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Projects Updates for LED Exit Signs

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  1. Provost Office approves funding for LED Exit Signs

    The Office of the Provost approved $75,000 in one-time funding for the next step in the LED Exit Sign retrofit project.  The funding of $75,000 is for LED Exit Sign lighting replacement, additions, and new building surveys.  Material and labor of $70,000 would be used to replace 343 fixtures in 20 buildings at an average rate of $204/fixture.  An additional $5,000 is proposed to survey 50 campus buildings for exit light counts.  That will provide the input necessary for the next phase, once this phase is completed.

  2. Sarthak Prasad Final Report: Independent study with Morgan Johnston ENG 573 (fall 2016)

  3. Meeting with F&S officials

    Associated Project(s): 

    Met with the university Facilities and Services officials and LED staff on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, to discuss the progress of LED Campus projects so far. The main focus of the meeting was Exit signs in the buildings. Meeting was hosted by Mogan Johnston, and attended by Ken Buenting, Brian Finet, Steven Bainbridge, and Patty Douglas.

  4. Campus approves an additional $100K for LED Exit Signs

    Associated Project(s): 

    After the successful completion of the recent LED Exit Sign upgrades, the F&S Building Maintenance division has received approval for another round of LED Exit Sign upgrades.  Ken Buenting, Sharon Ball, Ryan Wild, and Morgan Johnston met to discuss the prioritization process for identifying the next buildings to address.  Buildings will be ranked according to student/transient visitor contact hours (if this information can be obtained), results of campus code fire safety reports, and coordination with other projects or funding.

  5. LED Exit Sign projects completed

    Associated Project(s): 

    In support of the Chancellor's commitment to making the University of Illinois an LED Campus, 531 LED way-finding signs have been installed in eight campus buildings: Grainger Library, Animal Science, Roger Adams Lab, Engineering Science Building, Turner Hall, Main Library, Education Building, and the Chem. Life Sciences Lab.

  6. updated list of LED exit sign buildings

    Associated Project(s): 

    FY07 - 13 buildings

    • 112 - MEB
    • 26 - Altgeld
    • 12 - Noyes
    • 99 - Undergrad
    • 210 - DCL
    • 15 - Engineering Hall
    • 152 - Hydrosystems
    • 67 - Loomis
    • 29 - MEL
    • 34 - MSEB
    • 24 - Newmark
    • 13 - Talbot
    • 42 - Transportation Bldg

    FY08 - 12 buildings

    • ILLINI HALL #65
    • NOBLE HALL #90
    • ART & DESIGN #219
    • FLAGG HALL #89
    • ARMORY #6


    • #324 Grainger Library
    • #174 Engineering Sciences
    • #116 Roger Adams Lab
    • #336 Animal Sciences
    • #197 Turner Hall
    • #370 South Studio #5
    • #371 South Studio #7


    • #339 Temple Buell Hall
  7. update on project progress

    Associated Project(s): 

    Ken Buenting, Sharon Ball, Eva Sweeney, Morgan Johnston, and Ryan Wild met to review progress on the LED Exit Sign work.  Ken reported great progress with four buildings complete and one in progress: Grainger, RAL, Animal Sciences Lab, and the Engineering Sciences Building.  They are in Turner Hall now.  Just over $24K has been spent so far through the contractor.  They will move on to the Main Library and the Education Building next.

    The current implementation process is as follows:

    1. Ryan Wild and Morgan Johnston work with others to identify the priority list of buildings.
    2. Eva Sweeney will review records to ascertain whether the fixtures are connected to an emergency generator or will need battery backup.
    3. Sharon Ball and team will do the initial count of fixtures.
    4. Ken Buenting will direct the hired contractor to replace the existing fixtures and provide data sheets for our records.
    5. Eva Sweeney and Ryan Wild will identify additional signage installation needs.
    6. Ken will direct the F&S electricians to install the additional signs.

    Eva had Ken remove Temple Buell Hall from the list because it is being handled through another project.  Also, through other funding, South studio five and seven were completed.

  8. Exit Signs to be upgraded to LEDs in 7 buildings

    Associated Project(s): 


    Bld #

    Cost (labor/material)


    Animal Science Lab



    Temple Buell Hall



    Turner Hall



    Grainger Library



    Roger Adams Lab



    Engineering Science Bld




    Cost (Material only)

    Abbott Power Plant







  9. Campus funding allocated for LED exit signs

    Associated Project(s): 

    The LED Campus commitment includes having all the interior wayfinding signs converted to LED by 2025.  This is primarily LED Exit Signs.   We had hoped to use the Revolving Loan Fund to implement another phase of the LED Exit Sign project.  However, that funding is only applicable if there is a reasonable payback through utility savings.  LED Exit Signs have a good payback, but not through Utilities.  The savings come from reduced maintenance, which also provides a reasonable payback.   Given the shortfall in maintenance funding and the Chancellor’s commitment to becoming an LED campus, Mike Andrechak agreed to provide $100,000 per year for two years toward LED Exit Signs.  This funding could be continued in future years, subject to funding approval.

