Unearthing opportunities to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings may seem like a complex task, but it offers a compelling return on investment. The advantages range from tangible financial benefits to intangible environmental and reputation gains. This comprehensive guide serves to highlight the various ways to leverage energy efficiency to create more sustainable and cost-effective commercial buildings.

The Importance of Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Energy efficiency isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a strategic move that brings in a plethora of benefits. Here’s why this should be high on your list of business priorities:

Operational and Maintenance Cost Savings

With measures to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings, you gain visibility into the energy performance of your equipment, which enables you to address issues and enhance operations. One of the key energy-saving tips for commercial buildings is the judicious use of resources, which directly translates to reduced operational and maintenance costs.

Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings Provide Tax Incentives and Enhanced Property Value

Did you know you can claim capital allowances when you buy energy-efficient, or low or zero-carbon technology for your business? Known as the “Green” tax, the government will grant this tax relief to SMEs investing in new energy-efficient machinery, green cars or water-saving equipment. Furthermore, energy-efficient buildings are known to have a higher property value, attracting investors, customers, and tenants willing to pay a premium for sustainable options.

Increased Occupant Comfort

Prioritising energy efficiency doesn’t just save money; it enhances the comfort level of the building, resulting in higher occupancy levels. With correctly designed systems and building components, you create a pleasant work environment that people want to be part of.

Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Energy-efficient buildings contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With 70% of electricity being generated from fossil fuels, reducing energy consumption directly impacts carbon dioxide emissions, helping combat climate change while bolstering your company’s green image.

12 Ways To Maximise Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Now that you understand the importance of energy efficiency, let’s dive a little deeper into the various ways you can harness it.

Opt for Energy Efficiency Audits

Knowledge is power, and in this case, the power to save energy. Conducting energy efficiency audits provides you with vital information about your energy consumption patterns and reveals areas that can be optimised for better performance.

Leverage Daylight

One of the simplest ways to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings is to utilise natural daylight. This not only reduces reliance on artificial lighting but also creates a bright, welcoming environment. Consider remodelling your workspace for better access to natural light, and don’t forget the use of skylights and daylight sensors.

Reinforce Your Insulation

Ensuring adequate insulation goes beyond adhering to building codes; it’s a critical component in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. Right insulation choices can substantially cut down heating and cooling costs, enhancing overall energy efficiency. Another consideration is triple-pane windows which generate approximately 36% less heat loss than standard window designs during winter. They also generate about 26% less heat gain during the warmer summer months

Invest in the Right Ventilation System

One of the overlooked energy-saving tips for commercial buildings is selecting an efficient ventilation system. Systems like Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) are known for their energy-saving potential and improved thermal comfort. By also investing in smart, energy-efficient HVAC systems, buildings will not only use less energy but also provide better temperature and humidity control.

Choose Energy Certified Equipment For Better Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Shifting to energy-efficient appliances and systems can result in substantial savings. Opting for Energy Star-certified equipment is a surefire way to reduce energy consumption without compromising on performance.

Illuminate with LED Lighting

Switching to LED lighting from traditional incandescent bulbs can cut down your energy usage by a staggering 75%. LEDs also emit less heat, indirectly contributing to reduced air conditioning costs.

Elevate Your Building with LEED Certification

Achieving LEED certification is a strategic move towards enhanced energy efficiency. This globally recognised certification focuses on several areas, including energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable construction materials. Despite the initial cost, LEED certification offers substantial long-term savings.

Regulate Heating and Cooling with Smart Thermostats

Overheating or overcooling your building can be a significant drain on your energy resources. Smart thermostats allow for precise control of your indoor temperature, directly contributing to your energy savings.

Rectify Leaks

Leaks in your building, especially in the ductwork, can severely undermine your energy efficiency efforts. Regular inspections and prompt repairs are essential to ensure optimal energy performance.

Efficient Water Use To Improve Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

The implementation of water efficiency measures is an integral aspect of energy conservation in commercial buildings. Low-flow fixtures, including taps, showerheads, and toilets, are designed to use less water per minute than conventional fixtures, reducing water consumption by up to 60% without compromising performance. Another way to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings is automated controls such as sensor-based faucets and dual-flush toilets that can further improve water usage.

Also Read: Can Zero-Emissions Cement Help Decarbonise Construction?

Building Management Systems (BMS)

Building Management Systems, or BMS, are integrated, computer-based solutions for monitoring and controlling a building’s infrastructure, including lighting, ventilation, and heating. These systems are designed to optimise energy use, reducing the overall energy footprint of commercial buildings through various means:

  • It facilitates the automatic adjustment of light levels according to the amount of natural light available
  • The BMS can control ventilation and air conditioning systems based on the occupancy levels in different zones of the building. This means that HVAC systems are not unnecessarily running in areas that are not being used.
  • The heating in the building can also be managed more efficiently. BMS can reduce the heating levels during off-peak hours or when the building is not in use, such as during nights or weekends.

How Renewable Energy Can Enhance Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, can help reduce your dependency on traditional electricity sources, leading to significant energy and cost savings.

Final Thoughts: Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Energy efficiency in commercial buildings requires thorough planning and design, effective building orientation and placement, integration of renewable energy sources, and proper landscape management. Ultimately, embracing a mindful and strategic approach to energy efficiency in commercial buildings can not only reduce energy consumption but also foster sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

To sum up, energy efficiency in commercial buildings is a compelling necessity. It enables businesses to tackle rising energy prices effectively, reduce their carbon footprint, and appeal to an increasingly eco-conscious audience. So, take a leap towards a greener future with these energy-saving tips for commercial buildings. If you have any others you’d like to mention, join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and remember to use the hashtag #PRVTech.