’t come without its obstacles. City and county building guidelines created design challenges that Ramlow found easier to manage with the use of LED lighting.
“Whenever you design such a large structure in a downtown, urban setting, there is a complicated set of rules you have to follow,” says Ramlow. “We had to be very particular about photometrics and had restrictions from the city in terms of light spill, glare and light pollution. The spread and control of the light that we found with the Cree® LED fixtures were much better than traditional lighting options.”
Energy usage and maintenance savings were key benefits considered by MSOE when evaluating its lighting choices for the 10,000+-square-foot athletic facility. By using 100 percent LED lighting, the university was able to reduce energy costs and consumption — in the parking deck alone, the university anticipates seeing energy usage savings of 200,000 kW-h annually — while also saving time and money earmarked for maintenance needs.
“The maintenance savings we anticipate will be a huge benefit to us,” says Tom Barsokine, Director of Facilities at MSOE. “With 70-foot-high field lights, the savings from not having to get up that high to change bulbs will be a major plus. We can reduce the amount of equipment needed to access the lighting to change the bulbs, since they don’t require nearly as much maintenance as other lighting options.”
According to Jensen, installation was an important factor as well: “The Cree Edge™ High Output fixtures were easy and quick to install. They came pre-fabricated, which was a big advantage when you’re talking about 70-foot poles and larger fixtures. Also, the parking deck fixtures were straightforward and systematic to install, which saved us a lot of time.” But the benefits to the Cree 304 Series fixtures used in the parking deck didn’t stop at easy installation and energy usage savings. The step dimming feature of the luminaires allows the fixtures to dim or brighten based on occupancy in the building.
“We use step dimming in the parking luminaires, which makes a big difference,” says Ramlow. “It’s a great energy saver and an important passive security measure. The dimming capability makes it easy to tell if someone is in the decks or in the stairwells, which is key to making visitors feel safer in such a large space, and helps the security team keep a better eye on what’s happening throughout the facility.”
With Viets Field, MSOE continues to make strides towards whole-campus sustainability and has provided its students with a beautiful, 100 percent LED-lit field to compete on for years to come.