Lighting : LIGHTING Aug-Sep 2018
42 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | August/September 2018 August/September 2018 | LIGHTING MAGAZINE 43 industry transitions to lithium-based technologies. We are now reaching a point where organisations with requirements for emergency and exit lighting systems find that the major cost drivers are in fact compliance and maintenance costs, meaning that investing in lithium-based battery technology is economically preferable to the alternative, older- generation technologies. Some large- scale users, such as stadium and airport facility managers, find that upgrading existing stock to newer generation technologies can reduce through-life costs by around 80%. Exitcycle will play an important part of an overall strategy that brings together governments, industry and communities to address long-term waste management issues in a coherent way. Lighting Council Australia will work to extend the scheme to other jurisdictions – preferably nationwide – and calls for leadership from the commonwealth and state governments to make this a reality. Readers from entities with operations in Queensland are able to participate – either by committing to recycle their organisation’s emergency and exit batteries or by promoting the scheme – should consider joining. The different types of participation status are set out at https://exitcycle.org.au/apply/ LCA UPDATE Architectural lighting faces serious threat plus Exitcycle program relaunched The architectural lighting market faces a very serious threat to its ongoing survival arising from the new draft of the National Construction Code (NCC). The NCC regulates the design and construction of commercial buildings, including both new constructions and redevelopments requiring development approval under state and territory law. Under the new draft of the NCC, slated for commencement from mid-2019, allowances for general and architectural lighting have been split and massively reduced. The architectural lighting market is an important part of the overall industry for the engineering, design, manufacture and supply of lighting in Australia. Lighting Council Australia represents manufacturers and suppliers of lighting equipment in Australia, and its membership includes 100 of Australia’s leading lighting participants. A great number of Lighting Council Australia members, both large and small, manufacture and supply products that will ultimately be affected by these changes. As such, opposing these changes has become a major priority for our organisation. Potentially even more acutely affected are lighting designers and engineers, who may see both a significant drop in demand for their services and a change in the type of work requested by clients. The NCC will retain its performance-based solution mechanism which makes it possible for some bespoke designs that do not comply with NCC deemed- to-satisfy (DTS) requirements to be approved if the designer can prove that the overall performance will exceed the DTS requirements. However, the performance-based solution pathway is not well-trodden by lighting industry participants, who report differing understandings about how to go about securing approvals for a design. Whatever way the specific impact of the change pans out, it is expected that there will be a reduction in demand for the services of lighting engineers and designers, especially in projects away from the top-end of design quality. The architectural lighting market provides in the order of 1000 jobs for lighting designers, 1500 manufacture and assembly jobs, and several thousand further downstream jobs, and creates an estimated $400 million worth of economic activity per annum. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the proposal is the lack of understanding reflected by its proponents. Changes to the NCC are developed by the Australian Building Codes Board Office which is typically aided by consultants tasked in the development of appropriate policies. The NCC, which is updated every three years, should be the product of a well-considered body of research and substantial consultation with industry. The overall package of changes to lighting regulations in the NCC includes a significant increase in general lighting efficiency – a change that was not opposed by industry. In regards to the architectural lighting policy, however, the proposal was put to industry at the very tail end of a nearly two-year consultation process. Despite the opposition of affected industry, a lack relevant research backing the proposal, or any assessment of its effect on industry, the proposal was wound up into the new draft of the NCC and put to the influential Building Codes Committee for its consideration at the end of July. Lighting Council Australia has engaged with the other affected peak bodies representing lighting designers and lighting engineers (International Association of Lighting Designers, IALD, and Illuminating Engineering Society respectively). The three bodies share similar concerns and will advocate jointly for changes to the proposal. Readers should also be aware that the lighting industry agreed to substantial power reductions for lighting (in the order of 50-75% reductions), on the basis that there would be a sufficient allowance for architectural and decorative lighting. Our members noted that the significant increases in the efficiency of LED technologies mean that the reduced allowance for general lighting should be sufficient for functional lighting. EXITCYCLE In June lighting equipment suppliers, recyclers, participants and government officials attended an event at Parliament House in Brisbane marking the relaunch of the Exitcycle program. The Exitcycle scheme is a product stewardship program, at this time operating only in Queensland, that originally commenced in 2015 and aims to improve the rate of recycling of emergency and exit light batteries. The scheme was a response to alarming estimates that some 95% of all nickel-metal hydride and nickel- cadmium batteries – some five million cells every year–end up in landfill. The Queensland Government worked with Lighting Council Australia to develop a voluntary arrangement in response to the issue. The Exitcycle scheme was modelled on Fluorocycle, a program aimed at improving recycling David Crossley The architectural lighting market faces an unprecedented threat from an unexpected source, however there are positive developments in one of Lighting Council Australia’s environmental programs, explains Lighting Council Australia Technical Manager David Crossley. practices around mercury-containing lighting waste, which originally commenced under the auspices of the Commonwealth Government in 2010 and became an accredited product stewardship scheme managed and funded by the lighting industry. Exitcycle works by linking signatories – either businesses which have buildings for which they are responsible for the exit and emergency lighting, or businesses that routinely handle the equipment – with recyclers and collectors. The scheme has additional roles for roles for government bodies and other public advocates interested in promoting good environmental practice. The additional funding from the Queensland Government to support the program was based on positive initial results of the scheme’s pilot. Because emergency and exit lighting is only handled by electrical contractors, a scheme focussed on key participants in the chain is most likely to promote recycling outcomes. This approach is distinct to other important battery recycling initiatives that necessarily focus more on informing the general public and providing better opportunities for the community to access recycling facilities. In the years to come, the battery technology issue will be resolved as technology improves and the An architectural lighting design that would be affected by the new National Construction Code. 356 Collins Street Foyer, Melbourne Owner: Peachtree Capital Photo: Seesaw Studio Pictured: Richard Mulcahy, CEO Lighting Council Australia; Joel Moss, Lighting Council Australia Director; Geoff Robson, Executive Director, Strategic Environment and Waste Policy, Queensland Government; and Pat Galvin, Lighting Council Australia Director. Premiers’ Hall, Queensland Parliament, Brisbane.
LIGHTING Jun-July 2018