Improving the comfort of his students and reducing energy consumption were priorities for Italian Bilingual School (IBS) Principal Robert Ruggeri when he added a BTicino automation system as part of a general school upgrade this year.
The installation three months ago of the BTicino lighting and sound diffusion system and Legrand emergency lighting, has already given the primary school green points. Leichhardt Council, in Sydney’s inner west, has scheduled a greenhouse audit for the school, and Ruggeri is confident IBS will come through with shining colours albeit low energy ones.
Sponsored by HPM Legrand, an Australian supplier of products for electrical installations, the new lighting and sound diffusion system has allowed the school to integrate the latest technology used in today’s classrooms, such as iPods and smart interactive boards.
Legrand emergency lighting was also installed throughout the two-level school. Fitted with LED lights, this component of the installation alone is estimated to have reduced energy consumption by 70 per cent as well as offering savings on regular replacement of fluoro tubes.
Conceived and designed by HPM Legrand CEO, Giuseppe Parola, the Italian Bilingual School project had other obvious synergies with BTicino, a range designed and manufactured in Italy. The innovative teaching methods at the school are a perfect match with BTicino, an award winning company which is a leader in state of the art technology and design.
Introduced to Australia in 2008, the BTicino system is a complete suite of automated applications for environmental control. It enables the various components of an electrical system to communicate and increases comfort, safety and communication within the chosen environment.
School Principal Ruggeri said the new lighting and sound systems were conceived to meet the needs of students and teachers working in the classroom on a range of activities every day, as well as for support staff, such as cleaners.
The new installation is seen as a trial run for the school prior to the installation of a complete automation system at a new school location, which is still in the planning stages.
Parola said the classroom lighting system, which used Nelson T5 low energy consumption fluoro tubes, was carefully calibrated and scenarios programmed by HPM Legrand technicians to ensure appropriate settings for the various tasks undertaken by students including reading, writing, computer and artwork. The scenarios can be changed by the users themselves.
The usual harsh classroom lighting has been eliminated, resulting in soft lighting with a choice of settings at low, medium, and high. Sensors and timed switches can also help ensure lights are only on when required, helping to decrease energy consumption.
The sound diffusion system, when combined with the smartboards and iPods, also needed to allow the classroom to switch between scenarios such as student presentations to quiet study time. It accepts audio input from up to four different sources such as hifi systems, ipods and computers, and can diffuse music in up to eight zones. In the classroom environment, there is also potential for announcements to be broadcast through the system.
Parola said that with minor adjustments, both lighting and sound diffusion could also be conveniently controlled remotely via telephone or the Internet.