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Team 1 - Sustainability Project Research Proposal

Page history last edited by Jennifer Smith 13 years, 10 months ago




Global Cash Access, a service provider for the gaming industry, has a Las Vegas office composed of two main building sections. Each section has one light switch that controls all the lights (fluorescent tubes) for the whole section. These lights are very rarely turned off, even though there are portions of the building unoccupied from 5 or 6 PM until roughly 7 to 9 AM on weekdays, and unoccupied through the entire weekend. Often one person working late (say, until midnight) will result in the lights for the whole side of the building being lit. There are only two areas with people working in them 24/7, and one of these (the helpdesk, where Richard works) already has separate light controls. The other area, the call center, is a fairly large area (occupying about 1/2 to 2/3 of that section of the building).


Turning off the lights for an entire side of the building is not really an option generally, because most of the time there will be at least one person who needs light. The real problem here seems to be the lack of separate light switches for small sections of the building. Of course, offices have their own light switches, but the number of people in cubicles under general lighting is much greater than the number of offices.


If turning off the lights is not a viable option, perhaps setting the lights on a timer is. This solution saves electricity during non-standard hours of operation while keeping the option to use the light switch open. However, it does not take into account the handful of people that work during these operational anomalies that will manually adjust the lighting. Even if the lights are on timers, people are still utilizing the inefficient source of overhead lighting during these times. In addition, the light switches are currently by the exit doors; putting times in would mean that if a timer were to go off, workers in the affected area would have to interrupt their work, get up and go to the timer, and turn them back on. Workers are likely to view this as a nuisance and may just set the timer for much longer than they actually need.


Alternatively, motion sensor lighting provides flexibility that timed lighting does not. Since certain areas remain unoccupied during times of the night the motion senors will not be triggered therefore providing energy and cost savings while meeting the necessary lighting requirements for those left in the building. However, the feasibility of this option would be very limited by the structure of the cubicles (full wall height); there would have to be a motion sensor for each cubicle, which would be relatively expensive to wire.


Infrastructure changes to the building's lighting can be time consuming and possibly cost prohibitive. There is also a potential loss of productivity during the construction phase. the feasibility of efficient and cost effective energy efficient individual or group lighting solutions may prove a viable option. the benefits are that it is quick and still saves energy. Options such as desk lamps or floor lamps to replace overhead lighting during off hours could quickly and easily change the company's energy consumption. However, due to company concerns with aesthetics this is unlikely to happen; in addition, this is likely to be an expensive option to implement, as the price for separate additional lights for each cubicle would quickly add up.





We would like to complete this project to discover if Global Cash Access can save money on their power bill, while at the same time reducing their energy consumption. This would be beneficial to the company's expenses as well as the opportunity to publicize to business associates, clients, employees and competitors their commitment to protecting the environment. At this time, much attention is paid to businesses that value the impact of their carbon footprint on the environment. A company who makes efforts to reduce their consumption of non-renewable energy is often favored and perceived as a leader.


We would need to understand the employee shift patterns over a twenty-four hour period. We would also need to know what parts of the building they occupy over that period. Furthermore, we would need to discover the different types of technology offered for power usage in a business environment. These would include:


  • Light switch options
    • Motion detectors.
    • Switches that automatic based on time of day.
  • Types of bulbs available for energy efficiency.


Additionally, we would want to investigate if there are any tax benefits and/or rebate benefits offered through NV Energy to make changes based on the outcome of this project.


Richard Wood: Richard has the unique advantage of being an employee of Global Cash Access. Having worked there for nearly 10 years, he is familiar with the general business climate and has access to the personnel who can approve or disapprove any proposals.


Jennifer Smith: A former sales executive with over 14 years of experience in prospecting, research, proposal and presentations. Has worked on several group projects and managed budgets up to $1,000,000.


Antonia Connolly: Information Developer with a Point of Sale software company in Las Vegas. Working in a similar 24/7 work environment provides a certain familiarity with the subject matter. Antonia works collaboratively every day to create and maintain both internal and external documentation.


Jeffrey Hajibandeh: Jeffrey is a licensed Engineering Intern (EIT) and Civil Engineer with experience in green building design. He has worked on several development projects to optimize site plans and maximize the efficiency of design. Additionally, he has created several proposals and post-construction reports, making him a capable member of a Sustainability Team.





Primary Research:

  1. How many lights are in use under each switch.
  2. How the building is currently wired (i.e. where the electrical sources for each light "split off"); this will help determine how much rewiring will cost.
  3. How many lights are in each potential zone.
  4. How much energy does one fluorescent tube use?
  5. The typical hours someone would be in each zone (and therefore when the lights would be off).
  6. How much the project would cost (this may be the most difficult part; the company will likely want some solid numbers for savings before they approve getting an estimate).


Secondary research:

This will be spread out among the remaining team members. Research will include:

  1. What is the price per kilowatt? How many fluorescent tubes are needed to provide sufficient light during non-standard hours of operation?
  2. Is there a more effective light source the company can use?
  3. How many "zones" are needed (by looking at different possibilities for lighting up the areas).
  4. How much electricity each zone uses (per kWh); determined by # of lights times wattage per light.
  5. The savings in electricity (based on the time lights would be off per zone times electricity used per zone times the electrical rate). Maximum and minimum figures should be calculated.



Potential Obstacles or Problems


Access to the building is restricted to only one member of the team (Richard Wood). As such, most of the primary research will be conducted by Richard, with the data to be analyzed and processed by the rest of the team.





Since the building has restricted access, we have to rely on Richard to do most of the research and collecting pertinent data. This will be completed during or by the end of Spring Break. The rest of the team will then work collaboratively to process and interpret the data and then to present it. Please see our chart link below.


Preliminary Gannt Chart





We appreciate the opportunity to research this proposal for you. With Richard's knowledge of GlobalCash Access and opportunity to work inside the building, as well as our team's research skills, we anticipate a thorough project that will provide you with options to not only save money, but decrease your carbon footprint.




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