Here are 10 ways to make your buildings operate more efficiently and more cost effectively.
The tools and case studies are designed for property owners, managers and others responsible for the energy efficiency and performance of buildings.
The 10 tips for efficient building operations are:
1. Practice smart scheduling. Smart scheduling of lighting and HVAC equipment based on occupancy ensures that the load correlates with hours of building use and number of occupants. Install programmable building controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to building spaces only when they are occupied.
2. Train your facilities staff on new technology and best practices to improve your building’s operational efficiency.
3. Use daylight to help light your interior spaces. Daylight can supplement artificial light. Design your building to maximize indirect daylighting. Install light sensors and open shades during the day. Counterbalance these activities by reducing light load.
4. Water conservation. Harvest, treat and filter rain, storm water run-off and precipitation for landscaping, toilets and urinals. Consider weather-based or moisture-sensing irrigation controls.
5. Work with green suppliers. Green your supply chain by giving preference to suppliers and vendors who follow specific environmental practices. Purchase Energy Star copiers, fax machines, computers and printers that power down when not in use. Consider remanufactured office supplies such as recharged toner cartridges.
6. Create dashboards to gauge efficiency. Create management and tenant dashboards that display vital data of energy usage, estimated greenhouse gas emissions, building comparisons, and more to improve operating decisions and energy awareness.
7. Use more energy-efficient equipment. Install new energy-efficient equipment and replace or eliminate outdated, inefficient equipment. Look for ENERGY STAR labels for equipment and appliances.
8. Maintain equipment for maximum efficiency. Make sure that your equipment is properly serviced and maintained so that it runs as efficiently as possible. Increase operating efficiency of chillers, boilers and packaged cooling equipment through proactive service and maintenance.
9. Put energy management software to work. Utilize energy management software to reduce energy costs through improved energy efficiency and energy management. Monitoring the actual data may:
a. Identify and explain increases or decreases in energy use;
b. Draw energy consumption trends on a weekly, seasonal or other basis;
c. Determine future energy use when planning changes in the business;
d. Diagnose specific areas of wasted energy;
e. Observe how the business reacted to changes in the past; and
f. Develop performance targets for energy management programs.
10. Measure and manage your carbon footprint. Establish your organization’s carbon footprint and begin to manage it downward by addressing the least efficient parts of your operation first.
Image of Buffalo Public School District building courtesy of Johnson Controls.