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The Public Architects (PA) Committee promotes excellence in public architecture and enhances the role of the public architect as an essential element in the planning, design, construction, and management of public facilities. Join us!

Looking for Feedback - Electrical Infrastructure

  • 1.  Looking for Feedback - Electrical Infrastructure

    Posted 05-22-2020 06:04 PM

    Hi all,


    I am reaching out on behalf of my electrical engineering counterpart within our Facilities and Infrastructure group at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). We have been gradually transitioning to LED fixtures and she is interested in getting some feedback from fellow facility managers on some of the overall questions she has. I would appreciate it if you can help me make a connection between her and someone in your organization (maybe you) that manages light fixtures in your facility. Below is a list of questions and/or concerns that she would like to discuss:


    1. Currently, commercial LED fixtures do not conform to standard sizes and shapes, with standardized, replaceable arrays and drivers, in the way that fluorescent fixtures have standard sized replacement lamps and ballasts.
    2. Most LED fixtures are specified as having replaceable components, but our concern is that 5-10 years from now those fixtures and their components will no longer be manufactured. We foresee a possible scenario wherein LED fixtures we are installing now are at end of life, and we cannot get replacement LED arrays and/or drivers.
    3. In this scenario we would be forced to replace complete light fixtures. Not only are we concerned with the cost of replacing all fixtures (as opposed to the inexpensive lamp replacement required for fluorescent fixtures), but we are concerned that there may not be replacement fixtures that are the same size and shape as the fixtures that need to be replaced. For flush mounted fixtures, this could lead to expensive ceiling modifications.
    4. We have discussed trying to implement safeguards against a future of costly fixture replacements, but there isn't a clear way forward, until the industry standardizes on fixtures styles with standardized, replaceable LED arrays and drivers. We are wondering what other facilities are doing about this, or if other facilities are even having this conversation.
    5. I would be very interested in discussing this issue with facility managers and maintenance people who deal with installation and maintenance of light fixtures.


    Any help with connecting her to the right people would be appreciated! My coworker is Denise Dennis and her email is if they want to reach out directly.


    Thank you,


    Heather T.S. Karch, AIA, LEED BD+C

    Aviation Facilities and Infrastructure

    Architecture Manager

    Port of Seattle
    PO Box 68727

    Seattle, WA 98168
    P: 206-787-4402

    M: 206-519-8793