The Office of the Future (OTF) program is a new energy efficiency approach supported by a consortium of some of the nation’s largest and most progressive energy utilities. OTF targets existing multi-tenant commercial office buildings with packages of advanced energy efficiency strategies that can be applied at the tenant level for building owners. The overall goal is to assemble technical guidelines to office renovation projects that specify performance requirements for different attributes of the office (lighting, plug loads, etc.) and whole building that result in 25% and 50% savings better than code.

Three pilot projects were conducted:

1. Executive office space

2. Open area office space

3. Office space with five private offices, a conference room, lobby, kitchen, and corridor

The executive offices provided an opportunity to measure energy use in a 1,360 square-meters (m2) office and to undertake a relighting project that met the architectural, aesthetic, and functional demands of the space while employing current energy-efficient products and design techniques.

The open area office space consisted of 745 m2 of primarily cubicle office space — half of the 12th floor of a federal building in Santa Monica, CA. The project was highly representative of the challenges and complications faced in retrofit projects in everyday office buildings.

The office space with private offices involved renovating the lighting and lighting controls in a 147 m2 office space in the 41,156 m2 building, and summarized the performance of the lighting design in accordance with the OTF Technical Guidelines. In addition, this project included details regarding the pre- and post-lighting systems and controls, compares the actual metered power and energy performance of the 2008 Title 24 code baseline, presents the code calculation basis, and reveals some of the complexities associated with this approach.

These pilot projects had three primary goals: 1) examine the performance characteristics of highly-controlled lighting systems in a real office environment compared to existing lighting and applicable codes, 2) monitor plug load energy use, and 3) provide measured and technical data back to OTF consortium members to inform the OTF process.

The measured results of the open area office space project revealed that a high-performance lighting design with controls delivers savings considerably beyond code-calculated estimates. In fact, results show that during daytime occupied hours, the average site usage is 43% less power than code calculations. The new system reduced the connected load by 56%. Similar results were found for the other two pilot projects.

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