The developers of Pickerington's newest medical facility have been commended for installing an energy-efficient lighting system to illuminate their building.
The Pickerington Medical Center, 670 Hill Road N., is expected to open later this month.
Jan. 8, the Pickerington Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a waiver for the facility to allow LED lighting on the exterior of the building.
Project architect Mike Boryca said the LED lighting, while considerably more expensive, is more energy efficient, durable and saves more energy than the traditional lighting systems.
He said it also produces better light.
"All the lighting inside (the building) is LED, we spent the extra to go 'green,' " Boryca said.
"Doing it in the parking lot is an extension of that," he said.
Planning and Zoning Commission Member Brian Bosch applauded the decision.
"LED lighting is great," Bosch said.
"It (produces) a nice, bright light where you can control it so much better," he said.
Commission Member Ted Hackworth said he was concerned about the "spillover" effect LED lighting would have on adjacent properties, which are residential areas.
Boryca said LED actually produces a softer lighting output.
"This is new to all of us," he said. "You're going to see a lot more of (these)."
Current nonresidential design standards mandate "all luminaries shall be high-pressure sodium or metal halide." It does not address LED lighting.
"LED style does meet the requirements of the (Pickerington) zoning code," said Clement Chukwu, Pickerington city planner.
"Since we don't have LED requirements in the zoning code, (they) are bringing it to the Planning and Zoning Commission," Chukwu said.
City Development Services Director Joe Henderson said his staff supported a waiver to allow for the LED lighting.
"(There) is a lot of up front expense," said Henderson, commending the developers of the project for taking "the first leap when (it's) not something the city is mandating.
"They're willing to put the money in it."
Project applicant and realtor Gene Johnson said the LED lighting systems "are just unbelievable lights, it's incredible."
"They take 60 percent less power and last 20 to 23 years," he said, adding they are also "three times more expensive."
Johnson said the Pickerington Medical Center is set to open Monday, Jan. 21. The entire medical center will have five to seven doctors on staff and encompass 5,555 square feet of office space with 13 exam rooms.
Johnson said LabCorp, a diagnostic testing company, will be located at the facility along with an imaging center.