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CREATIVE LIGHTING ELEMENTS IGNITE PARTNERS HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Located at the recently-completed Assembly Row mixed-use complex, the project features a wide variety of space types, along with the ability to house over 4,000 employees from 14 campuses. The prodigious lighting design result: a fully automated, fixture by fixture wirelessly controllable lighting system which not only will save the Client on their monthly energy bills, but also enhances the full user experience and overall quality of lighting throughout the space.

Senior teammates of HLB Boston, Robyn Goldstein and Michelle Tessier, tell us more about this LED lighting design.

What made this project or experience special to you and your team?

This project was a huge collaborative effort not only with the other members of the design team, the Architect, Landscape Architect, and Electrical Engineer but was very unique and special in that we got to work closely with a client and end user who was quite knowledgeable about lighting and was extremely involved throughout the entire design and construction process. The large scale of the project meant for a lot of careful coordination between the architect and other consultants.

Describe an energy challenge and how was it met.

There was a strong desire by the client for us to provide an extremely energy efficient lighting solution which would help to reduce the overall energy load of the building. Designing using only LED fixtures, using a task/ambient approach, and an automated wireless lighting control system the project was able to achieve a lighting power density 30% below energy code and only 0.43w/sf overall.

Were aspects of the project culturally or historically significant?

Partners Healthcare, Massachusetts leading healthcare system and largest private employer, was looking to consolidate 14 of their offices into a single 825,000sf building. The pure size of this project and its location in the new Assembly Row complex in Somerville, MA represented not a only a shift for a company whose employees had been scattered around the city, but also for Somerville and the growing community at Assembly Row.

Were there schedule constraints for design process or construction? If so, how was this addressed?

The entire project from design to TCO took only 29 months. For a project of this scale, an 825,000sf building, 2000-car parking garage, and a 2.5 acre landscaped area meant that everything moved at a very fast pace and was only achievable due to the close collaboration of the entire team including the design team, construction team, and client.

Were there controls, custom fixtures, commissioning, or daylighting scope for HLB?

All of the office floors utilize Philips’ wireless SpaceWise control system. What was unique about using this control system was not simply the wireless nature of the installation but also that the SpaceWise system up until that point in time hadn’t been intended, programmed or integrated into the required lighting fixtures for this type of office application, an open office space with not only used recessed 1×4 fixtures in the open office area but also additional layers of lighting to wash vertical surfaces, light conference rooms, and provide visual interest. As a result, we worked directly with the manufacturer to integrate the necessary components into all of our specified light fixtures and to modify the controls programming to suit the nature of the open office environment as it had been designed and to not only function as an energy saver but also to keep the visual comfort of the occupant in mind.

What was your favorite aspect of involvement in the project?

Designing the café and servery area. While the majority of the project, which consisted of office floors, was very practical, the café and servery was an area where we were able to get creative and really invigorate the space through the use of lighting. It was great to see the project in construction; each site visit there was another floor added and another area of the building was completed. Employees had moved into the bottom few floors of the building and during our last visit it was great to see the building in use by its users.

What were the project’s goals regarding lighting?

During schematic design we conceived of the 5 following lighting principles which served as touchstones and guided our design team throughout the design process:

  • Provide sustainable lighting solutions utilizing energy efficient technologies, lighting control systems, and a task/ambient approach.
  • Design a modern, understated lighting solution using practical maintenance-friendly lighting products that demonstrates Partners commitment to fiscal responsibility.
  • Create a sense of wayfinding with light, which assists employees and visitors alike in navigating the Partners campus.
  • Maximize flexibility for the future by providing lighting solutions that easily allow for space reconfiguration.
  • Provide a variety of visual experiences which promotes a creative and energizing working environment encouraging employee collaboration.

How were these goals achieved?

These goals were achieved through a very practical, energy efficient, visually comfortable task/ambient lighting approach throughout the open office areas which were broken up by shared collaborative spaces where we were able to inject some fun through decorative lighting.

“The lighting throughout this 13 story building while often times simple and practical in its nature and other times dynamic and playful help to infuse this healthy workplace with a sense of collaboration and community” – Says Robyn.

The majority of the project is simple architectural lighting for the open office floors but there are fun moments at breakout spaces or conference rooms that have an architecturally decorative lighting element” – Says Michelle.

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