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Sustainable lighting for a workspace

The new headquarters for engineering company IDOM, with a surface area of 16,000 m2, situated in Madrid (Spain), is a showcase for the company’s philosophy – it is not just another corporate office building.

The project, according to the architects, involved erecting a building to hold IDOM’s activity, to represent them and to become their business card for clients.

The team decided to create a very comfortable atmosphere, real and believable, not determined only by its tectonic, representative or spatial values. The creation of a workspace: porous, ventilated, natural and friendly. They considered, therefore, that it was mandatory for the forms and architecture to be based on the usage of energy, light and sustainable strategies, and not the other way round.


The aim was to build a ‘non-office’; an atmosphere that was more like a home, breaking away from the axioms of a traditional office building:

- A place without a false ceiling, without raised flooring, with timber, fabric ducts, exposed factory walls, openable windows, and low-speed room temperature air discharge.

-Thermally active building system (TABS) making use of the high thermal inertia of the structure and of its post-tensioned concrete frameworks. An air discharge designed specifically for low-speed renovation through cleanable fabric ducts and with no noise pollution.

-A correct water reuse strategy, also to enjoy visually and acoustically.

-An environment in which fragments of nature, hanging gardens, façades with plants are introduced.

-Large structural spaces which allow a flowing and flexible space. Sun protection to the south, light with nuances to the north. A perception of a continuous space, both horizontally and vertically.

Finally, the building was achieved at reasonable costs, with simple maintenance, easy to use and understand, flexible, highly technical with simple technology; a workplace with a healthy atmosphere (neither hot nor cold, no glare, no toxic elements, etc.). In short, a perfect balance between ecological, economic and social aspects.



Following the premises of sustainability, efficiency and visual comfort, ACXT Lighting Design designed a lighting control system that would make the most of natural sunlight. They also created a stimulating and healthy atmosphere for workers, with positive physical and psychological effects.

For the open-plan office, the required amount of light was chosen for each area according to the typology and use, without the lights being too large. Different levels of lighting were established: a larger level over work plans and a lower level in passageways, so as not to waste light. The result is that workers have the necessary amount of lighting on their desks, as well as achieving a relaxing and comfortable general atmosphere. The level of contrast between the desks and the environment was designed in order not to compromise visual comfort, because it is known that excessive contrast can cause eye strain.

The solution involved creating continuous lines of light connected with the introduction of furniture, only suspended above desks and at a suitable height so as to avoid glare, parallel and integrated into the bamboo slats that make up the ceiling in this area. This layout avoids glare on computer screens and lights up work surfaces with sufficient visual comfort, while achieving a suitable level of lighting in passageways without needing to include any more elements, despite the large gaps between desks.

For this, LAMP’s continuous line luminaire Dinamic C.L. was chosen, equipped with 2x28 T5 HE and high visual comfort lens. It was deemed the most suitable in order to comply with technology, optics, photometry, power, quality and aesthetics requirements. The colour temperature that was chosen was 4200K, for workers’ higher visual comfort.

The luminaires were installed with DALI ballast in order to be managed individually from the building’s central lighting control system. The DALI protocol enables the control of flux according to the amount of natural sunlight, and the level of lighting at each work station can be adjusted individually. These flexible options adapt to the personal comfort parameters of each worker with special visual needs, and achieve the highest efficiency as the system makes the most of natural sunlight.


Project credits

Authors: Jesús María Susperregui (ACXT) and Jorge Martínez Bermejo (ACXT), Antonio Villanueva (Idom)

Study: ACXT Lighting Designer: Noemi Barbero Zumalacárregui (ACXT Lighting Design)

Promoter: Idom

Constructor: Package contracting.

Construction Management: IDOM

Installer: ELECSA

Year: 2012

Lamp Solution: Dinamic C.L.


Author: LAMP Lighting. Ecoconstruction India 1st issue. February 2013.

2013/01/08 by Gloria Llopis