There are numerous benefits to designing and building an energy-efficient commercial property. They include significant savings in utility bills and maintenance, extended lifespan of the structure, reduced impact of greenhouse gasses, and eligibility for special government incentives and rebates. Here are some of the top dos and don’ts for ensuring that your project, whether a new commercial building or a retrofit, is off to a good start.
1. ALWAYS CONSIDER THE PROPERTY AS A WHOLE
While it’s easier to strategize and plan ahead of time for a brand-new commercial building, it’s important to take the same approach with a retrofitted project. What you do at one stage of the project can, and most often will have an impact on other aspects of the building or retrofitting process. For this reason, before you launch a project, consider every aspect, every floor and every corner of the building.
2. PROPER INSULATION GOES A LONG WAY
It is a well-known fact that effective insulation impacts the efficiency of Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning (HVAC) ensuring that hot or cold air does not escape the building. This positively impacts the structure’s bottom line. Taking insulation one step further, Installing good quality insulation using environmentally friendly materials and products like denim insulation, cellulose or spray foam insulation also ensures that your commercial building is following the best “green” practices.
3. NOT ALL WINDOWS ARE CREATED EQUAL
One of the best ways to save money while respecting the environment is by investing in the right windows for your commercial project. The wrong windows could turn out to be the biggest drain of energy consumption in buildings. Expenses can be significantly reduced by using double or triple-pane and low emissivity (Low-E) windows. Low-E coating on a window keeps the temperature insulated within the structure, ensuring energy efficiency.
4. SOLAR PANELS MAKE SENSE
They generate no noise, require less maintenance, and have become more affordable since they were first introduced for use in commercial buildings in the 1970s. The use of solar panels results in reduced use of electricity to run the day-to-day operations inside a commercial space. In addition, there are some great incentives offered by governments for the use of solar panels. Plus, there are multiple environmental benefits to going with this option. Since solar panels get their energy from the sun, their source of power can never be depleted.
5. INVEST IN A GOOD HVAC SYSTEM
It is one of the most crucial parts of an energy-efficient commercial property as it controls the heating, ventilation and air conditioning functions in a building. If the property is already built, be sure to retrofit it with a newer, energy-efficient system. For brand new buildings, it’s best to install units that are Energy star-rated which means they are efficient and require less energy to function. To ensure the efficiency of the HVAC system, don’t forget to replace air filters on a regular basis. Filters can become clogged or dirty, forcing the HVAC system to work overtime resulting in higher utility bills. In addition, use strong sealants to prevent HVAC air leaks.
6. GET LEED CERTIFIED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is used globally as the standard for energy-efficient commercial spaces. The designing, building or retrofitting of a structure while following LEED standards can lead to major reductions in energy consumption which translates into financial savings as well. Some governments and corporations have mandated that all future buildings must meet LEED standards. LEED-certified structures use 25% less energy, and 11% less water and can even lead to greater employee satisfaction and productivity.
Utilizing power efficiently saves money for businesses and buildings while also helping the environment. It is also possible to design a building that is energy efficient. The advice given above is only the beginning. Commercial buildings of the future can set the gold standard for sustainable power usage with an open mind and an energy-efficient goal in mind.
Contact Optimal Engineering for any energy-efficient commercial property build-related queries. Our team of experts is here to guide/walk you through the entire process from start to finish.