Technology advancements are making it possible for building owners to easily implement sustainable solutions for reduced energy usage. Sustainability is a concept designed to encourage structural or process changes geared toward eco-friendliness. While the idea centers on making changes to building design from the ground up, owners have several options available to accomplish small, beneficial changes. Egress safety systems featuring photoluminescent technology create an opportunity for supporting building sustainability. The approaches traditionally implemented to accomplish egress compliance entail extensive electrical use and waste generation that can be eliminated with photoluminescent products.
These safety components are necessary to aid occupants in locating exit points within a structure during an evacuation, but pose significant problems to the environment. Incandescent signs create a vast amount of waste as they must be wired to power sources, maintained, and disposed in landfills. Furthermore, they have to receive constant power to be visible at the time of an emergency. Photoluminescent signing eliminates the concerns of failed egress identifiers and supplies a sustainable solution capable of increasing overall eco-friendliness.
What Options Are Available?
A number of egress safety system solutions have been made available to companies or individual owners in need of meeting local compliance standards; however, few of these solutions promote sustainability. Incandescent lighted signs are one of the most costly and troublesome options on the market. Each identifier must be professionally wired to two power sources. In addition to this costly requirement, incandescent signing calls for frequent bulb changes and testing to ensure visibility at the time of an emergency. Generators or batteries used to supply backup power have a high probability of failure even with consistent maintenance. Occupants could be left in a dark, multi-story building where finding the nearest exit proves to be highly difficult.
Companies began switching to Tritium products in an effort to reduce the generated waste and electrical costs associated with incandescent signing; however, these zero-energy products have their own dangers. A Tritium identifier uses the reaction between a phosphor coating and a radioactive gas as it goes through beta decay to generate illumination. This poses a particular concern regarding the general health of individuals and environmental safety. The radioactive gas is perfectly safe as long as it remains within the housing tube, but escapes into the atmosphere when it breaks. There have been several cases of improper cleanup as tubes are broken during maintenance or disposed of incorrectly. Tritium alternatives may be less expensive to use, but have a significant purchasing price and are extremely expensive to dispose.
Egress safety systems consisting of photoluminescent illumination pose the least threat to the environment. As with glow-in-the-dark toys, these products absorb light photons, store them, and then release the energy in dark conditions as a green, visible glow without the need for electricity. As one of the newest sustainable solutions on the market, photoluminescent identifiers offer a cost effective solution for making the leap toward sustainability. Contact a GloBrite representative today to learn more about the benefits of photoluminescent egress safety systems and to begin making positive changes for a better tomorrow.