5 Ways to Make Your Building More Energy Efficient
July 24th, 2020
Last updated: August 9th, 2022
Energy efficiency is a primary management strategy in the 21st century, which is motivated of course by the growing issue of climate change, but also by the benefits an organisation can gain from better use of energy, less wastage and stricter organisational controls and procedures.
Understanding how to make commercial buildings more energy efficient is tough. They can be old and badly maintained. This could be through general neglect, but also because construction techniques and materials were not as good as they are now, and new technologies have arrived on the market to better assist in making a building energy efficient.
Fortunately, in recent years, there have been a lot of positive developments and innovations around energy efficiency in buildings and there are even new technologies that can be implemented. If you are exploring ways to make your building more energy efficient, though, sometimes the very basics are the most important aspect to get right.
At Robinsons Facilities Services we understand that energy efficiency is important to Facilities Management, but also that huge capital investment is not always possible. So what techniques and procedures can you easily implement to ensure your building is more energy efficient?
A traditional boiler for heating and hot water is a big investment for any organisation and is a significant energy source, as it needs to be consistent and reliable for everyday use, particularly over the winter.
An old boiler can very quickly become a drain on your money, especially if it is not well-maintained. Boilers become clogged with dust and dirt through their natural operation, so fans and filters require regular cleaning and replacement, otherwise they will be over-working to create the same levels of heat. A regular service will also identify leaks and faulty fans, which again can lead to the boiler using more energy than it needs to. An investment in renewable energies, such as a biomass boiler, is an excellent way to improve your building’s efficiency, but regular servicing and maintenance of your existing boiler is a quick and simple solution.
The installation of an air conditioning system will improve your energy efficiency and office ventilation, because it maintains a stable temperature all-year-round, rather than blowing hot and cold as necessary and using more energy.
A well-managed and maintained air conditioning system can be programmed to come on at certain times in certain rooms, and uses energy only to ‘tick-over’ and keep temperatures stable. It is important that a system is designed that is appropriate to the size and shape of your building, so that it is not over-working and is effective, but a well-designed and maintained air conditioning system can actually improve your energy efficiency, provide a clean environment and will improve work productivity.
A lot of people assume that air conditioning systems are going to cost a lot of money, but this is not necessarily the case. HVAC units have also become a lot more efficient in recent years.
Replace Old Electrical Equipment
Even in the last decade technological advances have been rapid and items such as laptops, monitors, printers and communal items such as kettles, photocopiers and fridges are far more energy efficient. So regularly replacing old items is good building management.
If you ensure new items are certified and have a good energy rating, then this will affect your energy bills positively. Regular PAT testing of these items will also identify faulty equipment or where recommended improvements can be made.
When you buy new equipment, pay close attention to any energy rating that this equipment has. Things like washing machines have energy ratings so when you buy them, you can see just how efficient they are.
Building Fabric Maintenance
As well as looking after systems within the building regularly and professionally, you need to keep an eye on the building fabric itself, so regular inspections for leaking taps and pipework can pay dividends, and any areas around doors, walls and windows, where air could be escaping and cold air coming in, can be a factor in heating systems over-working.
This also includes things like checking on the insulation of a property, which can cause you to leak heat and in turn cause inefficiency in your building.
The shell of the building and the state of the fabric of the building is often forgotten about when looking for ways to make a building more energy efficient.
Lighting is of course integral to every building, but is often overlooked as an influential source of energy. Lighting is required in every room and is used all day, every day, so getting it right and not wasting energy is every important.
The advances in LED lighting has meant buildings are using a light source which lasts much longer and uses less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent lighting is also more energy efficient. You can also implement systems using passive room sensors and timer controls to ensure lighting is not used when it is not needed.
If you haven’t already, be sure to look at your lighting and check that you are using efficient bulbs, and a system to ensure that you aren’t using lights when you don’t need to be, such as motion sensors. LED bulbs are a huge improvement on the incandescent bulb technology which means you can save a lot just by switching.
Help From Robinsons Facilities Services
You can do your own research on how to make a building more energy efficient, or you can get advice from the professionals. Robinsons Facilities Services have a lot of experience ensuring buildings run to their maximum potential, and that includes energy efficiency. Reach out to us today for advice on energy efficiency, servicing, repairs, and planned preventative maintenance in your commercial property.