College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Construction Management Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Construction Management



Primary Advisor/Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Philip Barlow, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Construction Management Department


Occupancy sensors are lighting control devices that automatically turn lights on when they detect motion, and off when motion is not detected for an allotted time period. These sensors can be applied virtually anywhere, indoor or outdoor, and can provide substantial energy savings. One application that does not utilize occupancy sensors often enough is classrooms. Cal Poly currently utilizes an outdated toggle switch system that students do not maintain properly, wasting a large quantity of energy. This paper will examine the maintaining of the current lighting control system in Cal Poly’s Construction Innovation Center (CIC) lab classrooms; the operating cost of the current lighting system, the specifics of a proposed occupancy sensor system, the payback period of the occupancy sensor system, new industry knowledge, conclusions of the study, lessons learned, and recommendations for implementing occupancy sensors. The project determined an excellent occupancy sensor system to install in the CIC; however, the precise consumption of the current lighting system was not determined due to unavailable data. Educated assumptions based on personal experiences and observations were factored into calculations. As a result, the project encourages the implementation of an occupancy sensor system, specifically the wireless Lutron Energi TriPak. Altogether, this experience offered valuable lessons, which included methods to overcome obstacles, as well as the importance of valid communication, detailed planning, and punctuality.

Poster Packard WN17.pdf (228 kB)
Packard Senior Project Poster