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Pennsylvania Adopts New Building Codes for More Energy Efficient Lighting Controls

Pennsylvania Adopts New Building Codes for More Energy Efficient Lighting Controls

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Pennsylvania is adopting a new energy conservation code effective Oct. 1, 2018 through an update of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC). The 2015 IECC will be the new building efficiency standard statewide except in the city of Philadelphia, which is adopting the newer 2018 IECC standard.

These updates to efficiency standards represent a more than 26 percent increase in building energy efficiency over the current standard. Harold Jepsen, Vice President of Standards and Industry, Building Control Systems at Legrand, has outlined the biggest changes in the upcoming code updates.

Pennsylvania – 2015 IECC

  • Automatic daylight-responsive controls are now required for windows and skylights. This will save energy by automatically reducing the light level when there is a contribution of natural daylight through skylights, windows, and other vertical fenestrations. Some space types, like offices, classrooms, labs, and library reading rooms require the use of less distractive continuous dimming daylighting controls.
  • A new automatic lighting shutoff provision further reduces energy consumption and requires the use of occupancy sensors in 12 building space types. These include classrooms, conference rooms, lunch rooms, private offices, and restrooms.
  • Exterior lighting control provisions now require building facade and landscape lighting to be controlled independently of all other site and parking lighting. It also requires facade and landscape lighting to turn on/off as a function of the building’s use times. All other lighting, not classified as building facade and landscape, must reduce lighting by at least 30 percent, no later than midnight and 6:00 a.m., or one hour after business closing to one hour before business opening, depending on which timeframe comes first. These provisions will reduce energy consumption by using time scheduled controls to reduce or turn off unneeded exterior lighting during nighttime hours.
  • A new Additional Efficiency Package Option introduces a selection of six efficiency measures. A building owner and design team must choose to apply at least one of these six options to the building project. Two of the six options are lighting related. One requires the reduction of the lighting power in the building design by at least 10 percent. The other requires use of enhanced digital lighting controls in the building.
  • Lighting System Functional Testing is included to determine how occupancy sensors, time switches, and daylight-responsive controls are to be configured, programmed, and calibrated. This assures the energy savings intended by these controls are fully realized.

Philadelphia – 2018 IECC

Philadelphia’s adoption of the 2018 IECC standard makes it one of the first jurisdictions in the country to follow this newly published energy efficiency standard. There are a few added energy measures to the lighting controls section:

  • Occupancy sensor control of lighting in open-plan office areas with control zones limited to 600 square feet.
  • Occupancy sensor shut off time delay decreased to 20 minutes from the 30 minutes under the prior code.
  • Use of Luminaire Level Lighting Control technologies as an alternate lighting control compliance option.
  • A trade-off to reduce lighting power allowances in exchange for use of automatic daylight-responsive controls.
  • Addition of two more measure selections to the Additional Efficiency Package Options, increasing the compliance choices from six options to eight.
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