SFS intec reduces lighting energy usage by over two thirds at its Leeds site



SFS intec has been producing fastening systems from its site in Leeds for over 100 years. In that time, it has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of carbon and stainless-steel fastenings for metal and flat roofs. To minimise the environmental impact of its headquarters and distribution centre — whilst also achieving significant long-term cost efficiencies — the firm invested in a low-energy, smart lighting solution from Kingspan Light + Air.

Challenges and Actions

SFS intec has long been recognised for its focus on innovation and staff care. Its first factory in Leeds, built in 1891, was dubbed the ‘Mill of Glass’ due to its large windows and featured heating, ventilation and a cafeteria — all considered ‘luxury’ additions at the time. It was also the first factory in the city to be entirely lit with electric lighting, using 45 arc lamps and 500 incandescent lamps.

Whilst the old factory has long since been replaced, the firm has continued provide the very best conditions for its workers and by 2016, was eager to improve the overall energy performance and sustainability of its facilities. After an initial assessment, lighting was identified as a focus area. The distribution centre and headquarters were lit with a luminaire system comprising 349 70 W strip lights with a total energy output of around 214 MWh. SFS intec approached Kingspan Light + Air to find a more efficient solution.

Kingspan Light + Air ran a series of assessments on both buildings to find the optimal lighting arrangements. This work included assessing the average light levels within the building throughout the year using 3D modelling software.

The final proposal comprised 141 Kingspan Smart-Lite Kite units and a further 14 Kingspan Smart-Lite Kombine units. The advanced LED lighting systems are supported with a 10-year warranty and will require minimal maintenance. Through a carefully scheduled installation programme, they were rapidly installed whilst the site remained in full operation.

Daylight harvesting sensors were also installed to further limit energy usage. These sensors monitor natural light within the buildings and adjust artificial lighting levels accordingly.

Lessons & Results

The revised lighting scheme has allowed SFS intec to reduce lighting energy usage by over two thirds at its Leeds site. This annual energy saving (around 150 MWh) should mean that the facility’s annual carbon emissions fall by approximately 65 tonnes.In addition to the environmental benefits, the system is also expected to provide annual cost savings of over £13,000. As a result, the capital outlay for the new system — including all fittings and the cost of installation — is expected be fully matched through energy cost savings within just three years, with a total return on investment of 289% achieved within a decade.

Luke Wood, QES Manager, SFS inter

This was the first major investment towards our sustainable, energy efficient future and we initially approached a number of companies to quote for the work. Kingspan Light + Air’s submission stood out due to professionalism of its team, the unrivalled system warranty and the functionality of the sensors and the LEDs themselves.

The installation team made a concerted effort to understand our work patterns and busy times for each department. They then created a clear programme schedule which ensured the fit-out didn’t clash with our work, allowing our facility to remain in full operation throughout.

Overall, the technical support and project management was possibly the best I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.”

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