“Value engineering is the biggest impact on the current design market. A lot of contractors try to convince the client that they can achieve the same results as specified with much less investment, and that plan always fails” given the current market conditions and smaller budgets for projects, is value engineering having an impact on lighting design?
Value engineering is the biggest impact on the current design market. A lot of contractors try to convince the client that they can achieve the same results as specified with much less investment, and that plan always fails. The challenge with lighting design is it is always thought of as an addendum to a finished product, and that is a challenge in the current market. Adding to that problem, the multiple suppliers that try to value-engineer the original spec in order to push their own brands are creating multiple problems in the market. At the end of the day, this ruins the work of the designer, and leaves the client with a project that could have been much better in overall quality, had he simply followed the original specifications. Does a lack of education in lighting design across the region
have a hand in these issues?
All the challenges mentioned above can be traced back to a lack of education regarding lighting; it is always thought of as some sort of black mystic art that not a lot of people try to understand. Sadly, it is usually left to the contractor and supplier to work out without much input from the client, except when it comes to the bottom line in terms of pricing. External/facade lighting can significantly affect animals. Is there an increasing emphasis on reducing the impact on wildlife in the region?
I think façade lighting design is an important aspect of a city’s skyline, and as such should be approached with a direction that would accentuate the nature of the building architecturally. Unfortunately, façade lighting has been increasingly designed by amateurs who floodlight the buildings with a massive amount of lights, and sometimes colour as well. Regarding this, the local municipalities have started to implement laws and regulations 03 that reduce the lighting pollution resulting from excessive lighting on facades in the UAE and most gulf countries. Nulty has worked on numerous regional projects in the Middle East. Could you give us an overview of what you’ve done recently?
We are currently working on multiple high-end hospitality projects; as tourism steadily grows in the region, the direct response of this is an increase in high-end hospitality projects. Hospitality projects are the main area where lighting is soughtafter, as it creates an air of luxury in the overall space. This is also the case in highend retail and other showrooms – lighting plays a decisive factor in the customers’ experience, and we have recently finalised a MAGRABi showroom where our design input was followed, as was the testing and commissioning. This process ensured that the correct settings and light levels were applied to the areas in real time. 34 MAY 2017
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