Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Aug 2010

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: 10 Ways to Make Buildings More Efficient


Recent Gauteng Business News

As energy efficiency becomes increasingly important in a world faced with global warming, not only does making a building's operations more efficient save the planet, it also saves money, pays for improvements and strengthens an organisation's bottom line.

It may seem like a daunting task at first but by following a few guidelines it can actually be quite simple. For example, some office buildings are scheduling cleaning service shifts to overlap regular working hours so the lights and Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) won't have to stay on at night. It is easy to achieve operational efficiencies like these, too. Another example is to replace old windows with windows that let light in but keep heat out. This creates natural light to illuminate building interiors yet they can be cooled more efficiently.

By upgrading or replacing old, inefficient HVAC equipment, energy consumption can be reduced. Products such as Johnson Controls' Metasys Building Management System (BMS) can optimise a building's efficiency, comfort and safety by controlling and integrating key mechanical and electrical building systems such as HVAC, lighting, security, fire and safety. In so doing, the productivity of facilities staff is enhanced. By using real-time building performance data from Metasys, informed decisions can be made to further reduce operating costs. And, by taking advantage of wireless technologies, it is no longer necessary to rip out walls and cabling to install temperature, humidity and lighting controls - that saves money.

By deploying state-of-the-art surveillance systems and access control security systems employees, visitors and valuable building assets are better safeguarded. As an added efficiency benefit, these surveillance systems enable individual security staffers to monitor more areas, freeing co-workers for other security tasks.

With reliable power and precise climate control in place, sensitive facilities such as data centres and research labs stay up and running and avoid downtime that could jeopardise critical projects and lead to higher costs.

Plus, by designing workplaces that use space more efficiently for the number of people actually working there, there are more opportunities to reduce operating costs. When a workplace is more efficient, so are the workers.
Studies show that cleaner, greener, more comfortable workplaces boost productivity and reduce absenteeism.

Johnson Controls provides their top ten tips on how to make your building operate more efficiently below:
1. Implement "Smart" scheduling - practice smart scheduling of lighting
and HVAC equipment based on occupancy to ensure load correlates with hours
of building use and number of occupants. Install programmable building
controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to building
spaces only when they are occupied.
2. Initiate training - train your facilities staff on new technology
and best practices to improve your building's operational efficiency.
3. Natural lighting - use daylight to help light your interior spaces.
Daylight can supplement artificial lights. Design your building to maximise
indirect daylighting. Open shades during the day. Counterbalance
these activities by reducing light load.
4. Water conservation - harvest, treat and filter rain, storm water
run-off, and precipitation for landscaping, toilets and urinals. Consider
weather-based or moisture-sensing irrigation controls.
5. Work with green suppliers - green your supply chain by giving
preference to suppliers and vendors who follow specific environmental
practices. Purchase ENERGY STAR rated copiers, fax machines, computers
and printers that power down when not in use. Consider remanufactured office
supplier such as recharged toner cartridges.
6. Create dashboards to gauge efficiency - create management and tenant
dashboards that display vital data of energy usage, estimated greenhouse gas
emission, building comparisons, and more to improve operating
decisions and energy awareness.
7. Use more energy-efficient equipment - install new energy-efficient
equipment and replace or eliminate outdated, inefficient equipment. Look for
ENERGY STAR labels for equipment and appliances.
8. Maintain equipment for maximum efficiency - make sure your equipment
is properly serviced and maintained so that it can run as efficiently as
possible. Increase operating efficiency of chillers, boilers and
packaged cooling equipment through proactive service and maintenance.
9. Implement energy management software - utilise energy management
software to reduce energy costs through improved energy efficiency and
energy management, monitoring actual data may:
a) Identify and explain increases or decreases in energy use
b) Draw energy consumption trends on a weekly, seasonal or other basis
c) Determine future energy use when planning changes in the business
d) Diagnose specific areas of wasted energy
e) Observe how the business reacted to changes in the past
f) Develop performance targets for energy management programmes
10. Measure and manage your carbon footprint - establish your
organisation's carbon footprint and begin to manage it downward by

addressing the least efficient pasts of your operation first.


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