16500 Offices in San Francisco Case Study
When lighting is your business, you need to practice what you preach.
16500, a San Francisco Bay Area-based factory-authorized representative for several top lighting and lighting control manufacturers, desired to create its own office space in a manner that showcased the very best in lighting design and application. Plus, like most sustainably focused companies, they sought to achieve extraordinary levels of energy savings by deploying progressive and efficient luminaires powered by intuitive lighting control systems.
The opportunity to display the virtues of the lighting solutions 16500 offers came when the company chose to move its offices to the 8th floor of 2100 Powell Street, a 16- story office building in suburban Emeryville, Calif. Not only was the building centrally located, but it offered breathtaking, unobstructed views of the Bay Area’s iconic landmarks. And importantly, it was a hallmark of sustainable design, having achieved Energy Star 2008-14 and LEED Gold status.
One key goal of 16500 was to design a special collaborative area and conference space in the northwest corner of its space, which provided numerous lighting options. The company’s lighting experts wanted a lighting design that would build on the energy efficiency of their entire suite of offices, while achieving many other functional and aesthetic features – the very benefits of progressive lighting that they offer their own customers.
“Our firm recognizes the importance of making our own offices an embodiment of what we sell – the best architectural lighting solutions on the market,” said Paul McDowell, principal and founder of 16500. “It’s crucial for my sales staff to experience the commercial viability of these products, but it’s paramount that our clients experience firsthand the unique lighting quality benefits and exciting design possibilities these products offer to their projects.”
The challenge for McDowell and 16500 was to go beyond glare free, comfortable and adequate illumination, and select lighting that would convey the interactive nature of the space while paying homage to the breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline and San Francisco Bay that shone through its windows.
While gazing out the window at a flock of birds flying over the glimmering Bay, 16500’s Specifications Sales Manager, Mariane Ayoub, was inspired. She called over to her colleague, Ayse Aktari, Lead Specification Sales Specialist, and they got working on sketching four designs for the collaborative space, each based on some variation of Revel, one of four OLED product families offered by Acuity under the Winona® brand.
Light, small and versatile, OLED is an ideal candidate for delivering customized lighting solutions. By removing the need for grid-like
layouts, OLED can place light at the points where it is most needed or desired – while still achieving extraordinary energy savings.
After evaluating each design for optimal lighting performance and emotional appeal, 16500 selected the“Flying” design, which was reminiscent of the birds seen soaring across the sky. The company installed 12 Revel pendants in a random pattern and orientations at varying overall suspension heights, ranging from 12” to 24” from a nine-foot ceiling. Importantly, the OLED light source option of 3500K was selected to be consistent with other luminaires used throughout the 16500 office.
Not only do the Revel OLED luminaires provide a look fitting to the space and view, the design also achieves high levels of efficiency. At less than 10W per luminaire, the lighting power density for the conference room space is only 0.41 W/ft² while providing a maintained illumination level of over 30 footcandles on the room’s conference table.
The Revel design perfectly complements the lighting elsewhere in the 16500 offices, and nearly all of the luminaires are controlled by a digital lighting system that uses such features as time clock and manual shut-off, occupancy sensing, daylight dimming, lumen maintenance dimming, and manual control strategies optimized for individual spaces.
Also, a suite of traditional and sophisticated graphical control stations are used throughout the offices, and are tailored to the complexity of the lighting design and user interface requirements of each space. The overall design achieves an incredibly low overall lighting power density of 0.60 W/ft², which is 25 percent below the 2013 CA Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards requirement.
As for the conference space, 16500 can adjust the lighting for day or evening use, as well as the tasks that are being performed. For most of the work day, daylight through the windows provides significant illumination, and the Revel luminaires are used for visual impact. At twilight or during foggy days, the Revels provide full light output to comfortably light the entire area.
Any time of day or night, the effect of the Revel luminaires is stunning. According to both Ayoub and Aktari, clients – including lighting designers, architects, engineers, contractors, distributors and owners – have a similar reaction.
“When I hear them say ‘Wow’, one might think they are simply referring to our amazing view,” noted Aktari, “but I know it’s the lighting!”