Almost 10 years after the original installation, Zumtobel and its sister brand Thorn, both lighting brands of the Zumtobel Group completed an office retrofit of Southwark Council office’s lighting with energy and carbon emission reduction at the forefront.

In south London, the London Borough of Southwark forms part of Inner London and is connected by bridges across the River Thames to the City of London and London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Like many local councils, Southwark is faced with rising energy costs and the moving goalposts for ambitious Government net-zero targets.

Early research into the councils’ Environment and Sustainability strategy identified that workplaces account for the largest proportion (53 percent) of borough emissions. To lead by example, the borough has looked to its estate and initiated energy-related improvements.

A quest for more energy efficient offices

One such case is at its 132 Queens Road offices. The existing lighting installation comprises Zumtobel’s popular LIGHT FIELDS T16 as the main office luminaire. Southwark Council approached Zumtobel’s London Project Team, following a successful project at its HQ building in the infamous Tooley Street. Its mission: was to upgrade the existing lighting to LED and provide energy savings, reduce carbon emissions, and luminaire failures while also delivering a minimal impact retrofit.

Southwark Council also wanted to upgrade its lighting control system to enable them to connect to the building from a remote site to review performance and errors, reducing efforts in maintenance.

Matt House, Zumtobel Group, London Strategic Client Partner at Zumtobel Group, explains, “From a replacement luminaire point of view, the LIGHT FIELDS was a relatively easy solution since we had all the original information. What proved more challenging was finding similar size solutions for all the 3rd party luminaires.”

A low energy solution

The Zumtobel Group project team overcame these challenges by attending several visits to measure and review the existing luminaires and research, where possible, their performance criteria to propose a viable solution.

The retrofit office solution included LIGHT FIELDS III recessed and suspended luminaires with custom infill panels. LIGHT FIELDS III frameless elegance delivers uncompromising light quality to the working plane for office workers, while the LED upgrade works more efficiently helping to reduce the council’s energy consumption and in turn its carbon emissions.

The PANOS infinity downlight range, in various sizes (68, 200, and R100), offered a versatile family of luminaires for this project. Recessed variants light the corridors and bathrooms with outstanding quality, while the surface mounted format has been used in the offices and corridors. Further pendant versions grace the breakout areas, completing the family feel of the project.

Wall washing MIREL recessed luminaires illuminate the copy/post room walls and the lift lobbies, providing a direct replacement for the existing fluorescent luminaire. The stylish alternative to louvred fittings adds to the modern interior scheme.

Additionally, COMSIGN emergency signage is used throughout the building to guide occupants to safety. The family range catered for ceiling recessed, surface and suspended applications. The stairwells are lit with Thorn Katona wall luminaires and the plant rooms with Thorn’s Aquaforce dust and moisture proof luminaires.

The exterior scheme uses Thorn Piazza pathway luminaires to maximise efficiency and minimise light pollution.

The new luminaires consume a third of the power of the original scheme; coupled with a new control system with good occupancy control which is easy to adapt by the building manager, the efficiency of the lighting installation is greatly improved.

As a result of the success of the retrofit scheme, the Zumtobel Group has been awarded the lighting project for the next office upgrade.


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May 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide