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Top Energy Conservation Tips for Commercial Buildings

Image of Gina Elliott
Gina Elliott

Though a majority of large commercial buildings deploy a conventional building management system (BMS), they fail to become more energy-efficient owing to the poor control technology of the BMS. The simple logic governing the control technology of a standard BMS also makes it challenging to strike the right balance between ensuring tenant comfort and optimizing energy consumption.

Smart building technology changes that. With the right tools, you gain powerful new capabilities and can easily implement energy conservation tips for commercial buildings.    

Top Energy Conservation Tips for Commercial Buildings

Commercial buildings account for much of the world’s energy consumption. Within commercial buildings, that consumption is typically broken down in the following way:

  • HVAC: 35% 
  • Lighting: 11%
  • Major appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, water heating, dryers: 18%
  • Miscellaneous areas, including electronics: 36% 

Both facility managers and occupants can help reduce energy consumption by following a few effective energy conservation tips for commercial buildings:  

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Switch to Energy-efficient Lighting

By replacing conventional incandescent bulbs with long-lasting and energy-efficient CFL lamps and LED lamps, facility managers can significantly reduce energy consumption. Both CFLs and LEDs use 70-75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Along with CFL and LED retrofits, smart lighting systems that adjust lighting according to variables like time of day, occupancy, and natural lighting conditions can further help reduce soaring utility bills.

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Reduce Plug Loads

Computers, monitors, networking devices, and office electronics contribute to significant plug loads in commercial buildings. In minimally code-compliant office buildings, plug loads account for around 25% of total energy consumption and can increase up to 50%. Though there is no single best conservation strategy to reduce plug loads, the most effective approach is to completely turn off the equipment after work hours. Benchmarking the conventional equipment and educating tenants can further help minimize plug loads.

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Install Energy-efficient Blinds and Shades

Heat gain or heat loss through windows can trigger HVAC systems to work harder. Interior window coverings such as insulated cellular shades, window quilts, roller and roman shades, louvered blinds, window films, curtains, and drapes reduce heat gains during summer and heat loss during the colder months. Exterior solar window screens, awnings, and exterior shutters and shades are also effective for reducing the sun’s heat and glare.

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Automate HVAC Functions

HVAC systems should be a top target of energy conservation tips in commercial buildings. Reducing airflow rates through variable-air volume boxes (VAV) can reduce energy consumption by 7%, and limiting heating and cooling to the hours a building is most likely occupied can result in 6% energy savings. Automating HVAC systems based on complex variables like occupancy, peak demand, indoor air quality, optimize efficiency while supporting occupant health and safety.

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Implement Predictive Maintenance

Even minor dips in equipment performance can result in significant energy waste. Predictive maintenance allows for early, targeted maintenance to optimize performance and minimize downtime. This translates to improved energy efficiency and an estimated 8-12% cost savings over a preventive maintenance approach.

Many top energy conservation tips for commercial buildings are best implemented through an intelligent building management platform (IBMP).

The Power of an Intelligent Building Management Platform

Smart building technology opens up opportunities to reduce energy consumption throughout building systems. An intelligent building management platform allows you to take an automated approach to implementation of top energy conservation tips for commercial buildings. 

onPoint is an innovative IBMP that harnesses the power of building systems data to provide meaningful insights, transform maintenance, and unlock advanced automation capabilities. It gives you more and better ways to achieve energy efficiency across building systems.  

In conventional facility management, maintenance is reactive; problems are fixed when an occupant notices an issue and reports it. This means that energy inefficiency is often undetected unless it results in occupant discomfort. Meanwhile, proactive maintenance is often difficult to implement because facility managers are busy responding to existing issues. onPoint changes that.

onPoint’s advanced FDD capabilities identify problems before they impact occupant discomfort. It also continuously monitors real-time sensor data from energy, water, and gas meters to detect inefficiencies as early as possible. It even facilitates smart grid integration and manages load shedding. 

With onPoint, stakeholders have the insight and the capabilities necessary to make smart changes and meet efficiency goals.  

Buildings IOT offers the state-of-the-art services and products you need to implement energy conservation tips for commercial buildings. Contact our team of experts to learn more about what we can do for you.

 

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