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Commercial Applications

Case Study: Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University

Cambridge University saves energy without affecting “good science”

The Gurdon Institute was identified by The University of Cambridge as one of five pilot departments for energy reduction, due to its high consumption levels. Alongside a behavior change campaign, energy saving technologies were researched that would maximise savings with minimum disruption to the researchers and their work environment. To see the impact that lighting control could have in ‘unloved’ areas of The Gurdon Institute’s building facilities manager, Kathy Hilton, set up a trial in an equipment room; and a research laboratory.

The Challenge

As well as altering user behavior to their surroundings, The Gurdon Institute still had a large number of spaces within the building that were termed ‘unloved’. These were the areas that were not the responsibility of any one person or research group and so energy consumption in these areas was not ‘owned’ by anyone. These areas involved a number of equipment rooms and general use laboratories.

Monitoring shows a 60% reduction in lighting energy


The existing T8 36W fluorescent where changed to more efficient T5 lamps and ballast. Having installed a wireless Lutron Rania® RF switch and two Radio Powr SavrTM wireless occupancy/vacancy sensors in the 50m2 equipment room, Building Sustainability Ltd. made the decision to fit a meter as well to allow them to monitor the results. Thanks to the wireless nature of Lutron’s Energi TriPak solution, the retrofit was carried out with no disruption to the researchers’ working day.

Rania wireless switches provide convenient control
As well as occupancy sensors it was decided that daylight harvesting sensors would also be included. Lutron’s EcoSystem Energy Savr NodeTM addressable lighting control was installed, along with four occupancy and daylight sensors and a tracking meter.


Monitoring revealed a 60% reduction between manual switching and sensor control. In the laboratory, usage went from 360 kWh to 160 kWh, a 56% reduction between manual switching, as well as sensor and daylight control.

Following these successful trials, Lutron’s Energi TriPak retrofit solution has been installed in a further 97 zones, including research support and equipment rooms, stores, toilets and osme small office areas. Projected financial savings for these zones, based on the findings from the equipment room and lab trials, are as follows:

  • £10,000 projected financial savings per annum
  • 100,000 kWh electricity savings per annum
  • 54 tonnes of carbon saved per annum
  • Investment - £20,000 and payback – 2 years

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