CRITERIA EVALUATION & ENERGY USE STUDY
General Services Administration
Public Buildings Service
Office of Applied Science
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Applied Science and GSA
Southeast Sunbelt Region 4, in partnership with the Administrative Office of the U.S.
Courts (AOUSC), and the U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management
Program have conducted a study of the lighting in six U.S. Federal District courtrooms to
determine the source of lighting problems and energy performance.
This report is in two parts: data collection and analysis performed by Ove Arup &
Partners under the auspices of the National Institute of Building Sciences, and courtroom
energy performance performed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for
the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE). Both efforts were completed under contract to
GSA and co-funding for PNNL was provided by USDOE. The reports are attached
The following is a brief summary of the findings in the reports:
1. In sum, it appears that the source of the problems with courtroom lighting stem
from inadequately defined criteria, mistakes in implementing the guidance that is
available, and from a lack of understanding of the complex factors that determine
how humans perceive lighting.
2. The data collection showed that there was room for improvements in the lighting
design for all of the courtrooms, even in those where the lighting was considered
satisfactory by the court.
3. The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) requires energy use in Federal facilities to be
30% below ANSI/ASHARE/IESNA Standard 90.1 004. Standard 90.1 defines
the lighting power density (LPD) that can be used in both courthouses and
courtrooms which will significantly impact lighting designs. The 1999 Standard
LPD for courtrooms is 1.9 watts/sf and the 30% reduction for the 2004 Standard
has yet to be defined. In addition, the prescriptive performance path of Standard
90.1 - 2004 does not account for hours of use, only the connected load. To assure
that the final lighting standards are acceptable, the courts should consider
actively engaging in the current code development discussions by the ASHRAE
Standard 90.1 Lighting Subcommittee.
4. Although the lighting design of the courtrooms may meet the design criteria for
the amount of light coming from the fixtures (illuminance), the human perception
of room brightness is dependent upon how that light is reflected from the surfaces
(luminance) in the room. In other words, with the same amount of light, a room
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