Saint-Gobain: People Centered Solutions with Lighting Controls

Saint-Gobain is an industry leading manufacturer and distributor of sustainable building products and high-performance materials for construction markets. In keeping with its dedication to achieving energy efficiency across its facilities, the company recently teamed up with SmartWatt to complete an energy systems optimization project at its CertainTeed distribution warehouse and manufacturing plant in Williamsport, Maryland.

The partnership began with extensive facility audits that revealed outdated lighting systems that were energy intensive and expensive due to the inefficient technologies and simple on/off controls. The metal halide fixtures were improperly equipped with dimmable ballasts, resulting in repeated failures requiring costly replacements. Additionally, fixtures’ brightness degraded rapidly, requiring frequent re-lamping to maintain desired light levels. The poor layout of fixtures caused uneven light distribution and irregularities in foot candles across the plant. And the layout was not designed to optimize light levels for the tasks being executed by employees.

In developing an energy optimization project specific to the CertainTeed manufacturing plant and warehouse, SmartWatt upgraded the lighting systems with LED light fixtures and an advanced lighting controls system. A new lighting layout that ensures even levels and distribution was specifically designed for how occupants use each space and to enhance safety.

With the previous system, each fixture had its own sensor, causing lights to turn on one-by-one giving rise to what employee Mike Spirawk dubbed the Paparazzi Effect. “Staff disliked it and felt it was distracting,” he explained. “With the new lighting system, I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the people on the floor. It looks great and everybody loves it.

In addition to boosting employee morale and comfort, the new lighting system dramatically reduces operation and maintenance costs. The highly efficient LEDs have an extensive lifespan, and an advanced lighting controls system gives operators the ability to control fixtures at a more granular level. The distribution warehouse has experienced a 92% reduction in lighting cost, cutting annual energy consumption by 121,251 kWh and carbon emissions by 181,876 lbs. The manufacturing plant has seen an 82% decrease in lighting cost, cutting annual energy consumption by 1,634,538 kWh. The manufacturing plant upgrades had a payback period of 2.9 years allowing Saint-Gobain to quickly extract the financial value that it can use to advance its core mission of leading the world in the supply of sustainable building products and materials.

The partnership between Saint-Gobain and SmartWatt has proved immensely successful, yielding optimized energy that enhances benefits to the bottom line, the environment, and the well-being of the plant workers at CertainTeed.

To learn how to partner with SmartWatt to optimize your energy systems and facility environment, visit

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