If you’re a commercial building owner then you know how
important it is to invest in energy saving and energy-efficient technologies. These technologies help you save energy, save money on your monthly energy bills, and ensure your building is operating at maximum efficiency. Aside from the health and wellness movement brought on by COVID-19, reducing your carbon footprint is among one of the top priorities for building owners today. If you’re an office building owner unsure of where to start, our team at Tri-Tech energy shares our top five tips for building an energy-efficient office.
#1. Get a carbon footprint measurement
Do you know what your building’s current carbon footprint is? Do you have a general idea of how much energy you’re using each month? Many building owners don’t because they’re busy doing a ton of other day-to-day things related to owning a property. However, we always recommend understanding your current carbon footprint as a starting point to better manage your building’s energy.
This calculator from the University of California, in Berkeley can give you an estimate of how many tons of CO2 your office emits every year. The number might shock you, but don’t worry, because there have been many advances in energy-efficient technology that can help offset your emissions.
#2. Do an energy efficiency retrofit
A retrofit is when you install new appliances into your existing structure, meaning you don’t need to tear down your building entirely. There are many new energy-efficient appliances and technologies that will fit seamlessly into your building as-is, and in most office buildings, the HVAC system is a great place to start.
Is your boiler more than 15 years old? Does your heating system use an outboard heat timer control? What is the SEER rating of your A/C system? Your HVAC system cools and heats your building year-round so it gets more use than most of your appliances. This means it often has the biggest carbon footprint and is the most expensive energy waster. Ask your HVAC technician about newer, more energy-efficient systems or controls that can reduce your energy usage and your monthly bills.
#3. Look at Domestic Hot Water Efficiency
Commercial buildings typically deliver hot water from centralized storage, out to the many fixtures, showers, and sinks all over a building. There is indeed an art to designing these systems to deliver appropriately hot water quickly, safely.
#4. Recycle everything
There’s no excuse to not recycle because nearly everything can be recycled. In addition to paper and plastic, be sure your building is recycling electronics and other materials. Even food waste can be “recycled” as compost. We recommend having several separate recycle bins prominently displayed on each floor, and encourage the occupants to use them at all times.