UNM’s newest building, Collaborative Teaching and Learning Building (CTLB), is the first facility on campus to incorporate light-emitting diode (LED) lights throughout its entirety.

Physical Plant Department electrical engineer David Penasa said CTLB is the first building on campus to have LED’s in classrooms and hallways compared to other buildings on campus that use incandescent or fluorescent light.

He said LED lighting is a top-quality product that could potentially last up to 100,000 hours (approximately 20 years), which could dramatically reduce energy usage and maintenance. Fluorescents lamps only last between 16,000 and 30,000 hours.

Along with more efficient lighting, CTLB utilizes a daylight-harvesting control system that adjusts light levels in the spaces that have quality exposure to sun light.  “We have dimming and day-lighting controls everywhere so that we are not over lighting,” Penasa said. “Any time we can take advantage of daylight to achieve the light levels we need in the space, we are doing that. It makes for a much more sophisticated system. As far as energy use, it’s definitely the best.”

Jesse Hart, facilities engineer for the Physical Plant Department, said CTLB also operates under a control system that heats and cools the spaces more efficiently.

“We are using typical high-efficiency equipment that you see in many new buildings, but we’re going with different control strategies,” Hart said. “We have occupancy controls that tie into the HVAC systems so that we can turn off zones when they are not occupied. Typical systems will just keep running and circulating air even when no one is there. If no one is in that space, we let the rooms go into an unoccupied setting so we don’t have to condition those spaces when they do not need to be.”

Christopher Carian, Office of Capital Projects (OCP) project manager, said this building construction project was required to pursue LEED Silver certification under a State of New Mexico Executive Order and that the key areas of focus are energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor environmental quality.

Carian said CTLB’s LEED points included: newer campus-density goals by building upward  instead of outward, high-performance glazing with shading of various kinds, energy-efficient building envelope, low water use for the building and the immediate adjacent landscaping, and use of mechanical system to save as much as 30 percent more energy than the average building.