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American Tobacco Historic District Partners with Duke Energy and Cree


By American Tobacco Campus

Durham — The American Tobacco Campus, a national model for historic redevelopment, is pushing boundaries and setting new standards for energy efficiency as part of a new collaboration with Duke Energy and LED innovator, Cree, Inc.

Tobacco entrepreneurs founded the campus more than a century ago. In 2004, a dramatic public-private partnership transformed the dilapidated factories into premium office space and entertainment destinations. With this expansive efficiency upgrade, the campus continues its cutting edge ways — challenging other historic revitalizations to follow suit.  

“Innovation has always been in the DNA of American Tobacco Campus,” says Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns the historic redevelopment. “As we prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the campus’s re-birth, we’re thrilled to partner with Duke Energy and Cree to set the pace for revitalization projects around the country.”

Campus executives worked with engineers from Duke Energy’s SmartBuilding Advantage initiative to identify efficiency improvements that helped reduce energy consumption at the 1.2 million square foot facility through day-to-day operations, and the engineering design firm Building Intelligence Group, to develop comprehensive solutions for the challenges associated with making historic buildings more energy efficient.

As part of the efficiency upgrade, more than 1,000 interior and exterior LED lighting fixtures by Cree have been installed, delivering high-quality illumination and reduced energy consumption.

Updating inefficient lighting fixtures with long-lasting, Cree® LED lighting solutions offered an effective way to reduce energy usage and maintenance needs associated with re-lamping, while simultaneously delivering high-quality lighting. The campus lighting upgrade included:

  • Replacing 76 1000-watt metal halide fixtures with Cree Edge™ Area luminaires on the roof decks;
  • upgrading the garage lighting with Cree® 304 Series™ LED luminaires; and
  • replacing the garage lighting with the ground-breaking new Cree VG Series LED parking garage luminaires, designed to deliver the combination of optical performance for reduced glare, efficiency, low initial cost and fast payback.

“Reducing energy and labor costs while maintaining light quality is essential for parking garages that often operate 24/7 hours,” said Mike Bauer, vice president of lighting sales, Cree. “Our easy-to-install parking garage luminaires provide significant energy savings along with exceptional light quality and uniformity, while virtually eliminating the need for routine maintenance.”

Additional energy-efficient upgrades at this national landmark turned business and community hub include:

  • Updates to the existing HVAC systems to optimize demand control for campus buildings;
  • chiller system upgrades and control optimization to manage the heating and cooling times for campus buildings;
  • lighting control and demand control upgrades to prevent non-stop energy usage; and
  • progress towards ENERGY STAR® certification for the American Tobacco Campus.

The total energy reduction resulting from the approved efficiencies is estimated to approach 18 percent annually.

About American Tobacco Campus
The award-winning American Tobacco Campus offers one million square feet of premium office space in a historic factory setting bustling with restaurants, entertainment, mature businesses and the American Underground startup hub. The campus serves as a bridge from Durham’s past as one of the world’s tobacco centers to its present and future as a knowledge, science and medical capital.

Source: American Tobacco Historic District

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