Architect Helen Kessler on Lutron's EcoSystem Daylight Dimming System

October 01, 2007 |

Lutron’s EcoSystem saves energy in buildings by controlling lighting. Composed of digital dimming ballasts, controls, and environmental sensors, EcoSystem can contribute to 20 LEED-NC and 12.5 LEED-CI points.

The customizable system has three main features: an automated occupant control that dims or turns lights off when a space is unoccupied; a daylight harvesting control that dims electric lights to take advantage of natural light; and a manual dimming control for occupants to adjust the lighting as needed.

The EcoSystem dimming ballast, the system’s main component, can replace the non-dim ballast in a fixture. Each sensor, receiver, and wall station connects to the ballasts via low-voltage wires, with the components communicating through the EcoSystem bus.

Helen Kessler specified EcoSystem for Exelon Corp.’s headquarters, where she served as LEED consultant. Exelon consolidated all of its downtown offices and renovated 10 floors (approx. 220,000 sf) of Chicago’s Chase Tower for its HQ. With the help of the Lutron lighting system, energy consumption has been decreased by 43%.

Why Helen Kessler specified Lutron for Exelon's HQ:

“EcoSystem integrates all of the parts and pieces of a daylighting system, including the electronic dimming ballasts, controls, and daylight sensors, into one plug-and-play system.”

“I also like the fact that a central computer can be used to verify systems operations, and that it is easily reconfigured if desired.”

“Lutron’s system finally provides a completely integrated daylight dimming system at a relatively reasonable cost.”


Helen J. Kessler, FAIA, LEED AP

Founder and principal, HJ Kessler Associates, Chicago

Kessler has over 25 years’ experience in sustainable design, energy efficiency, and renewable energy and is a nationally recognized LEED and green building design consultant. She also teaches a course in sustainable architecture at Northwestern University and provides training programs on ASHRAE 90.1, lighting design, and the operations and economics of green building for contractors.

One of the first architects in Chicago to work with LEED, Kessler facilitates green design charettes and provides LEED documentation.

Kessler has a BArch from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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