Soaring energy costs aren’t just painful for domestic households. They also heap pressure on businesses, most of whom will also be battling with rising costs elsewhere as a result of higher levels of inflation. It’s not just price rises that create a compelling need to lower energy consumption in commercial office spaces, though. Sustainability goals and the 2050 Net Zero target mean that the clock is already ticking on buildings that aren’t energy efficient.
Data from the Energy Saving Trust suggests that heating is the most significant cost in many workplaces, accounting for 40% of overall energy use. This statistic alone shows the importance of maximising energy efficiency in commercial buildings.
Smart construction and smart technology can play a significant role in achieving energy efficiency targets. The use of smart materials and designs in the construction process can greatly reduce the energy required to heat and cool a building. Smart technology, such as building automation systems and smart meters, can monitor energy consumption and identify inefficiencies in real-time, allowing for quick and effective solutions.
Innovative insulation materials
Traditional insulation materials, such as fibreglass and foam, have been the go-to for many years. However, newer materials, such as aerogel, can provide much better insulation with much less material. As a result, this not only reduces the amount of waste produced during the construction process but also reduces the energy needed to heat and cool the building.
Clever design can also contribute to improved energy efficiency. The orientation of a building can play a significant role in its energy consumption. For instance, buildings that face south or southeast can take advantage of natural sunlight, reducing the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. Building orientation can also affect the amount of shade a building receives, which will reduce the amount of energy needed for cooling during periods of warmer weather.
Embracing smart technology
Another way to maximise energy efficiency is with the use of smart technology. Building automation systems can monitor and control a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to ensure that it is running as efficiently as possible. For example, sensors can detect when a room is unoccupied and adjust the temperature accordingly, reducing energy waste. Building automation systems can also provide real-time data on energy consumption, allowing building managers to identify inefficiencies and make necessary changes quickly.
Smart meters are another piece of technology that can contribute to energy efficiency, as they provide real-time data on energy consumption and can be used to identify areas of the building that are using more energy than necessary. This information can then be used to make adjustments, such as replacing inefficient appliances or adjusting lighting levels.
Along with reducing energy costs, maximising energy efficiency can also contribute to a business’s sustainability goals. The 2050 Net Zero target means that businesses must take action to reduce their carbon footprint. Energy-efficient buildings not only reduce a business’s carbon emissions but also contribute to a positive corporate image.