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External illumination of the building of the Faculty of Architecture of Poznań University of Technology

20 of January '21

Great(l)na technology.
Illumination with a total power of less than 1 kW!

Campus of Poznan University of Technology is a complex of buildings of all faculties, performing teaching, research and implementation functions, complemented by a library, sports hall and student dormitories. Located on the right bank of the Warta River, between the St. Roch Bridge and the Mieszko I Bridge, it is an important part of the scenic field associated with the Warta River area. Academic life is combined here with active recreation.

Zero energy balance

The Department of Architecture and the Department of Management Engineering, were the last to be moved to the campus, starting the final phase of its expansion. The building was designed by Slawomir Rosolski. The investment cost 71 million zlotys.

One of the main objectives of the project was to make the building almost zero-energy. The result was one of the most modern and energy-efficient facilities in Europe. Thanks to the heat pumps and photovoltaic cells used, clean energy is drawn here from the sun and the earth.

Technological Acropolis

According to Slawomir Rosolski, the combination of history and modernity gave the opportunity to create a place and a building with the characteristics of self-identification "Technological Acropolis", highlighted by low-energy illumination. The simple, cubic form of the building, inspired by the proportions of the Parthenon, received a rhythm of vertical window and inter-window strips, a characteristic "inviting" entrance leading to the space of the three-story inner courtyard, and an openwork substructure of photovoltaic cells on the roof. The body of the building was designed to fit in with the existing urban layout and not to undermine the spatial qualities of the building complex present at the site.

{Image@url=,alt=Budynek of the Faculty of Architecture of Poznań University of Technology with lighting from Lena Lighting,title=Building of the Faculty of Architecture of Poznań University of Technology with lighting from Lena Lighting}

Building of the Faculty of Architecture at Poznan University of Technology with lighting from Lena Lighting

© Lena Lighting

2in1, or zoning of the body

The building was designed based on the functioning structure of two different faculties (Faculty of Architecture and Faculty of Management Engineering), taking into account the space requirements, number of employees and students. The first floor is a common entrance to the building with a wide lobby area leading to a huge covered inner courtyard, giving a view of the upper floors. In addition, a common locker room, library, cafeteria and multipurpose room were designed in the entrance area. The idea behind the joint functioning of the two departments was to divide the functional layout of all floors in relation to the main entrance into two zones - the northern zone intended for the Faculty of Architecture, the southern zone intended for the Faculty of Management Engineering.

Thelayout of the rooms on the west and north sides provides a direct view of the river and the city, and the zones of lecture halls, exercises and laboratories intermingle through wide corridors. A special place is occupied by four technical zones located in the inner corners of the building's courtyard, concealing ventilation intakes. On the underground floor, in addition to laboratories for materials science, warm assembly, acoustics and RES, a zone of technical space of more than 500 m² has been designed, forming the technological heart of the building.

Picturesque illumination

External illumination plays a special role in displaying the building's form. Its task is to emphasize the size, shape, color and other façade solutions adopted. The building is visible from various transportation points of the city, but also in less obvious equally important components of the landscape, such as the reflection in the water mirror of the Warta River or Lake Malta. Appropriate floodlighting of the facade is an integral part of the building's composition and form, highlighting the object in space. This symbiosis is best seen when it is missing i.e. when the illumination is left off.

The company responsible for implementing the architect's vision in this regard was Lena Lighting S.A. - a manufacturer of lamps and lighting systems from Wielkopolska.

{Image@url=,alt=Budynek of the Faculty of Architecture of Poznań University of Technology with lighting from Lena Lighting,title=Building of the Faculty of Architecture of Poznań University of Technology with lighting from Lena Lighting}

Building of the Faculty of Architecture at Poznan University of Technology with lighting from Lena Lighting.

© Lena Lighting

In a flood of cornflower light - secrets of the technology

The façade lighting was designed using outdoor luminaires mounted on poles - a total of 16 pieces (two pieces on each pole). The flood character of the light was achieved by adjusting the angle of each luminaire individually. The maximum power of a single light source is 24.4 W, and its flux is 3750 lm, which translates into a very high efficiency of 154 lm/W, which was extremely important in the design of the building in question.

An integral part of the illuminated facades is also a substructure of photovoltaic cells located on the roof of the building. To illuminate it, a system of external luminaires with wide distribution was used. The effect of flooding light in a dedicated cornflower color, as the flagship color for the Poznan University of Technology institution, was thus achieved. The installation consists of 60 luminaires with a maximum wattage of 5.5 watts and 40 with a wattage of 4.5 watts, used depending on where they are installed. The light sources, distributed at ground level, used special lenses to help focus the light in the right place on the facade.

Special luminaires with loop-through wiring were used to simplify installation and the entire installation. Particularly noteworthy was the location and installation of the luminaires, the foundation of which, independent of the roof structure, was quite a challenge. The luminaires were mounted on a freestanding load, which does not pierce the layers of roof insulation, thus preserving the integrity of the facility.

Power limit of 1kW

The guideline for the entire task, combining the described installations, was to set the power consumption at 1 kW. Proof of success is the meter installed in the switchgear, which reads 0.850 kW. Achieving such a low power consumption was possible thanks to the use of efficient luminaires of optimal design, equipped with high-efficiency diodes and highly efficient drivers.

The achieved operational result should be significantly emphasized, since the electrical power of the luminaires used for the entire facility is significantly less than common household appliances.

Compiled from Lena Lighting S.A. materials.

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