Sustainable thinking goes beyond saving energy

News /
13 February 2013
Sustainable thinking goes beyond saving energy
WE-EF street lighting at Swindon Triangle, the United Kingdom.

The efficient use of energy was also an important motivation for the project managers of Swindon Triangle, a residential area in Swindon, the United Kingdom, when they were considering street-lighting using LED luminaires. However, the sustainable approach pursued by the planners in the redevelopment of this 1930s settlement goes far beyond simple energy savings. Low-energy houses made of organic building materials, the use of rainwater, photovoltaic facilities, an infrastructure accessible entirely by foot or bike, car pooling and even a separate kitchen garden are just some of the measures that make living in this residential area as environmentally friendly as possible.

Naturally, this requirement was also extended to the selection of luminaires for the streets of Swindon Triangle. The planners decided on RFL530 street and area lighting luminaires. With a connected rating of only 28 watts, they illuminate the streets and pathways of the project with minimal energy requirements, and also impress with their ecological balance sheet over the entire life cycle. The luminaire body of the RFL530 is made from a marine-grade low copper content aluminium alloy – an alloy that can be recycled with only 5 per cent of originally used energy. Overall, more than 90 per cent of the material quantities that are used can be recycled for the luminaires. Moreover, the modular structure of the luminaires also ensures sustainability. For example, once the LEDs reach the end of their service life or are upgraded, the LED modules are simply replaced.

WE-EF is currently working on an analysis of the ecological footprint of its LED streetlighting luminaires – an analysis that is unusually comprehensive for the industry. With partners such as PE International, a specialist for life cycle assessments, and IBU (Institut Bauen und Umwelt), the company is evaluating the effects of the production, installation, operation and recycling of its luminaires on the environment. The full evaluation will be completed with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) pursuant to ISO 14025. The environmental declaration provides verifiable and comparative information about the environmental burdens created by a product. Investors and operators who emphasise the sustainability of their projects are increasingly requesting such EPDs.


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