Illinois State University, Milner Library

Job Location: Normal, IL
Architect: Noresco
Lighting Designer: Justin Horvath, a·light
Photographer: Rob Krueger
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Illinois State University tasked Noresco, a Chicago-based Energy Services Company (ESCO) to audit its Milner Library and recommend changes to increase energy performance. The primary benefit of an ESCO project is the ability to achieve guaranteed energy savings from no risk capital improvements at no up-front cost. The one-stop shopping streamline procurement process relieves much of the administrative cost and burden of the bidding process for design, engineering, construction, contractors and equipment, which becomes solely the responsibility of the energy services company.

In this case, a·light's own Justin Horvath was asked to assist with the re-design of the stairwell lighting which consisted of a large, unattractive post, suspended down the center of the stairwell, with dozens of garish and inefficient, incandescent bare bulbs sprouting from each side.

Together, Justin and Noresco determined a clean, linear "U" shape was appropriate at the head of each floor, but because each of the floors' walls were wildly uneven, horizontally and vertically, creating a welded "U" would have entailed a separate custom integrated fixture for each floor, too costly for this renovation. So the determination was to apply three, individual standard length D3 |accolade3  fixtures, wall-mounted relatively close together, one on each of the three walls, to simulate a custom U shape.

Viewing the stairwell from the lower floors creates a stunningly, architectural M.C. Escher-like endless stairwell. Along the elongated portion of the stairwell are D2 | accolade2 direct/indirect luminaires installed on an angle to match the stairwell pitch.