The Compuware Building

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Beacon for Downtown Detroit’s Renaissance Becomes More Energy Efficient
Atrium lighting upgrade brings enhanced LED capability and control while easing maintenance concerns
 
The Compuware Building is more than a landmark building in the heart of the city's thriving technology and central business district; it also served as the symbol that would launch a new Detroit.  Located downtown at One Campus Martius in Michigan’s largest city, the building was completed in 2003 in an effort to consolidate Compuware’s operations from nine regional facilities into a single complex.
 
Compuware’s 1.1 million-square-foot,  award-winning 17-story headquarters complex and attached parking structure offers corporate offices, street-level retail and restaurant space, food court, wellness center, daycare, 42,000-square-foot data center, and other supporting spaces. Highlights include a 38,000-square-foot fitness center, 18-classroom day care center with an 8,000-square-foot play deck, employee lounges and work areas, conference and training rooms and an auditorium. Connected to this building is a  12-story  2,200-space parking garage.  The building even has an observation deck on the 14th floor.
 
The exterior features stone, finished metals and high-performance glass systems, which accentuate the sophistication of the building while ensuring durability. The focal point of the building, its 14-story glass atrium used for special events and day-today-reception, provides unparalleled grandeur, opening to the historic Campus Martius Park and housing one of the world’s tallest indoor water fountains.
 A New Lighting Solution Needed
 
When the building opened, more than 24 Martin Exterior 600 fixtures with special long-throw lens options were used to provide accent and event light from the ceiling.  The fixtures were located at the penthouse level, more than 120 feet above the floor.  Though impressive, the fixtures, powered 24/7 with just the lamps turning on and off, presented long-term operational and maintenance challenges.  The difficult-to-access fixtures required complete re-builds every two to three years.
 
In 2009, DMX-controlled relay panels were installed to allow for complete fixture power-down when not used, which extended fixture life.  The goal of that project was to find a low-maintenance solution that would work with the existing infrastructure and provide a high-output, narrow-beam-angle pattern to the floor.  The fact that these were energy-efficient LED fixtures also was a plus.   
 
In 2014, facility operators determined that a lighting-system update was needed to increase illumination of the atrium in the evening, as well as on special events to convey a message or influence a mood.  The original system of fixtures was deemed too costly to repair and the quality of light has fallen off over the years.  In addition, building management sought a more energy-efficient solution.
 
For the update, Chris Hewitt, engineering manager, Hines/Compuware, worked with Bob Sullivan, Lighting Specialist at Advanced Lighting & Sound (ALS) in Troy, Michigan. With extensive experience in theatrical and architectural lighting design and control, engineered sound systems, video production and display systems, ALS had at its disposal a complete engineering team capable of designing and integrating a variety of production solutions.
 
“We wanted a fixture that could punch through the space and add visual impact,” explains Sullivan. “Maintenance was a big concern and saving on energy consumption was an added bonus. We had been looking for an LED solution for 18 months. The key was finding something with a very narrow beam spread and the output necessary to make an impactful difference.”
 
LED Solution Found
 
Through due diligence, the team found a solution, Dyna Drum HO from Acclaim Lighting, Los Angeles, California.  The fixture met the project criteria for performance, quality of light and cost, according to Sullivan.
 
“Until then we really had not seen a viable alternative that would fit the budget,” says Sullivan.  “We were impressed with the beam spread and output. These fixtures actually allow the lights to effect the space even during the day since they are that bright.”
 
Dyna Drum HO, an IP 66-rated high-powered, quad-color architectural lighting fixture with a wireless digital multiplex (DMX) control option, is ideal for facade and large-scale area flood lighting, The fixture features an adjustable yoke with onboard 180-degree flip inverted digital control display for menu selections and addressing. With a 100-277-volt AC internal power supply, Dyna Drum fixtures consume only 270 watts in replacing traditional 400-watt discharge fixtures, and its diecast aluminum housings are designed for excellent heat dispersion.
 
The color-changing Dyna Drum HO features RGBW chips, while the single-color version is available in temperatures of 2,700, 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 and 5,500 K, providing a lumen range of 9,000 to 17,232 at 5,500 K. The fixture is available in beam angles of 6 degrees standard, with 25-, 40- and 60-degree-spread lens options.  It also offers a four-channel, DMX-512 control system, including both wired and wireless protocols built-in, and comes with a five-year warranty.
 
During the installation in July 2014, ALS used a combination of custom brackets to extend out over the rail as well as bolted units in place of existing fixtures.
 
”The building operation and maintenance team was amazed at the light output and the quality,” concludes Sullivan. “Building management was extremely happy to find a solution that no longer requires monthly service, while maintaining the beautiful atrium environment.”
 
Sidebar: Building Facts
 
·       The building's water feature was designed by WET Design, which designed the fountains at Bellagio and the Winter Olympic cauldron. It features 15 glass "kites" and, at more than 14 stories tall, represents the largest indoor, hanging-water feature in the world.
 
·       The building has 280,000 square feet of glass.
 
 
·       A Hard Rock Cafe was opened in late 2003 on the dining level.
 
·       Phase II of this building (when demand warrants its construction) will be a 325,000-square-foot addition to the back of the building, filling in a missing wedge.
 
·       The entire 14th floor includes an outdoor observation deck around the interior.
 
·       Like numerous buildings in the Western world, this one does not include a labeled 13th floor.

 

·       The top two floors, (15 and 16) house mechanical services exclusively.

 

 

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