Categories Lighting

High Marks for High School Lighting

With over 350 schools, covering more than 24 million square feet, the Clark County School District (CCSD) is the fifth largest and fastest growing school district in the US. CCSD’s Facilities Division is one of the most comprehensive, sophisticated, and sustainable design-oriented districts in the country. They are in the process of designing and building over 100 new schools to meet the tremendous growth of the greater Las Vegas metro area. All of the new schools will be LEED Gold Certified.

Ed W. Clark High School – Las Vegas, NV
In addition to this new construction, the district is implementing extensive renovation and modernization at existing facilities such as Ed W. Clark High School. Built in 1964, the high school serves grades 9-12 and approximately 2,070 students. Steve Johnston, CCSD design manager for the Clark High School modernization project, is overseeing the ongoing $30 million renovation that includes HVAC and plumbing upgrades, improvements to the locker rooms, food service kitchen, science labs, the fire/sprinkler system, and technology advances such as LAN and classroom projector installations, as well as daylighting in the student activity center. Additionally, because of a federal grant, Johnston looked to upgrade the inadequate and outdated exterior lighting system.

Working with Johnston on this renovation was Jeff Iverson from TJK Consulting Engineers. Wanting to reduce energy consumption and costs Johnston and Iverson looked into LED luminaires and did a comparison with other lighting technology – there’s no comparison regarding the efficiency or quality of illumination. Previously, the school had 91, 70-watt high intensity discharge fixtures installed around the school in overhangs and doorways. In a one-for-one replacement, the school now has 91, 23.1-watt LED canopy and wall-mounted exterior luminaires, almost a full replacement of exterior luminaires on the school grounds. This LED installation is reducing the school district’s energy consumption by 75-percent over the incumbent fixtures.

“We sought to install a one-for-one replacement that would increase visibility and outlast the old HID lighting that was costly to maintain. We’re expecting to save a lot of time and expense in maintenance,” said Johnston.

Providing a safely illuminated campus during evening hours was also an important reason for selecting new lighting. Johnston and his colleagues are very pleased with the vastly improved lighting quality and uniform lighting performance from the LED luminaires.

Reduced luminaire maintenance is a benefit welcomed by Jack Viscosi, Clark County School District electrical/mechanical repair coordinator, who’s responsible for the electrical maintenance at Clark High School. LED luminaires are designed to provide a virtually maintenance-free operation for more than 15 years in the harshest outdoor environments while HID last only two to three years.

This is the school district’s first LED luminaire installation but it won’t be the last. A commitment to reducing energy consumption and environmental stewardship will help facilitate additional sustainable projects as funds become available.

The $30 million renovation is funded largely through a 1998 voter approved bond fund, and federal grants specifically for the lighting upgrade as well as a solar thermal grant for the installation of an adsorption chiller in the central plant that controls the school’s cooling.

According to the US Department of Energy, energy-efficient renovations—replacement of inefficient boilers, lighting, and other systems—could reduce school energy costs by 30 percent. This is money that could be spent on hiring new teachers and purchasing textbooks, computers, and other instructional materials.

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