Lighting Design Question (COMCHECK)

  • #1
RunSwimSurf
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I am doing a job for a retail store. They are 2000W over. I've looked over everything including allowances for merchandise. They don't want to reduce the ceiling lighting or the millwork furniture lighting. Does anybody know of any "tips" or "secrets" I can use to pass? Some hidden code secret? I am using the 2006 IECC. Thanks...

Also, this high end retail store doesn't care what we have to do, but we just don't want to sign off on any b.s. energy calcs.

(I meant to post this in the Electrical Engineering section. Can someone move please?)
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
dlgoff
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When you say "They are 2000W over"; how so? Are you saying you don't have the circuits to provide for an extra 2kwatts?
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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No, COMCHECK is an energy conservation code compliance check. He means he has more lighting wattage than is allowed by code.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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How about changing out some of the lights for LED lights. You can gain a lot of efficiency with LED lighting.
 
  • #5
dlgoff
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No, COMCHECK is an energy conservation code compliance check. He means he has more lighting wattage than is allowed by code.
Shows what I know. Should have done a little checking. :blushing:
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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FYI: http://www.energycodes.gov/comcheck/ez_download.stm [Broken]
 
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  • #7
RunSwimSurf
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How about changing out some of the lights for LED lights. You can gain a lot of efficiency with LED lighting.

They don't want to change any lighting (no LEDs). Every one of their retail stores has the same scheme and they say other engineers were able to make it pass. I think they b.s.'d their calcs, because we're the only ones who have been over (and not just barely, I mean way over).
They don't want to change any of the lighting design; they want to keep it consistent. They're pretty strict and if we don't get the calcs to pass, they'll drop us and hire someone else. I think that's why the others all passed.
The architect called and said she talked to the building department and was told they don't even check energy compliance and for us not to worry (but still b.s. the numbers and sign them off!). I don't think its right to do that, plus it's our engineer's license that's at stake. If something happens and someone does decide to check...well, you know. On the other hand, if we refuse, then we lose the client...and we all know how the economy is at the moment.
 
  • #8
berkeman
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FYI: http://www.energycodes.gov/comcheck/ez_download.stm [Broken]

Interesting....

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working to improve the energy efficiency of the Nation's buildings through new technologies and better building practices. Energy-efficient buildings improve the lives of Americans by saving consumers money, lessening our demand for fossil fuels, decreasing the need for new power generation, and reducing environmental emissions.

DOE's Building Energy Codes Program is an information resource on national model energy codes. We work with other government agencies, state and local jurisdictions, national code organizations, and industry to promote stronger building energy codes and help states adopt, implement, and enforce those codes.
 
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  • #9
berkeman
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They don't want to change any lighting (no LEDs). Every one of their retail stores has the same scheme and they say other engineers were able to make it pass. I think they b.s.'d their calcs, because we're the only ones who have been over (and not just barely, I mean way over).
They don't want to change any of the lighting design; they want to keep it consistent. They're pretty strict and if we don't get the calcs to pass, they'll drop us and hire someone else. I think that's why the others all passed.
The architect called and said she talked to the building department and was told they don't even check energy compliance and for us not to worry (but still b.s. the numbers and sign them off!). I don't think its right to do that, plus it's our engineer's license that's at stake. If something happens and someone does decide to check...well, you know. On the other hand, if we refuse, then we lose the client...and we all know how the economy is at the moment.

Tough situation. I'd still recommend taking the high road though, as you say, your license and reputation are on the line. I'd probably proceed along these lines:

-1- Get the architect's opinion in writing. If possible, they should get the city's response in writing as well.

-2- Are all of these retail stores in the same geographic area, and subject to the same energy limits? If some of the stores are in non-regulated areas, and some in the regulated areas, that would be a reason why the store chain would not be able to standardize on the high-illumination lighting scheme.

-3- Get a copy of the previous calculations where they passed. If the store cannot produce those, then request a copy from the previous engineering firm.

-4- Assuming that you can get the opinion in writing from the architect and/or city, then state to the client that they do not need to pass at this time, show the calcs that show how far above the limit(s) they are, and give them good suggestions about how they can bring themselves down into compliance in the future. List LED lighting (show the calcs with the improvements over flourescent lighting), different illumination schemes (lighter colored walls and flooring, spot accent lighting, etc.), and other strategies. This makes it clear that you understand their situation now, and are able to give them some good technical options for moving forward when they need to.

I definitely wouldn't give them any false data, but that's easy for me to say. Good luck.
 

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