Donetta McClellan | September 5, 2017
Last fall Nhat Nguyen, rector of Duncan Hall, noticed that the light fixtures in the hall’s Saint Walter of Pontoise Chapel were still equipped with inefficient incandescent light bulbs. And each fixture also had a 500-watt bulb at the bottom, which was both inefficient and uncomfortably warm when standing or sitting underneath.
Nguyen reached out to the Office of Sustainability.
With the help of Bob Werner, mechanical engineer with Facilities Design & Operations, and Mike Sullivan of Graybar Electric, the chapel received a lighting makeover.
When Duncan Hall was built in 2008, fewer options for sustainable construction existed and LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs were not widely used. LED technology has evolved rapidly over the last several years, and now that there are more lighting colors and applications, LED lighting is used extensively around campus.
The chapel’s sustainability update didn’t require new fixtures — it simply involved changing the type of bulbs used in each fixture. This allowed the chapel to remain as close to its original design as possible, and also kept the cost of the update very manageable.
Ten hanging light fixtures and twelve wall sconces were switched out from incandescent light bulbs to LEDs; the six spotlights will be changed to LEDs as they burn out.
Nguyen explained the importance of keeping the current lighting fixtures — each of the chandeliers and wall sconces, he notes, ties into architectural details within the chapel.