BP Headquarters

Location: Cape Town/South Africa
Products: , PCA 2/54 T5 ECO, DSI Smart

The BP headquarters in Cape Town is designed as a passive building. The use of natural daylight and energy efficiency were therefore two important criteria in the design of the lighting system. Digital dimmable PCA ECO control gear and DSI-SMART controllers prove their worth.

BP, one of the world’s leading oil companies, has built its new South African headquarters in the middle of the former dock area in Cape Town. The requirement was to make as much use of daylight as economically possible and to provide an intelligent link between this natural source of light and the electrical lighting system. The solution provided by architects Kruger Roos and Joshua Conrad involved large windows and transoms. Lighting design was the responsibility of Jan Clavaux from Solution Station. The demand was for innovative technology for the luminaires, lamps and controllers. It was also important that the luminaires and the system as a whole should be low maintenance.

High-quality technology

The “Mellow Light” luminaire system from Voltex Lighting, which achieves an excellent horizontal uniformity of light and high vertical illuminances, proved to be the ideal solution in the bright open rooms. The Lascon RCB luminaires are equipped with two T5 fluorescent lamps and PCA 2/54 T5 ECO digital dimmable control gear from Tridonic. Because the lamps are dimmed according to the amount of available daylight and are switched on and off by motion detectors, the maintenance and operating costs can be reduced by almost 65 % compared with a conventional system.

In selecting the right control system the prime considerations were simple maintenance and user-friendly operation. The digital DSISMART controller from Tridonic meets both requirements perfectly, combining simple design with ease of installation. Unlike most other systems, DSI-SMART measures the ambient brightness, in other words the natural daylight and the artificial light in the adjacent areas. In addition to a light sensor, the controller contains a motion detector for which the switch-off delay can be adjusted between 1 minute and 60 minutes.

Each sensor controls four luminaires in a ceiling grid of 3 m x 2.4 m. These are automatically switched or dimmed by the sensors according to the programmed trigger criteria. There is therefore no need for switches. The predefined lighting mood can be individually adjusted with the aid of a remote control however, for example in a small single office or in a conference room. Simply pressing the automatic button returns the system to preprogrammed mode. During the summer months, savings of up to 70 % can be achieved solely by using available daylight. The long life of the T5 lamps of more than 16,000 hours thanks to the perfectly matched control gear leads to fewer relampings and therefore to longer maintenance intervals, which adds to the environmental credentials of the passive house.

High-tech through and through

All the luminaires are equipped with T5 lamps, resulting in energy efficiency and ease of maintenance. Compared with luminaires with T8 lamps and magnetic ballasts, this produces to energy savings of more than 20 %. Public areas are illuminated with low-voltage luminaires. Their electronic transformers and 35 W lamps with infra-red coatings are also highly innovative. Heat loss with this system is around 8 W lower than with magnetic transformers. What’s more, these lamps produce the same amount of light as conventional 50 W dichroic lamps. System power is reduced by 23 W per luminaire, which corresponds to energy savings of 37 %.

At BP headquarters the decision was made to consider not only initial investment costs for the lighting system but also the operating costs over the entire life of the system. The result is an innovative lighting solution that meets current European standards, fits perfectly in its environment and promotes the comfort and well-being of employees.

Project data
Owner: BP
Architects: Kruger Roos, Joshua Conrad
Lighting planning: Jan Clavaux (Solution Station)
Lighting: Voltex Lighting
Project finalised: 2006
Used equipment: PCA 2/54 T5 ECO,
DSI Smart