  10. Code Complance and Fire Safety Funding Meeting

    Associated Project(s): 

    Ryan Wild, in Code Compliance and Fire Safety, met with Morgan Johnston to review the funding parameters for this project, and identify next steps.  Morgan asked Teresa Tousignant and Nishant Makhijani, from the Student Sustainability Committee, about potential student volunteers to help locate the existing incandescent exit signs.  Ryan will work on the building surveys for the smaller buildings, and we will hold KCPA, Main Library, Beckman, Roger Adams Lab, and Chem Life Sciences Lab for potential student assistance.

  11. LED Exit Signage FY12

    Associated Project(s): 

    Twenty University buildings have been allocated RLF funding for LED exit signage in FY12. The buildings, in order of priority, are Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Foellinger Auditorium, the Beckman Institute, the Main Library, Davenport Hall, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, the Education Building, the Law Building, the Animal Sciences Laboratory, Freer Hall, the Henry Administration Building, Grainger Engineering Library, the Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building, Turner Hall, the Illini Union Bookstore, the Stock Pavilion, the Engineering Sciences Building, Kenney Gymnasium, the Roger Adams Laboratory, and the Chemical and Life Science Laboratory.

    Implementation of LED exit signage has already started for four of these buildings; 75 percent of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 80 percent of Foellinger Auditorium, 10 percent of Freer Hall, and 30 of the Henry Administration Building has been completed. Implementation in the remainder of the buildings is now set to begin.

  12. Revolving Loan Fund approved for $250K for LED Exit Signs

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Revolving Loan Fund is approved to fund $250K in LED Exit Sign improvements.  Here is the description of the project, as reviewed by the RLF committee:


    This project will replace existing exit signs with efficient LED fixtures in approximately (14) campus buildings.  As a result, energy use will be decreased, life safety systems will operate more reliably, and maintenance needs will decrease dramatically.  This is a continuation of projects funded in FY07 and FY08. We are requesting funding in the amount of $250,000, although the work is very scalable and any funding amount can be successfully applied. 




    08. VISIBILITY - Very visible.  Building users notice when exit signs are burned out and it may make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.  It also creates a negative impression of the pride we take in our facilities.

    09. PAYBACK PERIOD - When replacing incandescent, the payback from energy savings alone is about 6-7 years.  Replacement of fluorescent exit signs yields a payback of 8-10 years.  However, the old signs also require maintenance up to 3 times per year.  If one includes this expense, the overall payback improves to 1-2 years.

    10. REDUCTION OF COAL - By reducing overall campus energy use, this will contribute to Abbott Power Plant s ability to reduce the number of generation units in use.  An additional benefit is the reduction in GHG emissions from maintenance vehicles traveling to replace burned out lamps.

    11. FUND SIZE IMPACT - F&S is working with the Illinois DCEO and this project would qualify for about $7,000 in grant rebates.

    12. PROJECT COORDINATION - F&S has a record of success with these projects.  We have developed a project execution method that keeps overhead to a bare minimum, avoids expensive consultant fees, purchases material at bulk prices, and achieves maximum labor efficiency.  F&S Construction Services will execute the work, and F&S Engineering will document results for the DCEO grant.




    01. REPLACEMENT OF FACILITY SYSTEMS - Existing exit signs are typically long past their expected life, and have many maintenance problems.  The new LED exit signs will have an expected useful life of at least 15-20 years.

    03. IMPACT ON PLANNED PROJECTS - Very little impact on capital projects.  We coordinate to ensure no overlap between buildings selected for exit sign replacement and planned major renovations.

    04. WHAT IF PROJECT IS NOT FUNDED? - If this project is not funded, our campus will continue to expend many maintenance hours keeping these lights operational, and waste electricity on inefficient technology that is over 20 years outdated.

    If this project is partially funded, we will install as many LED exit signs as possible with the funds allocated.

    06. WHAT OTHER DEPARTMENTS ARE AFFECTED BY THE PROJECT? - The buildings we propose are all across campus and used by virtually every college and department.  These units will benefit from improved safety and fewer maintenance disruptions.

    07. RISK FACTORS - No known risk factors.  In fact this work will reduce the risks associated with having nonfunctioning exit signs, and improve life safety for the campus community.  We have executed this type of work in 25 buildings so far without major problems.

  13. LED Exit Signs Phase 2

    Associated Project(s): 

    Phase 2 of the LED Exit Sign project to replace incandescent exit signage with LED fixtures started on June 30, 2008. This phase of the project will replace fixtures in the Armory, Foellinger Auditorium, Harding Band Building, Illini Hall, the Optical Physics Building, the Illinois Program for Research & Humanities, the Architecture Building, Noble Hall, the Art & Design Building, the Music Building, Flagg Hall, and University High School.

  14. LED Exit Signs Phase 1

    Associated Project(s): 

    Phase 1 of the LED Exit Sign project will replace incandescent exit signage with LED fixtures in facilities used for the Engineering Open House. The building involved are the Material Sciences and Engineering Building,  the Mechanical Engineering Building, the Transportation Building, Altgeld Hall, Morrill Hall, Burrill Hall, Noyes Laboratory, and the Undergraduate Library.