Social Security Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish Government, has recently taken over the whole of a high-profile Glasgow office building as a base for 750 new staff. Zumtobel and its sister brand Thorn, both lighting brands of the Zumtobel Group, are proud to have worked with Social Security Scotland, Mpact and Mitie on the lighting retrofit project, which will help the organisation save on its energy costs, provide comfortable lighting for its staff, and reduce its carbon footprint – meeting its ESG requirements.

Social Security Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government with responsibility for the delivery of devolved social security payments in Scotland.

The agency recently moved into a high-profile office building in Glasgow city centre, sub-leasing from Glasgow City Council. The building now has the capacity to house 750 members of staff from the organisation over 5 floors.

Fit for purpose but dated lighting scheme 

With sustainability and ESG requirements to meet, Social Security Scotland decided to upgrade the fluorescent lighting at its new base. The objectives included:

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Provide a comfortable working environment for staff
  • Improve neurodiversity with LED lighting
  • Maintain the architectural integrity of the building

Potential for significant savings 

Allan McNeil, Key Account Manager, Zumtobel Group, comments, “We were originally called into the project by Mitie Facilities to look at an old Zumtobel lighting controls system installed at the site, as they were assisting with a refurbishment, Social Security Scotland having recently taken a sub-lease of the building.   The initial aim was to update the emergency lighting and lighting controls so they could be easily monitored. But the savings from upgrading the whole scheme were too great to ignore.”

To validate the potential savings from switching to LED, the Zumtobel team conducted an energy audit and lighting design for all the new fittings. Preliminary calculations estimated that energy consumption would drop from over 450,000 KWH to 175,000 KWH – the results were convincing.

A completely new office fit-out 

Despite COVID setbacks, the project installation was phased over four months. The scheme comprised Zumtobel MIREL recessed luminaires and PANOS downlights for the offices, ONDARIA and SLOTLIGHT in the breakout areas. RESCLITE and PURESIGN fulfil the emergency lighting requirements.

Thorn Aquaforce waterproof luminaires in the basement and carpark, Katona wall luminaires in the stairwells, Chalice, and IQ Wave in the offices complete the design.

As some of the original luminaires were bespoke sizes, straight luminaire swaps were not an option. Allan explains, “There was a Zumtobel 1200x 150mm custom product installed in a special floating ceiling which the client didn’t want to change as it was the main feature in all the offices. Luckily in the current Zumtobel MIREL range, we had a 1200x 150mm recessed LED variant, so we were able to offer that. We also had to supply retrofit extension rings for the downlights to make sure they fitted the existing ceiling cut-outs.”

Helping with ESG reporting requirements 

The upgrade from fluorescent lighting to the all-new LED scheme has reduced energy consumption by 61 percent. Over 60 percent savings in carbon emissions are also impressive, with the new lighting emitting 54 tons less than the original installation.

Furthermore, having fully functional lighting controls increased the efficiency of the scheme, and the emergency lighting has also been completely updated in line with the latest regulations.

Jeremy Smart of Social Security Scotland said, “While welcoming the reduction in carbon emissions and the corresponding energy savings, it was the reaction from staff that was particularly pleasing. Some commented on the overall improvement of the lighting quality across the building, this tangibly improving the working environment. Zumtobel also recognised that maintaining the integrity of the design philosophy for the building was important and this has been achieved”. 

Photograph accreditation: N Hastie Photography.

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April 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide