Measuring environmental friendliness in any building is more important than ever. How we approach the next few years in matters of design and usability will have a substantial impact on our very near future. Whether you’re building, remodeling, or revamping your office space, energy efficiency should play a part in how you approach it.
6 Energy Saving Strategies
Aside from being helpful to the environment, energy efficiency improves your bottom line every time. Saving energy means you reduce your electric bills, which may be one of your biggest regular expenses, especially in an energy-heavy location like a medical facility or life science building. By lowering your greenhouse gas emissions, you can also be eligible for special certifications and tax exemptions, ultimately increasing your business profile and leaving more money in your pocket to grow your operations.
Today, advances in smart technology and understanding sustainability offer hundreds of possibilities for decreasing energy use. From fixing leaky faucets to retrofitting your heating and cooling systems, you can implement ideas big and small to support energy efficiency in your company.
1. Conduct Regular Energy Audits
As you question ways to improve energy efficiency, an energy audit is in order. While you can conduct one yourself by examining your monthly energy bills and how they fluctuate, it may also be helpful to call in a professional. Skilled energy auditors can give you detailed breakdowns of where you’re spending the most energy and where you can cut back with minimal effects on your team’s productivity.
With the information you get from the audit, you can get an excellent sense of where to start your efficiency mission. Then, periodically, you can conduct further audits and see where your initiatives are working and where you may need to pursue other avenues.
2. Get Your Building to Work Smarter, Not Harder
In recent years, smart technology has made incredible leaps in automation capabilities. Today, most of your building’s systems can be autonomous, saving you time, money and energy simultaneously.
For example, your heating and cooling system is likely a major source of energy use in your commercial building. This system makes sure every room stays temperate, so you and your employees can complete work comfortably. With regular thermostats, you may find them in need of adjustment multiple times a day, making the building too hot sometimes and too cold other times. A smart thermostat connects to Wi-Fi and anticipates the weather and your corresponding temperature needs, adjusting the system itself to maintain perfect equilibrium.
Your lighting system provides another great opportunity for automation. Automated lights turn on and off depending on a preset time cutoff or by sensing movement in its vicinity. Co-workers forgetting to turn the lights off becomes a thing of the past, so your building only uses the necessary energy throughout the day.
3. Improve Insulation, Especially Around Doors and Windows
Most older buildings aren’t thoroughly insulated, allowing heat or air conditioning to escape through cracks in the windows and walls. If your building is several decades old or you suspect it has poor insulation, it’s worth having an expert take a look and replace it with a more viable option.
Improving insulation in your spaces means less air seeps out, so the building maintains a more consistent temperature while giving your heating and cooling system a break. Because this system is such a significant source of energy use, anything you can do to lessen its load can bring about major savings.
4. Enhance Natural Lighting Opportunities
Natural lighting is a benefit to any indoor space. A room filled with sunlight can improve your employees’ moods and overall well-being. Further, it lets your lighting systems take a break on sunny days and assists your heating and cooling system in keeping a space warm, providing double the energy-saving possibilities.
5. Get Regular Systems Maintenance and Updates
When your systems aren’t running properly, they have to expend more energy to make up the slack. Having regular tune ups and examinations ensures these systems work at their best as much as possible and get fixed quickly, preventing major, costly problems down the road and saving money every day.
Also, upgrading appliances and systems to more energy-efficient models wherever possible can compound your energy savings. Although new appliances can feel like a costly expense upfront, most of them will offer significant long-term savings on your energy bill, effectively paying for themselves and bringing about returns.
6. Encourage Employees to be More Energy Efficient
Remember that energy efficiency is a group effort. When you implement energy-saving measures in your commercial building, let everyone know, and come up with a few ways they can do their part, such as:
• Turning off electronics when they aren’t in use.
• Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Keeping thermostats set to lower outputs.
• Reporting their own ideas for energy efficiency.
Some of these tips can train your staff to use similar measures outside of your office, expanding your energy-saving reach so you can feel good about your environmental impact.
Trust Gidel & Kocal
For more than 40 years, Gidel & Kocal has been a trusted resource in our industry, leading the field with consistent, high-quality outcomes that showcase our professionalism and experience. When energy efficiency is at the top of your priorities for your next commercial building project, we ensure it’s considered through every step of the planning, constructing and outfitting processes.
We’ll communicate your needs with every team and person involved in the project so that we can implement as many sustainability measures as possible throughout your new office space, from using smart systems throughout the building to installing all the latest energy-efficient appliances.
Discover More Energy Efficient Solutions Today
If you’re exploring opportunities to increase energy efficiency in your office building, Gidel & Kocal wants to join you. As part of the team that brings modern design into commercial spaces all over the Bay Area, we know how to add efficiency and value to any office through optimized sustainability measures.
Communication throughout construction is a lost art, and we bring it back to the forefront so that every part of your building process is organized, transparent and personalized. Learn more about how we’ll approach your project by contacting us today. One of our team members will be happy to assist you in starting the process.