How to Create An Energy Efficient Building

In an environment where fuel prices and COs emissions are soaring, every business has a responsibility to conserve as much energy as possible, whilst aiming to reduce their carbon footprint.  Many of the changes that an organisation can make are relatively easy to put in place, and should not cost the earth.

See the light

Adopting the mindset of becoming energy wise is half the battle.  Once you and your colleagues start to think green, then many measures can easily be achieved.  For starters, think about the lighting in your building, and ask yourself, do the lights need to be left on as much as they are?  Can you switch to energy efficient bulbs?  Could you use controller switches that operate by only coming on when natural light is insufficient?  Areas that don’t get used all the time, such as entrances and toilets, could be replaced with infrared sensors, which turn lights off when not in use.

Control the heating

Monitor the levels of heating in the building: whilst it’s important to work at a comfortable temperature, having the heating on when windows are open or fans switched on, indicates that you’re wasting energy. Make sure heating isn’t left on in rooms or areas that are seldom used. Installing a central thermostat system that operates according to temperature levels can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your building, and avoid any unnecessary fuel wastage.

If you have air conditioning units, then ask yourself if they need to be switched on every day over the summer.  Consider opening windows first and installing window blinds so bright sunlight can be shielded away.  You could save a lot of money and energy usage by obtaining fresh air, the natural way.

Ditch the drafts

Seek out the sources of drafts in your building and aim to improve insulation. Dated windows can be one of the biggest draft-causing culprits, so installing good quality, double-glazed windows can make a long-term difference to your energy bills.

Look at the entrance to your building, also. If doors are constantly left open then air from outside will infiltrate into the building, causing temperature equipment to work harder to maintain its existing levels.  Consider installing revolving doors, which prevents drafts from entering the building and thus affecting the inside temperature.

Turn it off

Getting into the habit of switching off office machinery and equipment, computers and other electrical items when not in use, or at the end of the day, can make a difference to your energy consumption. Check taps in kitchens or toilet areas aren’t left running and switch to those that operate on a timer.  Encourage members of staff to get into these good habits and recognise how they can all benefit as a whole, from being more energy efficient.  Appoint a member of staff to manage the ‘green initiatives’ of the building, so at least it shows commitment and monitoring towards energy efficiency.

Switch suppliers

Keep tabs every now and then on your bills and the energy prices of alternative suppliers.  You might be able to find a cheaper source.  Monitor your bills for areas where most energy is used and look at ways to reduce consumption. Consider ways to re-organise space within the building to improve efficient use of that space and therefore potential energy savings.