To meet life-safety requirements in building codes, back lit signage like emergency exit signs require backup power. Emergency lighting is always connected to building power, although having battery power available as a secondary source is essential. This way even if power is lost in the building, the signage remains illuminated by the battery.
Most buildings have battery backup in every space of the building. In fact, many emergency exit signs and emergency lighting have backup power via your everyday nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries. The challenge for facility managers is ensuring those batteries have adequate charge. A sizeable building like a middle school has hundreds of backup batteries that require testing and replacement on a regular schedule. It amplifies the problem for organizations like school districts that manage multiple facilities.
The Solution: Centralized Backup Battery Power
To address this problem, RWB implemented a unique approach for the electrical design.
First, we equipped Marine Creek Middle School with LED emergency signage and lighting. LED fixtures are not only energy efficient, they also emit a lot of light! These LED fixtures are connected to low voltage building power.
For the backup system, RWB used a centralized battery backup system. Instead of batteries in every room, there is just one central battery cabinet on each wing and floor of the building. By utilizing a centralized battery system instead of individual batteries, we reduced the building maintenance required.