Making an outlet 'easy to find and enter while also saving power' (Feb 25, 2013)

Before the dealer showroom renovation. The reflection of exterior objects in the window glass obscures a clear view, leaving a gloomy impression.

Using energy efficiently is a challenge that needs to be addressed globally. In response to this, Nissan dealers have worked to improve their understanding of these challenges and devised new, innovative ideas.

One of the complications that comes with power saving measures is that a dealer can appear to be closed for business when the interior lights are dimmed - it seems dark when viewed from outside. Nissan studied dealer lighting to find a solution that makes it "easy to find and enter while also saving power" and put it into action at the Nissan Prince Shizuoka Nakamura-cho sales outlet in Shizuoka prefecture. This was achieved with support from the Seikatsu Kankyo Kobo (lifestyle environment workshop act) company, the University of Tokyo (Hirate Laboratory, Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering) and Endo Lighting Co. Ltd., all of which collaborated with Nissan in the redesign of the dealer's lighting plans and collectively oversaw the project.

As a first step, the Nakamura-cho dealer changed all its lights to highly-efficient LED lights, thereby achieving a 40% power consumption reduction. Additionally, instead of using the same level of light intensity throughout the store, they moved vehicles that required strong lighting close to the windows so that light from outside could be used effectively. Conversely, the lounge space - which should have a relaxed atmosphere - was placed in the rear section of the store. Accordingly, the space was rearranged and light distribution was organized in line with the role of each area. Also, the ceiling color and walls were changed to white in order to reflect light, which saved even more energy and improved brightness.

To make it easier find and enter the dealer, they created a light spot at the building entrance, and lit up the walls inside the outlet to create a warm-colored ambience.

With these small-yet-innovative ideas, power consumption at the Nakamura-cho dealer was reduced by up to 50 percent. This result impresses customers who visit the outlet, some of whom have remarked that "Viewed from outside the dealer seems welcoming and open." This power saving effort has also started to have a positive cascading effect; some of the dealer staff have taken note of changes in their workplace and started to save energy at home by replacing their regular lights with LEDs.

(Comparison of building exteriors. Above: Before renovation. Below: After renovation)

In recognition of its energy conservation efforts, the Nakamura-cho dealer was awarded the "Sho-ene Shomei Design Award (power saving and lighting design award) 2012" in January 2013 by Japan's Ministry of the Environment in the "excellent facility in the commercial/accommodation" building category.

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