The Vancouver Airport Authority wanted to review lighting on the apron around the main terminal and exceed international standards for airport lighting. The target for the design was to exceed 20 lux at the tail of the aircraft, with a uniformity ratio of less than 4:1 (average: minimum). The existing HID lighting technology required frequent and costly maintenance as YVR strived to reduce its impact on the environment and reduce power consumption for the terminal.
As a result, the Vancouver Airport Authority committed to sustainability by upgrading to a new, state-of-the-art apron lighting system on a scale never attempted before. The solution designed by Binnie uses LED technology for a cost-effective and energy-efﬁcient alternative to traditional high-intensity discharge lamps.
The solution included:
-Performing initial lighting investigation, including a site-wide survey of the lighting levels.
-LED lighting technologies were investigated for potential retrofit of the existing system.
-Conducting trial installations of LED fixtures onto existing high mast light poles to ensure light levels and coverage would meet or exceed modelled levels.
-Reviewing cost savings realized by changing from metal halide to LED lighting and consulting with BC Hydro for Power Smart Incentive Rebates.
Once completed, the project reduced light and glare pollution from airport lighting. Other achievements included LEDs that illuminate precisely and evenly, minimizing distractions to preserve our sky’s natural darkness. The new LEDs also eliminated hotspots that reflect light and cause glare.
From an environment and sustainability standpoint, this project completed the following:
-Reduced power consumption of lighting system by 715,000 kWh per year.
-Reduced greenhouse gasses by 7.62 tonnes of CO2 per year.
-Resulted in BC Hydro Power Smart Incentive funding.
-Reduced YVR’s BC Hydro consumption costs for apron lighting by over 59%.
-Reduced power demand in lighting system by 47%.
-Reduction of hazardous waste – metal halide fixtures contain mercury.
-Trial LED fixtures from other suppliers were repurposed to improve lighting at the YVR south terminal.
YVR became the first major airport in North America to adopt high-output LED lighting over the entire apron. The reduced maintenance projects a savings of $66,000 per year as LED luminaires and drivers have an expected lifespan of over 70,000 hours and only require replacement every 8 to 12 years. Compared to a new installation of metal halide ﬁxtures, the LED solution will save over $380,000 over the installation’s lifespan. Operationally, the new lighting system exceeds international airport standards, keeping personnel and the public safe. The retrofit was complete without causing major impacts on airport operations.
-The LED ﬁxtures deliver 44% more visible light to required areas when compared to equivalent metal halide ﬁxtures.
-Power usage is further reduced with dimming, saving 715,000 kWh of energy each year — enough to power 72 households.
-The energy savings and reduced lifecycle costs have allowed YVR to receive incentives through BC Hydro’s Power Smart Program.
-The lighting controls integrate with YVR’s gate schedule data to automatically dim inactive areas — saving energy and extending product life.
-YVR is the ﬁrst airport in North America to adjust lighting based on gate usage.
-From manufacturing to disposal, mercury-containing lamps such as metal halide lamps release mercury vapor to the atmosphere. These emissions are harmful to ﬁsh, wildlife and human health.
-By upgrading to long-lasting, mercury-free LEDs, the waste and pollution from replacing over 250 metal halide lamps every four-to-ﬁve years can be avoided.
-LEDs are also more efﬁcient, delivering over 108 lumens per Watt than the original metal halide ﬁxtures at 75 lumens per watt.
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) Award
This project won an Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) Canada Award of Excellence in 2018, for the “Projects Under $2.5 Million” category.