The need for energy efficiency in commercial buildings continues to gain momentum and with potential energy price rises on the horizon, there has never been a better time than now to do something about it.
The problem lies for many people in where to start because after you have taken care of the quick wins, such as changing to energy efficient light bulbs and turning down the heating, all that you’re left with is the big projects…and for that most people believe that you need capital. The question is…do you?
The phrase ‘Smart Buildings’ is one that we are now hearing a lot, and it is one which is gaining traction within our industry. But Smart Buildings can be many different things to many different people so how can you begin to define how being Smart will help to reduce energy consumption – and more importantly do you have to spend a lot of money in order to be Smart?
Most of today’s commercial buildings will have a Building energy Management System (BeMS) – when they first entered the market they were the pinnacle of new technology and everyone was in awe of the fact that it could actually control your building. Nowadays they are more commonplace and in many respects we have become complacent in their use. Perhaps we have forgotten that while they are good at providing control of plant and services within a building, they can’t think for themselves. In order to be truly energy efficient we can’t therefore just rely on our BeMS, we need to provide it with the right information so that it can do its job properly.
We must therefore ensure that we are optimising the energy architecture of a building and that means understanding what the energy demand is within a building and how it is being used at any given time in a day. This is the type of information which your BeMS needs to be able to do its job properly - and if your BeMS is working properly, your building is operating efficiently.
Consider for a minute a statistic; ‘poorly controlled buildings will, on average, use 15-35% more energy for heating than buildings which are controlled efficiently by a BEMS’. It is certainly food for thought – but efficiency is something which we can all achieve because being Smart doesn’t have to be difficult, or expensive…it is about using technology to identify areas where performance can be improved and savings can be achieved.
If you want to find out more about optimising your energy architecture to improve efficiency, visit us on stand D2 at the Smart Buildings Show which takes place on 7-8 November at the Barbican, London.