The project began as a post-occupancy evaluation of lighting controls installed in a range of buildings, including a public office building, a shopping centre and a primary school. Actual controlled lighting consumption was to be compared against past billing or simulated energy consumption. However, when the research began it was found that the controls had been removed from two out of the three buildings. Further research proved that it was not unusual for lighting controls to be disconnected following installation. This raised a much bigger research question- why were the controls disconnected and what were the factors governing success or failure of these systems? To answer this new question a new methodology to that first envisaged had to be established. Investigating the reasons for disconnection could only be achieved by discussion with those involved. To find out what people know, or think, it is necessary to ask them. Interviewing was used to address the new research question. It was found that little research exists on long-term performance analysis of lighting controls. A framework was created to determine if there is correlation between past findings and the reasons for failure in the case studies. It should be noted that there were minimal findings into the failure of lighting controls systems in buildings in Ireland, which prompted possible additional reasons for the failure of these systems, e.g. differing usage patterns, availability of useful daylight. The research that followed posed many challenges requiring the use of qualitative data in an engineering environment. In order to answer the research question, a clearly-defined and wellstructured methodology was required. It was concluded from the research that the conceptual framework used was appropriate and that the methods were fit for purpose.Some of the findings included:
• Maintenance costs are comparitively high
• Misinterpretation of commissioning processes
• Incomplete analysis prior to installation
• The requirement for post-occupancy evaluation in current engineering practices
"An Investigation Into Why Lighting Controls Fail in Buildings,"
SDAR* Journal of Sustainable Design & Applied Research:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/sdar/vol1/iss1/6