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SeDoMo Elementary

SeDoMo Elementary

Maine, USA

The Customer

The Maine School Administrative District #68 SeDeMoCha school campus is aptly named after four towns it serves in central Maine: Sebec, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson and Charlestown. Having operated for years in two outdated buildings, the district decided to expand the newly renovated middle school campus with a new wing to house both the elementary school and district offices. When it opened in September 2007, SeDoMoCha Elementary served over 400 Pre-K to fourth graders, their teachers and district administrators. 

The Challenge
Because the SeDoMoCha district spans some of the poorest towns in the state, it was critical that the district expand its educational facilities without incurring higher operating costs. District administrators suspected from the start that designing in energy-efficient systems, including lighting control systems, could help hold down those operating costs. They also knew that these same systems could earn them a substantial rebate from the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Although keeping costs down was of utmost importance, the district needed to feel confident that this technology would be easy to use and maintain over the long haul. In addition, it was imperative that the lighting systems not detract from the learning environment—and, if possible, even enhance it. 

The Solution
Lewis and Malm Architecture enlisted consulting firm Bartlett Design to maximize use of efficient lighting technologies that not only met the state-mandated ASHRAE 90.1 standard but would also qualify for Efficiency Maine program rebates. This meant exceeding ASHRAE by approximately 20 percent. With assistance from Leviton, Larry Bartlett of Bartlett Design specified a daylight harvesting system for classrooms, timed lighting in common areas and standalone occupancy sensors in offices and other spaces. 

The classrooms all have windows so, to maintain optimal light levels throughout the day, Bartlett specified an open-loop system (with a photocell located by the window to read the direct daylight). Each classroom contains one or two multi-technology wall-mounted occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on when someone enters and off after the room becomes empty for a specified time period. A low-voltage wall switch was also installed for manual control. A Leviton miniZ™ intelligent daylight management system attached to the lighting ballasts ties the entire system together.

A Z-Max™ relay cabinet is the core control unit of a timed lighting system used for hallways, lobbies and other common areas, including outdoor grounds. Interior lights switch on and off based on the time of day, as well as holiday and weekend schedules. Switches are scattered throughout common areas for manual override of preset schedules. An outdoor photocell measures the ambient light level to ensure main entrance lights are always on when needed, yet off when it is bright enough outside without them. Lamps in the parking lot operate on an astronomical schedule that automates lighting based on actual sunrise and sunset. 

According to the Leviton field rep, Mike Strout, who commissioned the lighting controls himself, all classrooms were initially programmed in just four hours. 

The Results
By the second trimester, the kinks had been worked out of the system and the administration is anticipating the utility bill to be a fraction of what it would have been if they had gone with traditional light switches and fixtures. “The cost to operate the building is born by the local community and since this is a working class area, we had an eye towards making the new wing energy efficient from the very beginning,” noted Superintendent of Schools John Dirnbauer. “The wing is twice the size of the two buildings we vacated and we anticipate that it will cost about the same to operate our new space. It’s also the right thing to do, to build “green” and reduce our carbon footprint.” 

By automatically dimming and even switching off lights based on the amount of natural and other ambient light entering a space, there is much less reliance on human intervention, which not only saves the staff time but also ends up ensuring the lights turn off when they should. Bartlett Design forecasted that the daylighting control system would save the district nearly 18,000 Kwh per year: a $1600 savings for the first year alone.

The building itself can be used as a teaching tool to help staff educate students on the fundamentals of conserving the earth’s resources through the choices we make as a society and as individuals.

For More Information
To learn more about the wide range of Leviton’s lighting control and energy management solutions, please visit www.leviton.com/lms or call 503-404-5555.


Location: SeDoMoCha Elementary School

Dover-Foxcroft, Maine

Application: Daylight harvesting in classrooms and offices and timed lighting controls in common areas, including outdoor premises.

Industry: Education.

System Components: Daylight Harvesting

miniZ daylighting control

OSW12-M0W multi-technology occupancy sensor

5-button LV2000 switch


Timed Lighting

Z-Max 24-relay cabinet

PCOUT outdoor photocell

1-button low voltage switch

Standalone Lighting Control

Various occupancy sensors

Power packs

Benefits: Roughly 50% savings in electricity—enabling district to use money elsewhere and saving taxpayers lots of money. Using green technology sets right standard for community and entitled district to $108,000 grant from state utility program