Dr. J.P. Lord School Receives Special Citation Award!

This past week, Alvine Engineering attended the 2019 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Annual Conference and was awarded the “Special Citation Award” for lighting design for the Omaha Public Schools’ Dr. J.P. Lord School project. This particular project focuses on providing multi-sensory stimuli for developmentally challenged students to create an experiential learning environment that is specific to their unique needs.

“Many of the students spend all day looking up, confined to a wheelchair in an almost flat position, making the ceilings and lighting a critical component of the design,” explained Alvine Engineering’s Michelle Eble-Hankins, Ph.D., P.E., LC, who worked diligently on the project. Alvine Engineering tried to pay close attention as the lighting provides significant visual interest through effects such as color changing while limiting the potential for glare. “Because most are non-verbal, the students cannot express what is or isn’t stimulating them. This limitation encouraged the design team to provide different types of stimuli in the space, in the hopes that every student would be engaged by at least one of the effects.”

The color changing was introduced through interactive and tactile applications and the integration of color into a multi-sensory experience. One example of color changing includes the entryway, where an audiovisual experience welcomes the students via a control system that continuously monitors the levels and frequency of an audio track. When the music plays, the lighting levels and colors are adjusted in real-time to mimic the mood of the music. The effect plays on carefully-selected luminaires to be sensitive to the students while creating visual interest.

“The results are an all-LED building that met the owner’s budget, performs 30% better than the energy code, will minimize maintenance requirements for the owner, and achieves the owner’s goal of providing opportunities for stimulating connections within the minds of the students,” said Hankins.

Alvine Engineering partnered with architect, BCDM, to complete this 45,000 GSF project in 2018.

Michelle Eble-Hankins stands beside the display board for JP Lord Elementary's IES Special Citation Award