Delmatic has provided a lighting controls system for the new MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), one of the most prestigious multidisciplinary laboratory and research centres in the world that has been designed to provide first class facilities to some of the world’s leading scientists.
The new, purpose-built building of 30,000 sq.m is reminiscent of paired chromosomes (subtly conveying the work being done inside) with two long north and south laboratory wings joined by a spacious atrium containing seminar rooms and a lecture theatre. The building has three fully occupied floors, each with a full height interstitial level above it to facilitate horizontal distribution of services: this design greatly simplifies maintenance and will allow refurbishment of laboratories with minimal disruption during the building’s 50+ year design life.
The building is designed to optimise energy efficiency through a number of means including renewable energy for heating and cooling from an on-site ground source heat pump system, heat recovery wheels which exchange energy between outgoing and incoming air, venetian blinds within the glass perimeter skin to minimise heat build-up, and an intelligent lighting management system which reduces light intensity when daylight is available and relates lighting to occupancy. The internal space has been designed to encourage easy navigation, interaction and collaboration, and includes open, airy walkways, atrium bridges, and ‘breakout areas’ on each floor with a spacious roof-top staff restaurant and open-air terrace.
A Delmatic Dali lighting management system controls and manages lighting throughout the new LMB building, providing individual Dali addressable switching, dimming and monitoring of some 14,000 Dali luminaires as well as testing and monitoring of some 3,500 Dali emergency fittings equipped with Em-Pro ballasts. The high level of addressability within the system has enabled the designers to establish control parameters that best suit the design and usage of each area, while the dimming function provides the ability to adjust illuminance levels depending upon the activities within each space. The result is a highly flexible system that can be easily adjusted as the functions and requirements within a space change.
The system is fully software-configurable via graphical head-end software and various operating scenarios have been set up to optimise building efficiency and convenience/comfort of occupants.
Laboratory areas are locally controlled enabling occupants to adjust lighting to suit the task being carried out or their individual preference, while scheduled off sweeps (with dimming warning sequences) ensure lights are not left on unnecessarily. The system incorporates Dali presence detectors and Dali multisensors within all office, support and write up areas which provide absence detection and daylight linking to maximise energy efficiency. To optimise building energy efficiency the Delmatic presence detectors pass on information relating to occupancy of individual areas to the building BMS so that heating/cooling is linked to out-of-hours occupancy and only used where required.
The system incorporates a corridor hold function to local corridors, main circulation corridors, staircases and atrium in a cascaded control strategy, enabling safe illuminated access from working area to the building exits. A night set back mode enables security night lighting to be activated in unoccupied areas throughout the building to allow safe passage for security and provide background lighting for security cameras.
The Delmatic system provides extensive real time monitoring of the installation including individual lamp failure, ballast failure and emergency monitoring failure of every luminaire in the building including lighting in plant areas and basement link tunnels. The system incorporates powerful scene set dimming within seminar rooms as well as the lecture theatre where scenes are activated in parallel from Delmatic scene panels as well as the AV system interface.
The Delmatic Dali modules, luminaires and sensors are connected via a Wieland modular wiring distribution network. The modular Delmatic hardware hosts full distributed-intelligence functionality: this feature, coupled with the plug-in connectivity of the network modular wiring, proved beneficial for the initial installation and will assist in rapid plug-and-play maintenance which is critical in a world-class laboratory environment.