Improved illumination and visual balance for the 140 New Montgomery high-rise in San Francisco is preserved to its 1925 historic glory. Senior Associate, Faith Jewell, and Senior Designer, Vasudha Rathi discuss how the design team used energy efficient lighting solutions that contributed to LEED Platinum success!

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

It was not a standard tenant improvement project. The work experience with the entire team was great. There was an amazing synergy. Everyone was working towards one goal: restoring this iconic building to its previous grandeur, while transforming the space into one of the most technologically advanced in the city. The historic nature of the project made it very special. The building was originally designed in 1925 for Pacific Telephone Company and is often referred to as the Bell Telephone company. As part of the development of our lighting design for the space, HLB went deep into historical research to glean precedent examples of how previous architects used lighting in their buildings as spaces. We then took this body of work and translated it into concepts for the lobby that utilized modern day technology. We were then able to create solutions that addressed the modern day needs of the space while still maintaining cohesion with the original intent of the architecture.

Describe an energy challenge and how was it met.

Since the new design was moving from traditional sources to LED sources meeting the energy goals was not very difficult so we strived to make it as energy efficient as possible. Lighting power density is 65% better than stringent Title 24 baseline. Energy-efficient lighting contributed significantly to LEED Platinum Certification.

Describe a design challenge and how was it met.

One of the biggest challenges of the project was to provide a lighting solution using new technology which, as a result, complemented, and in some areas, restored the original design integrity.

Were there budget constraints and how were they met?

Value engineering was integral to the process for achieving the Owner’s budget and avoiding design compromises.
Were there controls, custom fixtures, commissioning, or daylighting scope for HLB? We did not specifically have custom fixture scope but HLB worked with the design team and the manufacturer who helped with the preservation of the historic pendants in the lobby. HLB helped with design ideas and mock-up reviews to help integrate new LED sources into the historic pendent while maintaining the aesthetics and quality of light coming from it.

What was your favorite aspect of involvement in the project?

Site visits and mock-ups.

What were the lighting goals and how did your team achieve them?

Lighting power density is 65% better than stringent Title 24 baseline. All new lighting was sensibly integrated. Electric illumination meets IESNA recommended maintained average along with the recommended 4:1 uniformity ratio. Discrete steplights were integrated into elevator door surrounds for additional code required illumination at thresholds.

“To me this project is a great example of HLB’s vast resources and ability to produce great designs for many different project types. Deep historical research, strong assessment of the modern project needs, along with careful application of concepts, creates an experience in this lobby which is truly unforgettable.” – Says Faith Jewell

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