What are the restrictions relating to Artificial Lighting and Power for Buildings?
It’s important to know the regulations of the Commercial Building(s) you’re managing. Non-Residential incorporates Classes 3 and 5 through to 9 and for the Common Areas of Class 2 Buildings. Section J of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) outlines the National Construction Code (NCC) requirements for Artificial Lighting & Power and Building Classes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Section J, it assesses the compliance of the energy efficiency measures in the Artificial Lighting and Power Design and must be adhered to in all buildings.
The Lighting Calculator for Property Managers…
As a Property Manager, you can be faced with the difficult task of making sure each building complies with strict regulations. Prolux Electrical Contractors can assist in identifying lighting and power requirements and can provide you with valuable solutions. Furthermore, the Lighting Calculator has been designed by the ABCB to assist in developing a better understanding of lighting energy efficiency parameters. To put in simply, it helps you to identify the wattage per square metre for each room, to work out the Illumination Power Density for areas outlined, while taking into consideration all variable factors. Illumination Power Density is the total power that would be consumed by lights in any given space, this includes lamps, ballasts (device to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit), current regulators and control devices (lighting timer, motion detectors or dimming devices) other than those that are plugged directly into a socket outlet for intermittent use, such as floor standing lamps, desk lamps or work station lamps, divided by the floor area of the space. Multiple Lighting Systems refers to the Illumination Power Load when multiple lighting systems serve the same space.
Just a few properties Prolux Electrical Contractors have serviced, in and around Melbourne’s CBD…
Class 1a – Detached, Terrace, Townhouse or Villa
Class 1b – Guesthouse
Class 2 – Two or more Sole Occupancy Units
Class 3 – Accommodation or Residence in Public Building
Class 4 – Only Dwelling in Class 5,6,7,8 or 9 Building
Class 5 – Office Building
Class 6 – Shop Building
Class 7a – Car Park
Class 7b – Warehouse – Storage or Display
Class 8 – Laboratory or Building used for production
Class 9a – Health Care Building
Class 9b – Public Assembly Building
Class 9c – Aged Care Building
Class 10a – Sheds and Garages
Class 10b – Non-Habitable Structure
How many Watts per Square Metre can Building Owners and Tenants use under ABCB guidelines?
– For lighting indoors – 5 watts per square metre
– For lighting in outdoor areas, including pergolas – 4 watts per square metre
– For lighting in garages or sheds – 3 watts per square metre
These percentages relate to maximum usages. Exceptions to this rule only exist when certain lighting controls are used, and this may vary depending on specific structures and set-ups. An LED globe, for example, may use a tenth of the power that a halogen globe uses to create an equivalent amount and style of light. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) also offer significant energy savings. Lighting variables can alter these figures; dimmers and motion detectors and lighting regulations don’t account for lamps and other non-permanent lighting fittings either, provided that they’re not directly wired in. Body Corporate Managers must ensure there is adequate public lighting to illuminate all hallways and common areas, or risk liability. In regards to light fittings, if they are recessed in the ceiling, it is the Owners Corporation’s responsibility. If it hangs into the lot, it’s the owner’s responsibility.
What does all this mean for Property Managers?
The table below identifies the Wattage per Square Metre for Non-Residential Buildings.
Wattage per Sq/M Power Density for Specific Area
9 watts Office – artificially lit to 200lx or more
7 watts Office – artificially lit to less than 200lx
5 watts Service Area (Change Room, Staff Room)
6 watts Public Toilets
12 watts Laboratories – artificially lit to 400lx or more
13 watts Health Care (Care areas and Corridors)
7 to 10 watts Health Care (Children’s Ward and Examination Room)
17 watts Factories/Industrial
9 watts Switchboard Room
10 watts Conference/Board Room
10 watts Auditorium/Church/Public Hall
8 watts Common Rooms/Corridors in Class 2 Building
15 watts Entry Lobby from outside Building
22 watts Retail/Shop
5 watts Plant Room
8 to 10 watts Storage Room
10 watts Wholesale Storage and Display Area
6 watts Car Park
25 watts Car Park Entrance – first 20 metres
10 watts Lounge Area for Communal use in Class 3 Building
5 watts Sole Occupancy of Class 3 Building
“Lighting contributes up to 38% of a building’s energy use. It is one of the easiest areas to save energy for owners. Australian standards specify minimum luminance levels for different commercial tasks. Work areas require twice the luminance of foyer areas, which in turn are twice those of toilets, passage ways or stairs.”
Need help confirming you’re complying with the ABCB’s Section J?
How do I calculate Watts per Square Metre?
- Measure each room’s width and length in metres.
- Multiply the numbers by 3.280839895. For example, a room at 10.2 by 6.4 metres converts to 702.82 feet (10.2 x 3.280839895 = 33.46) (6.4 x 3.280839895 = 20.99).
- Multiply the length of the room by width to calculate the area in square feet. In our example, the area of the room is 33.46 x 20.99 or 702.32 square feet.
- Obtain the energy consumption (in watts) in each room. For example, the lighting in this room comes from 30, 75-watt and eight, 100-watt lamps. This equates to 30 x 75 + 8 x 100 = 3,050 watts.
- Divide the wattage consumed in the room by its area in square feet to calculate the watts per square foot. In our example, 3,050 watts divided by 702.32 square feet equals to 4.34 watts per square feet.
How do I convert Lux to Watts per Square Metre?
One hundred Lux is equal to one Watt per Square Metre. Therefore, when converting Lux to Watts per Square Metre, all that is required is to multiply the number of Watts in question by 100.
For more information, or a detailed analysis on your building’s energy efficiency call Prolux Electrical Contractors today.
Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880
The Melbourne electrician for all your electrical requirements.
3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153