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Center for Visual Arts replaces lights to 'go green'

Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 05:04

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Courtesy of the University of Toledo

UT's SEED (Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, and Design) Initiative helped the Center for Visual Arts made a stride toward being environmentally-friendly with some recent lighting renovations.

Launched from the University of Toledo’s SEED Initiative, the Center for Visual Arts made a stride toward being environmentally-friendly with some recent lighting renovations.

Brooke Mason, Interim Sustainability Specialist, started the project because she wanted to improve the environmental sustainability at the university. Upgrading CVPA’s lighting is an attempt to improve quality and to reduce costs.

The maintenance workers of the university completed a light retrofit project which they say will better the community and improve the human condition.

Jim Graff, director of facilities operations, maintenance and electric, helped fund the project. He used personal money to cover the costs of the project, which ended up being about $15,000. Without these funds, the project would not have been completed.

The changes included replacing old 40-Watt lights with more efficient 28-Watt lights.

Graff said depending on the fixture there could be two, three or four lamps and ballast — the mechanism which powers the lamps. Rewiring the ballasts made the lamps more energy-efficient for the new lights.

The university electricians also had to take out the old lamps and ballasts to rewire the new, more efficient ballasts and lighting.

UT was able to do most of the rewiring, but a few rooms had high ceilings, so a local electric company, Bryson Tucker Electric LLC, was hired for additional help.

While working to make the lights more efficient, Graff brought in a specialist to train the workers on how to operate and install the ballasts.

The workers now know how to take care of the lights if there is ever a problem or if any of the lights ever burn out, he said.

With changing those light bulbs, the building has already had a 30 percent energy reduction.

“The new lights are going to be more energy efficient, going to be brighter and it’s going to be more uniform,” Graff said. “It should be better for the people.”

When trying to organize this project, the university tried to get it covered by state funding that they have for energy updates, but the process failed, Mason said.

The project ended up costing less than 50 percent of what it should have by applying for and receiving a rebate, he said.

“The Center for the Visual Arts is burning brighter thanks to the comprehensive fluorescent light retrofit project,” said Dr. Chris Burnett, CVPA chair. “Not only do we see better, but we appreciate the energy savings with the more efficient use of electricity.” 

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