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Savvy building professionals know that upgrades of outdated garage lighting to modern LED technology represent some of the most popular and economically attractive investments in the commercial marketplace today. This fact hasn't been lost on the 207-acre Aspiria corporate complex in Overland Park, KS, where Aspiria Campus Director of Engineering Gary Schlotzhauer championed the upgrade of the older fluorescent and high pressure sodium lighting in their parking garages and parkway to high-performing, energy-efficient, long-lasting, and easy to maintain LED technology.
Originally constructed as the world headquarters of a major telecommunications company in 1999, the campus contains four million square feet of Class-A commercial office space spread across 20 buildings and 14 parking garages that can accommodate 14,500 vehicles. In July 2019, the property was purchased by Wichita, KS-based Occidental Management, Inc., a leading commercial real estate development, leasing, and property management company, and has since been repositioned as a mixed-use complex.
“Though the campus originally only featured office space, we'll ultimately offer multi-family residential and retail space and will soon construct a hotel," Schlotzhauer shared. And while the former owner currently leases space in four of the campus's 20 buildings, “we have several dozen other unique tenants onsite representing a broad range of industries, from the financial and medical fields to transportation and more," he said. “We've also opened up Aspiria to community involvement by hosting 5k Charity walks and other special events on our property so the public can benefit from and be a part of our space."
“We aim to be a live-work-play environment, and when fully occupied (post-pandemic), our world-class complex will sport a population of 14,700 people, rendering it one of the largest office campuses in North America and the 25th largest population out of the 525 total cities and towns in the state of Kansas," Schlotzhauer noted.
In addition to the lighting upgrade to save money and enhance the aesthetic of the campus, as a proactive and highly informed energy manager Schlotzhauer has driven other beneficial upgrade projects at Aspiria. These include the optimization of their chiller operation, upgrade of their air handling system, and their generation of renewable energy in partnership with their local utility. These initiatives have reduced campus-wide energy consumption by 13.5 million kWh and driven over $1.5 million in energy cost, both annually. “It isn't just the technology and products that contribute to the savings, but also the culture of the entire organization including ownership, management and the talented building professionals that are responsible for operating the complex systems at Aspira," said Schlotzhauer.
“My mantra is 'just do it' because there are opportunities everywhere, and I always like to offer guidance to other building professionals and energy managers so that they can drive their own success," Schlotzhauer said. “If you're not replacing older lighting in your facilities with LEDs, you're missing the boat."
A Bright Opportunity
“When we first took over, the lighting in our parking garages and along the campus parkway was dull, dingy, and uninviting. There was a great opportunity to improve the quality of light," said Schlotzhauer of the low bay HID fixtures that lit their 14 garages and parkway and the T8 fluorescent lamps in the 28 garage stairwells.
Schlotzhauer began Aspiria's lighting upgrade by reaching out to City Lighting Products, the electrical distributor he's worked with for over two decades, as well as his LEDVANCE sales representative. Together, the team selected a combination of SYLVANIA SubstiTUBE® IPS LED T8 lamps, a high-performing, energy-saving alternative designed to replace traditional fluorescent T8 lamps, and SYLVANIA ULTRA LED™ High Lumen Lamps, which are ideal for indoor high/low bay lighting and outdoor decorative post-top fixtures in walkway lighting applications.
“I've been a proud and dedicated supporter of SYLVANIA products for over 20 years," explained Schlotzhauer. “LEDVANCE is a top lighting company, and there was no hesitation in making this choice."
The 100-Watt high pressure sodium fixtures that lit the garage stalls, as well as the metal halide lamps in the 130 coach light fixtures that lined the parkway, were replaced with 27-Watt SYLVANIA ULTRA LED High Lumen lamps. The 32-Watt, four-lamp, service-mount fluorescent lamps in the stairwells were replaced with 10-Watt SYLVANIA SubstiTUBE IPS LED T8 LED lamps. In all cases, the upgrades involved a convenient and simple one-for-one replacement within the facilities' existing fixtures.
“SYLVANIA products fit the bill," said Clark Kessler, Major Account Representative at LEDVANCE. “The fixtures in Aspiria's garages were still viable, and we had the right LED replacement products to make them work. This eliminated the cost and disposal issues of getting rid of the fixtures. We had a variety of solution in our portfolio to choose from," he said, “and all of the products we selected supported enhanced lighting quality, reduced maintenance, and significantly lower energy cost."
A Winning Approach
Kicked off in March 2020 and completed nine months later, Schlotzhauer is delighted with the results of Aspiria's upgrade.
In addition to elevating footcandle levels and creating far brighter, cleaner, more uniform, and more inviting garage spaces, “we were paying $4,800 a month for the labor to replace failed high pressure sodium lamps throughout our 14 garages, so our upgrade to reliable, long-lasting SYLVANIA LED lamps delivered $60,000 in annual labor savings alone," he said. “In addition, the new lighting delivered nearly $210,000 in annual energy cost savings. These combined savings enabled the project to pay itself back in less than a year."
“Gary's been way out ahead of the game, and we were excited to support this project and his team," Kessler confirmed. “The results in terms of aesthetics and energy savings speak for themselves."
Bill Leavel, Outside Sales Representative at distributor City Lighting Products in Kansas City, MO, couldn't agree more.
“I've known and worked with Gary for a long time and am proud of our partnership. He's very knowledgeable and whatever he needs, I'm there for him," Leavel said. “The project went very smoothly. We had no trouble ordering and getting the SYLVANIA LED lamps on time. This successful project was a result of great teamwork. The look and feel of the new LEDs are like night and day compared to the old lighting."
Based on his outstanding experience with SYLVANIA lighting products, Schlotzhauer has other big plans for the Aspiria campus. “I've bought SYLVANIA SubstiTUBE lamps ever since they hit the market, and the product speaks for itself," he said. “SYLVANIA quality has always been there. The LEDVANCE team does a great job of providing what their customers need at competitive prices, and they're what I specify whenever I have a lighting project."
“As we complete tenant build-outs inside of our buildings, we're replacing everything with SYLVANIA linear LED lamps wherever we're not installing new lighting fixtures," he said. “We've installed over 10,500 SYLVANIA LED products on our campus to-date even before this project and are enjoying better quality light, superior performance, and outstanding energy and cost savings. LEDVANCE is a solid company with extensive experience, proven quality, and a winning approach to product design and development."