Energy efficiency is one of the best ways to improve the performance of your buildings. Improving energy efficiency in a building can save on operational expenses and make it more comfortable for tenants. Many factors affect energy efficiency, and there are many ways to improve it at any point in the building’s life cycle. It is important to remember that many factors in a building’s design and function affect its energy efficiency, so it is essential to make improvements at every step, from the initial design to renovation and maintenance.
1: Automate Controls
To save energy and improve the energy efficiency of your buildings, you need to have building automation controls in place. Building controls are designed to help eliminate waste by automating energy-consuming systems such as HVAC, lighting, and ventilation. For example, if the temperature is too high or low or the lights aren’t being used, building automation can turn off what isn’t needed and conserve energy costs.
2: Install Solar Panels
Another way to improve energy efficiency in your buildings is by installing solar panels. While installing solar panels may not always be possible or feasible for your facility, considering the option is still a good idea. Solar paneling works best for large areas such as parking lots and rooftops, but it can also be installed in smaller spaces such as facades, walls, and windows. By implementing solar panels on the surface of a building, you are gaining an extra energy source that significantly improves the sustainability and energy efficiency of the building.
3: Encourage Landlords to Install Energy-Efficient Building Features
Landlords can help build energy efficiency by installing features that improve the building’s performance. Energy-efficient features include perimeter insulation and weather stripping to reduce air leakage, weather control systems to reduce heat gain, and ventilation systems that automatically adjust temperature and humidity levels. It is a good idea to find out how these features can help your building meet the energy star criteria, as they are expected to provide significant savings over time.
4: Implement Energy Efficient Lighting
Lighting is a huge energy consumer, so it makes sense to make efforts to improve lighting in your building. Even small changes can make a big difference, and there are many ways that you can implement energy-efficient lighting in your building. For instance, you can install motion-activated lights that only turn on when they detect motion; turn lights off automatically when no one is in the room, installing track lighting that automatically dims when no one is present.
5: Install Energy Efficient AC and Heating Systems
It is also essential to have correctly installed, energy-efficient air conditioning and heating systems to reduce running costs. Air conditioning systems are typically more significant energy users than heating systems, so ensuring that you have the most efficient system possible is essential. By installing the most efficient air conditioning and heating systems, you are not only saving on energy costs while running the system but also reducing the wear and tear on the system, which will prolong its life.
6: Have an Energy Audit Conducted
One of the best ways to improve energy efficiency in your building is to have an energy audit conducted. An energy audit can help identify areas of improvement in your facility and provide suggestions for improvements that could increase comfort and efficiency. Energy audits typically examine four factors:
● The reduction of energy cost
● Energy efficiency
● Total energy demand and comfort for occupants
For example, an auditor can determine the number of lighting fixtures in a building, how much heat is generated, how much cooling is required, and how often HVAC systems are running.
7: Improve Building Systems by Renovating or Adding Improvements
Another way to improve energy efficiency in your building is by adding improvements or renovating. Doing so will not only enhance the functionality and efficiency of your building but will also help to reduce utility costs and make the buildings more comfortable for tenants. Examples of how to improve energy efficiency include adding insulation to the walls, ceilings, and attics of a commercial building that lacks insulation. Adding insulation reduces the chance of heat loss and makes the facility more comfortable for tenants.
8: Make an Effort to Utilize Renewable Energy Sources
Another thing you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your building is to make an effort to use renewable energy sources. Renewable energy includes energy replenished by natural processes such as solar, wind, wood, and water. By using renewable energy sources, you are reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and ultimately improving the sustainability of your building.
To make a long-lasting impact on the sustainability of your building, it is essential to implement sustainable efforts at every step of the way. You can do many things as a part of the design, renovation, or maintenance process that will help you to improve the energy efficiency of your building. Even if you cannot implement all of these measures, it is still a good idea to work toward implementing as many measures as possible.