Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Energy Saving Checklist for Commercial Buildings

Energy Saving Checklist for Commercial Buildings

Pop quiz: Which sector pumps the most CO2 into the atmosphere — industry, transportation or buildings?

Are you surprised to learn that the correct answer is “buildings”? It’s true. Buildings account for 39 percent of U.S carbon emissions — more than either industry or transportation. Furthermore, emissions from commercial buildings in particular are the fastest growing of any sector.

Commercial buildings energy conservation is of prime importance to climate change mitigation. It’s also a big motivator for property owners and managers who want to reduce their operational costs. Making energy-saving improvements is therefore a win-win proposition for both the environment and the commercial sector.

When planning commercial building energy-saving upgrades, it can be helpful to consider the different elements of the building and assess where each can be improved:

Lighting

Dollar for dollar, many building performance experts consider lighting to be the lowest-hanging fruit when it comes to energy efficiency improvements for commercial buildings. Switching to LEDs and other high-efficiency options can save up to 75 percent of electricity costs compared to less efficient lighting technologies such as standard incandescent bulbs. Other smart commercial lighting strategies include using timers and smart technology to reduce usage; implementing daylighting options; and using task lighting rather than illuminating an entire room.

HVAC

Heating, cooling and ventilation are responsible for the lion’s share of commercial building energy use in the U.S. This is another area where substantial savings can be realized. HVAC improvements include implementing proper shell measures, such as insulation, air sealing and energy efficient roofing; installing energy-efficient equipment; and operational measures such as smart controls and regular maintenance.

Water Conservation

Did you know that 13 percent of U.S. electricity consumption goes into pumping and purifying water? Installing water-saving fixtures, fixing leaks, and other water conservation methods are therefore an important aspect of energy conservation in a commercial building.

Office Equipment

Companies can reduce their electricity consumption significantly by replacing outdated computers, monitors, printers and other office equipment with energy-efficient ones. When selecting new equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR label — these units use 30-75 percent less electricity than standard equipment.

Employee Education

Don’t forget the human element. Even the greenest building won’t realize optimal energy savings without proper use, so employee education is critical. Energy-saving HR practices such as teleconferencing, telecommuting and carpooling help, too.

For more ideas on how to save energy in your commercial building (including a bonus section on transportation and distribution), check out this energy-saving checklist.

Author bio: Steve Fountaine is Owner of Premiere Works, which serves the Washington, D.C., southern Maryland and northern Virginia areas. Services include commercial painting, construction, contracting, build-outs, office renovations and more. 
This Energy Saving Commercial Checklist was created by Premiere Works

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