Zumtobel implements energy efficient lighting scheme

Zumtobel Harmonising architecture and illumination for energy efficiency and aesthetic brilliance

Barbirolli Square has held a historical significance as the birthplace of the renowned Hallé orchestra. Founded by Conductor and Cellist, John Barbirolli, the orchestra quickly gained international recognition for its diverse talent and artistic excellence. Today, 100 Barbirolli Square symbolises this triumph of creativity and resilience during a time of global conflict.

The Zumtobel Group Lighting brands played a pivotal role in the £20 million upgrade of the prominent 1990s office block in Manchester. The three-year project involved a complete refurbishment of the 150,000ft² building, across 12 floors, including reception spaces. The aim was to create a visually appealing lighting design that utilised exposed services while reducing energy consumption.

Incorporating sustainability

The refurbishment project at 100 Barbirolli Square also prioritised sustainability and occupant wellbeing. The design features a sophisticated and understated style, with exposed concrete, poured concrete flooring, raw polished plaster, natural materials and air purifying plants. Moreover, the introduction of a large cycle hub with changing rooms directly accessible from the street encourages alternative and sustainable transportation options. A flexible studio/gym and spacious changing rooms were included to promote the health and wellbeing of the building’s users.

A lighting solution to match the building aspirations

Working closely with the architect and consultant, Zumtobel developed a comprehensive lighting solution for the project. Central to the scheme was its newly launched, SLOTLIGHT infinity ID, which perfectly matched the design aesthetic and provided excellent lighting performance. The SLOTLIGHT infinity ID, known for its wide-angle uplighting, ensured there were no hotspots on the ceiling, enhancing the overall visual appeal. The warm 3000K colour temperature created a cosy atmosphere against the concrete soffits, contributing to the building’s inviting ambiance.

Additionally, other Zumtobel products, including SLOTLIGHT infinity, PANOS infinity-P R70, Comsign, RESCLITE PRO, and SUPERSYSTEM integral, were strategically installed in different areas of the building. Thorn Lighting’s Aquaforce Pro and Chalice were also used in the basement plant, back-of-house, and cores.

The use of LED technology and intelligent controls significantly reduced energy consumption, aligning with the project’s sustainability goals.


The lighting installation at 100 Barbirolli Square delivered impressive results in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability. Lighting traditionally accounts for approximately upwards of 25% of the energy used in an office building, here the use of the Zumtobel Group’s LED luminaires and intelligent controls reduces this by more than 50%, limiting the environmental impact.

The following statistics highlight the overall project’s success:

  • Embodied carbon saving: 71% over an equivalent new building
  • Whole life carbon saving: 20% over an equivalent new building
  • EPC rating: B

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