When SAP, the world’s largest business software company, decided to expand its North American headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa., the company realized it faced a real opportunity to demonstrate a corporate-wide commitment to sustainable business practices. The new building, which would serve as home to nearly 2,000 employees, needed to be a landmark architectural project.

“We wanted it all, and we got it all,” says Brian Barrett, Facility Manager for SAP. “The goal was to design a corporate headquarters building that not only addressed the workflow needs of our employees, but also provided a real return on SAP’s investment, which would come from decreased energy demand, improved operating efficiencies, and increased employee productivity.”

To achieve many of SAP’s cost and energy saving commitments, SAP worked with Kay + Sons, the national leader in daylight management systems, and its partner Lutron Electronics, a designer and manufacturer of lighting controls and automated window treatments. The daylight management solutions provided by Kay + Sons and Lutron Electronics are integral to the design of the building and workspaces. As the sun moves across the sky and the intensity of light and heat changes, the system constantly monitors and adjusts lighting, heating, shading, and air conditioning— using natural heat and light when available and shading it to reduce energy demand to create a more comfortable work environment for employees. Sensors are located throughout the building, and are embedded into energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems. They automatically cut light, heat, and air conditioning in unoccupied spaces. Offices and meeting locations are kept cool, warm, and bright, allowing teams of SAP professionals to productively service customers throughout the world.

“Energy efficiency and cost-savings were the primary reasons we chose the Quantum system for SAP,” says Barry Kay, President of Kay + Sons, “but because the comfort and productivity of their employees was another concern, this solution was the perfect choice. The neighborhood design of SAP workspaces, characterized by an open floor plan, facilitates daylight harvesting and greatly improves the quality of the work environment. Light levels are controlled for optimal productivity.”

“SAP has seen a dramatic reduction in energy use and as a result, huge costsavings,” says Barrett. “We’re using 250kW, which amounts to about 1.1kW per square foot. By industry standards, that’s extremely low. Every energy efficient system we’re using contributes to these savings.”

These and other energy-efficient features are projected to reduce the building’s energy use by as much as 49 percent compared to conventional buildings. A significant percent of that will be contributed by the daylight management system installed by Kay + Sons.

“Kay + Sons did an outstanding job of designing and installing the daylight management system. As a pioneer in the industry, they are experienced, knowledgeable, and quick to develop new solutions and ideas that result in real cost savings,” says Barrett. “Their partnership with Lutron resulted in an incredible final product. We had a clear vision of what we were looking for and asked a lot of both companies to go above and beyond the call of duty to meet specific objectives on a tight timelines. They did just that, no questions asked.” And employees are thrilled. “It’s a beautiful place to work,” says one Senior Security Specialist. “It’s an incredible work environment that makes every morning and day a little brighter for us here at SAP.”