- 30 residential lots
- 4 commercial lots
- 4 residential levels
- 1 commercial level
- 1 parking level
- 2 lifts
- 2 buildings separated by an internal courtyard
- completed in 2003
Botany Cope upgraded lighting in the internal common areas, fire stairs and garage in 2 stages and achieved a 42% reduction in energy consumption
Botany Cope’s owners upgraded lighting in the internal common areas, fire stairs and garage in 2 stages. They achieved a 42% reduction in energy consumption by replacing:
- 18 x 36W and 44 x 18W T8 fluorescent tubes with 31 x 18W LED tubes in the garage and fire stairs. These had built-in microwave sensors and included emergency and non-emergency lights
- 41 x 32W circular fluorescents oyster fittings with 10W motion sensor controlled LED oyster fittings, also including emergency lights
- 24 x 18W compact fluorescents with 12 x 16W LED globes
The need to upgrade internal areas provided the stimulus to address energy efficiency at the same time – so before proceeding the executive committee commissioned a common property energy audit. The audit clearly identified that lighting was the dominant electricity drain so it was addressed as part of the upgrade.
The chairperson made sure that owners were informed at every stage. A survey conducted prior to starting the upgrade project provided input on what was wanted, and all interested parties were invited to brief the designer.
They decided LED sensor lighting was the best option – but had some difficulty in finding attractive sensor lighting that came in emergency and non-emergency fittings.
Six lighting suppliers were approached. Proposed fittings were often ugly, too bright or the wrong colour temperature. Only one provider could meet their design requirements.
The lighting upgrade was discussed and approved at the Annual General Meeting, as a component of the building’s interior upgrade. Information was circulated by email to interested parties and displayed on the notice boards for some time before the meeting.
One floor of 4 owners had strong opinions on the interior upgrade and didn’t like the recommended lights. They choose a different fitting from the same range for their floor. Even though one floor now looks slightly different to others (but not that different), it was more important to maintain harmony and make sure everyone felt heard.
The project took 1 year from outset to completion.
The total lighting upgrade cost $9,000 after the supplier provided an up-front discount allowing for Energy Saving Certificates.
The projected payback period was 3.5 years – however it’s turned out to be closer to 2.5 years.
Electricity consumption is now down 49% compared to that in 2011 / 12.
Learnings / Advice to others
The chairperson highlighted valuable learnings to come out of this exercise:
- OVER COMMUNICATE! Even if no-one responds or takes part, everyone wants to know about and be invited to be part of the process.
- Don’t settle for a solution unless it really ticks all the boxes
- Don’t get frustrated. Some things can take a while in strata, but they’re worth it in the end.