Energy Audit & Being Green at Green Leaf Tempe Station

Conversion to LEDs throughout extensive property with the help of Energy Efficiency Pros significantly improves efficiency by reducing 400,000 kWh and provides an inviting atmosphere.
Green Leaf Tempe Station not only gives a new meaning to luxury living but does so with an eye toward the environment. Located near the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Arizona, Green Leaf Station is home to college students, as well as professionals. The 16-building, 400-unit apartment complex features spacious floor plans, a resort style pool and spa, cabana influenced grilling areas, a new-age fitness center, detached garage/storage building, a maintenance shop and a mail kiosk on approximately 18.5 acres. Units range from 854 to 1441 square feet including up to three bedrooms and two baths.
The property was recently acquired by the Green Leaf Partners Company which sets its communities apart from others as the result of its genuine passion for the environment as exemplified by its efforts to conserve precious resources. From the principals to the maintenance staff, the company is focused on reducing its environmental footprint by recycling, reducing waste, and providing energy-efficient technology which may include: solar energy systems, energy efficient appliances, low-flow shower heads, programmable thermostats, LEDs, to name just a few.
Green Leaf Tempe Station, formerly Apache Station, was purchased under the Freddie Mac Green Program which provides incentives for Green Leaf Partners to make energy efficiency improvements from areas like water conservation with sophisticated water pumps and filtration systems to energy efficient appliances.
David Burrill, Corporate Construction Manager for Green Leaf Partners, said, “At all of our properties, Green Leaf Partners makes substantial improvements with goals of sustainable building, reduced waste and energy efficiency. Many times, the biggest impact and best benefit we could afford our residents and investors is in energy savings. The easiest and least expensive way to save energy is through the use of high efficiency LED lighting.”
Green Leaf Partners and its Tempe property staff wanted to become more energy efficient by maximizing kilowatt hour savings. In addition, they know well selected lighting can completely change the appearance of a property, increase safety, improve sleep and save a lot of energy all at the same time.
As a result, Green Leaf Partners asked Energy Efficiency Pros, a specialty LED lighting provider in Tempe, to conduct an energy audit of the entire complex, including lighting for interior, exterior and common areas. As part of the energy audit, Energy Efficiency Pros focused on identifying products and solutions for high-lighting volume applications. The company worked with Ferrin Electric in Mesa, Arizona, who provides inspection services by licensed electricians, infrared thermology, surge suppression, voltage and current diagnosis, power quality and light pole repair.
The audit revealed that the property was using 250- and 400-watt high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps; T8 and T12HO fluorescent; 12-, 18-, 40-and 42-watt compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs); 25-watt halogen; 26-watt 4 pin fluorescent; and 40-watt incandescent lamps. In addition, most of the plastic lenses on the wall mounted downlights over the building identification signs exhibited discoloration from overheating/burning due to the use of 100-watt incandescent bulbs.
The findings of the audit prompted management to convert the lighting sources to LED technology. Energy Efficiency Pros and Ferrin Electric decided to work with the property’s existing fixtures to generate the fastest payback and make the most applicable use of current LED technology. In addition, Energy Efficiency Pros helped Green Leaf maximize the available incentives to reduce their costs for the LED retrofit.
Don Bartelt, Vice President of Sales and Operations for Energy Efficiency Pros, said, “The apartment complex was utilizing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in its common areas and rooms, which were Energy Star rated but not really efficient. The CFLs had a six-month performance life at Green Leaf Tempe Station. Although CFLs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, they do not come close to offering the benefits of LED lamps.”
Burrell added, “During the audit, we reviewed every aspect of lighting. We look at color temperature to ensure the right kind of light for specific areas.
For example, we put warm white 2700K light in bedrooms to create a more conducive restful environment. For exterior halls and parking lots, we used a 4000K light to increase visibility and safety. We looked at where a person puts on their make-up to the light coming from the bottom of your microwave, which illuminates where food is prepared.”
Green on the Inside
For interior spaces, Energy Efficiency Pros specified G25, A15, A19, A21, BR20 and B11 LED EarthBulbs from EarthTronics, Muskegon, Michigan. EarthTronics high quality LEDs are known for being energy-efficient over a long-life span.
Bartelt additionally recommended replacing 18-, 40- and 42-watt CFLs with 6-, 9- and 11-watt A15, A19 and A21 omni-directional EarthBulb LEDs which provide 450, 810 and 1100 lumens for more than a 50 percent energy savings. The 2700K color temperature LEDs come with a multi-chipset LED and an advanced cooling system that provides a 15,000-hour performance life. The omni-directional EarthBulb LEDs are complemented with the 5-watt G25 EarthBulb LED bulbs for the apartment bathrooms, which also feature the multi-chipset LED and 15,000-hour performance life.
In interior downlight applications, 2700K BR20s proved ideal for dimming recessed lighting, track lighting and display lighting applications. The BR20 LED is rated to last 25,000 hours, easily 10 times longer than the CFLs they replaced.
For the interior decorative lamps and wall sconces, 4.7-watt B11 candle style LEDs from EarthTronics were specified. The 2700K, 315 lumen light source also has a 25,000-hour performance life.
“Just as important as the energy savings, the LEDs maintained the light levels and a warm, comfortable residential environment,” stated Bartelt. “We recommended the EarthTronics LED products because of their proven, long lasting quality and efficiency.”
In the fitness area, 26-watt 4-pin fluorescents were replaced by 8-watt Hylite LED lamps in the cans which reduced energy by 70 percent. Meanwhile, the 45-watt CFLs in the breezeway cans were replaced by 10-watt Hylite LED VL, reducing energy use by 78 percent. The LED lamps will perform up to 50,000 hours, which also reduces maintenance costs.
In the Community Center and flood lights around the complex, Westgate recessed downlights were specified because of their abilities to provide 90 CRI and perform for more than 35,000.
Green on the Outside
For exterior spaces, Energy Efficiency Pros specified the 150-watt Matrix iGLO LED Matrix Shoebox pole lamp to replace the 458-watt high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, reducing energy by 67 percent while maintaining lumen levels. The easy-to-install and operate IP65-rated lamp provides a soft yellow lighting with instant start without flickering or humming. Energy Efficiency Pros also replaced the existing 189-watt HPS pole lights with the 60-watt iGLO LED Matrix Floodlight to reduce energy by 68 percent. Both the 150- and 60-watt pole lamps have a five-year warranty.
Westgate flood lamps were specified for pathway lighting and around the parking lots. Rated for 70,000 hours, the IP65-rated 15-watt lamps provide 110 lumens. Their solid-state lighting technology requires no maintenance and provides high efficiency.
In the carports, Hylite™ high performance 10-watt LED VL Lamps provide energy-efficient illumination at 120° beam angles to replace 18-, 26- and 32-watt CFL lamps. The LED lamps also will perform up to 50,000 hours, which further reduces maintenance costs. In addition, the 34-watt T12 fluorescent lamps, two per fixture, were replaced by LED 15-watt T8 lamps, saving more than 50 percent.
The energy lighting project began in January and was completed by April to provide immediate and substantial savings for the property. Burrill said, “We are excited about all of the improvements we make at all of our properties, but lighting is one of the most apparent that benefits everyone in many ways. Energy Efficiency Pros gave us great advice and were flexible when our needs changed.”
Bartelt concluded, “After LEDs were installed, Green Leaf Partners was very pleased with the energy reduction and the quality of light, which provides comfort to its residents and meets the property’s environmentally friendly mission. Overall, Green Leaf Tempe Station will reduce its lighting energy consumption by more than 400,000 kWh each year. Green Leaf Tempe Station truly sets the bar for green living.”

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