Learn how we applied green building practices in our new facility

Building on the economic development and environmental awareness already growing in the bustling Grand Central district of midtown St. Petersburg, LumaStream and All Florida Management Group (AFM) collaborated on green building practices to recycle the vacant Silvernail building into the new, energy-efficient home of the LumaStream headquarters and their St. Petersburg College workforce development partnership.

AFM is a local expert in designing and constructing net zero energy buildings, including the Sierra Club building located just a few blocks away. AFM combines resourceful, efficient engineering practices with net zero energy building techniques to create green spaces with reduced carbon footprints and dramatically reduced energy use.

For the renovation of the Silvernail Building, AFM’s green building solutions included a geothermal heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) system, rooftop solar panels, window tinting, and low-voltage LED lighting throughout the 22,000-square foot facility. This is the only all low-voltage installation of LED lighting in the region. The system that powers the LED lighting is LumaStream’s core technology which digitally converts high voltage to low voltage, provides constant current drivers, and unprecedented dimming control, making LED the most efficient and manageable lighting source possible.

“We are hoping for a 43 percent reduction in energy usage without accounting for the unprecedented feat of LumaStream’s full integration of LED lights throughout the building,” said Brian Hartley, a member of AFM who helped redevelop the 1949 vacant manufacturing building.

Traditional incandescent bulbs emit 90 percent heat and 10 percent light when in use. By using LEDs, which emit 90 percent light and 10 percent heat, LumaStream’s system can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 30 percent since one watt of HVAC cooling is required for every three watts of energy used for lighting.

The LumaStream system uses low-voltage wire to power their LEDs, increasing energy efficiency and reducing electrical infrastructure required to power the system. Further, without electronics at the fixture, the LEDs have no failure points this nearly eliminating maintenance needs and radically reducing the waste of replacing light bulbs.

According to the Department of Energy, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are the main energy consumers in commercial buildings, accounting for half the energy used in U.S. buildings. Lighting accounts for another 30% of a commercial building’s energy use. Focusing on efficiency in those two systems dramatically impacts the cost of operating and maintaining a building while greatly reducing the energy it consumes.

AFM and LumaStream installed a geothermal HVAC system. This system is one of the most efficient cooling and heating applications today with energy ratings topping 30 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). A closed loop system circulates water and an environmentally safe anti-freeze through a flexible pipe drilled underground to transfer heat to or from the ground.

To supplement the energy used by the geothermal heating and cooling system, solar panels were installed on the roof, optimizing energy intake and providing the building with additional shade. Other green practices such as window tinting and native plant landscaping provide additional protection from the sun making the cooling system more efficient.

Transforming the vacant 1949 Silvernail Building into a showcase for green building practices such as energy conservation through efficiency, geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels and LED lighting, All Florida Management and LumaStream have made St. Petersburg a greener place.