ABM Assists Pacific Battleship Center To Upgrade Lighting System On Historic USS Iowa

ABM, provider of facility solutions, is performing an energy upgrade project for the Pacific Battleship Center's museum on the decommissioned USS Iowa, which is docked in Los Angeles, California. ABM's customized solution is projected to reduce the non-profit museum's energy and operating costs, and is scheduled for completion in May 2018.

Energy and operational savings will be achieved by implementing lighting upgrades throughout the ship. ABM Technical Solutions is responsible for the implementation.

"The USS Iowa project is unique and ambitious since it needs to meet modern sustainability goals, while maintaining the ship's historical setting," said Mark Newsome, President of ABM Technical Solutions. "The Pacific Battleship Center project will enhance its guests' experience by maintaining the historical feel, but also upgrade its lighting system and create savings."

Commissioned in 1943, the USS Iowa is an 800-foot-long ship and earned nine battle stars for service in World War II, and two for service during the Korean War. It also received several awards from the Navy.

Since July 2012, the USS Iowa has been operating as a floating museum which is visited by hundreds of visitors each day. It has also been used regularly as a site for film and television productions.

"In looking for a lighting retrofit partner, Pacific Battleship Center focused on current LED project experience as a primary requirement for a project as unique and special as the retrofitting of a World War II battleship," said Mike Getscher, Executive Vice President and COO of the Pacific Battleship Center. "Perhaps the greatest challenge in preparing for the project was the initial survey and documentation of existing lighting throughout a very complex ship. The scope of the vessel is staggering."

At nearly 500,000 square-feet and 19 decks, the USS Iowa presented several unique challenges to make sure modern improvements did not affect the ship's historical look and feel.

The Pacific Battleship Center wanted to make upgrades without affecting the ship's ambience, which is critical to the museum and its appearance. The ship's access and logistics are difficult because of bulkheads, watertight doors and decks above and below the waterline, along with an unusual wiring system. ABM had to find modern products that would work with the ship's delta wiring and power system.

ABM performed a variety of test installations and research to ensure the correct equipment was installed to not only improve the ship's efficiency, but retain the same lighting brightness and colors to maintain the ship's original ambience.

"ABM was the clear choice for a project of this magnitude and importance," Getscher said. "They bring the experience, resources and integrity we need to properly support the retrofitting of the ship's lighting systems."

The Pacific Battleship Center and USS Iowa want to save energy and reduce utility and maintenance costs. The organization took advantage of the Los Angeles Department of Power & Water's Commercial Lighting Incentive - or CLIP - program.

The CLIP program provides incentives and financial assistance to install energy-saving lighting and controls, allowing organizations using more than 200 kW per month to make efficiency upgrades. The program will provide a rebate to cover the USS Iowa's lighting upgrade costs.

"The existing fixtures and lighting run times make this project perfect for a high-rebate program like CLIP," Newsome said. "We're helping to keep the cost of operating the ship low, which is a big help, especially for a non-profit museum."

Highlights of the project include:
 • Replacing more than 10,000 inefficient fluorescent lamps with long-life LED lamps, improving their lifespan and reducing energy consumption by approximately 50 percent
 • Rewiring the ship's old pre-heat lighting fixtures, and removing old lamp starters and transformers to accommodate the new lamps