A healthy, happy workforce

Luminaires from Whitecroft Lighting have played a vital role improving the visual environment of over 1,200 people employed at the O2 Call Centre in Bury, Lancashire. Feedback from employees suggested that the overall visual environment was poor and a survey identified that the lighting was part of the problem.
The survey included taking light level readings, digital photographs and quantifying luminaires and wattages for analysis. It was discovered that the ceiling, walls, furniture and lamp colours were all at odds with each other, creating a complicated visual environment.

Following a request for recommendations from Taylor Woodrow Facilities Management, Whitecroft used ‘through-life cost analysis’ and computer modelling to produce a report, plus recommendations that included upgrading the lighting and redecorating the space to improve reflectances and help to balance colours. In many instances, a one-for-one replacement was possible using lower wattage luminaires and making huge savings on rewiring costs. The recommendations were accepted by O2 and Walsh Integrated Building Services were brought in to carry out the installation.

Whitecroft’s analysis showed that large savings in both energy and maintenance costs could be made by replacing the existing illumination with luminaires incorporating the latest technology. Industrial type high bays were changed to Whitecroft’s Atlanta luminaires, incorporating Venture Lighting’s 400W metal halide lamps and full metal reflectors to prevent glare at the mezzanine level.

Euroflood Mini floodlights were installed at the base of the ‘sails’ to produce a wide spread of uniform light, as was the intention in the original design. These were also used to replace the existing metal halide uplighters with ceramic MH lamps to remove colour shift. Cost effective Comfort Surface, high frequency T5 luminaires replaced the existing old technology, high cost illumination, whilst Espirit recessed circular downlighters replaced the glare of the old luminaires below the mezzanines. The settings of the existing lighting control system were adjusted to prevent ‘nuisance switching’ of the main overhead lighting.

The resulting installation has a uniformity of illuminance of over 400 lux at desk height (which previously varied from 400 lux down to 260 lux) and a balanced, constant colour appearance throughout. The predicted energy savings for O2 are an amazing £7,000 per annum and, no doubt, there will be a happier, healthier workforce.

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