The University of Houston, a major public research and teaching institution that serves more than 38,500 students annually, has a formal campus sustainability policy as well as a sustainability task force comprised of students, faculty, staff and administrators. Sustainability training is incorporated in all employee orientations, and a green departmental certification program has been approved by the task force.
Within the past few years, the University of Houston has made more than $220 million in campus improvements. The most recent project is an LED luminaire retrofit in the 222-seat Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture lecture hall. The previous lighting consisted of 34 two-lamp 42-watt compact fluorescent downlights with dimming ballasts which required continuous maintenance.
Ken Oliver, University of Houston construction manager, knew that the lecture hall needed significant improvements to address the poor lighting quality and maintenance issues. The lecture hall had only 30 average footcandles of illumination and problematic dimming that reduced uniformity. In addition, maintenance was a major concern since changing and servicing the lamps was very difficult and laborious in the stepped auditorium with immovable stadium-style seating. Since the University of Houston has embraced sustainability, Oliver and project architect Ginger McFadden from Houston-based PDG Architects knew that LED technology would be just the answer for this lecture hall.