Our Work

Carroll Lutheran Village

A Green Community Initiative to Use Resources More Wisely

How We Helped a Retirement Community Transition to LED Lighting, Support Resident Priorities and Reduce Lighting Consumption by 71%

Based in Westminster, Maryland, Carroll Lutheran Village sought guidance on a green initiative that supported its core values of innovation and community.

Its team knew that moving away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting would be necessary for its transformation, especially on a large campus that served nearly 700 residents in 397 homes and apartments, 50 assisted living suites and 103 skilled care beds. As a nonprofit, Carroll Lutheran also placed a high value on using its resources wisely, finding additional streams of revenue and achieving a smaller carbon footprint.

One of the reasons they chose Bowerbird was because of its precise planning and transparency, said Janet Buchanan, Vice President of Philanthropy for Lutheran Social Ministries of Maryland. “It was very well modeled for us, so we knew exactly what we would save, how long it would take, what the costs were, and what kind of product we were going to get.”

Our Approach

We knew it would be important to go beyond a switch to LED lighting. We also wanted to involve automated controls to help curb energy usage and offer flexibility to building operators. We included sensors that detect motion and daylight to adjust lighting levels accordingly, color tuning options, and dimming capabilities. Bowerbird created, procured, and installed LED light fixtures, lamps and lighting control sensors in two original apartment buildings and throughout the outdoor grounds of the community.

We retrofitted existing lighting fixtures to accommodate LED lighting, removed and replaced entire fixtures with LED, and redesigned some spaces for a more efficient layout. We also worked with Carroll Lutheran’s team to help their project qualify for utility rebates and incentives from their electric utility, Baltimore Gas and Electric.

The Results

Carroll Lutheran Village reduced lighting consumption by 71%, saving 41,270 kWh of energy. It also reported a reduction in labor, saving maintenance staff time that used to be spent changing out faulty lighting and ballasts.

The facilities team also expressed satisfaction in Bowerbird’s ability to be flexible and reliable.

“In project management, the three things that you really watch are scope, schedule and budget,” said Rob Roe, Corporate Director of Facilities. “The Bowerbird team made sure everything fell in budget. There was no hidden agenda or outside of scope. And when they said they would be here, they were here — and that means a lot.”

Residents also reported pride in the meaningful steps taken in the community. Their team has asked Bowerbird to expand its green initiatives on other campuses.

  • Why the Work Matters

    Every opportunity we have to be a good steward of the resources that [residents] entrust to us is an important one.

    — Janet Buchanan, Vice President of Philanthropy