With covid-19 pandemic still ongoing all over the world and new variants emerging frequently, it is no doubt that reopening your business in the current stage has to be a critically thought-out decision. Although many regions have been given the green light for reopening, as a business owner, there are several factors to consider and guidelines to follow that will ensure that you reopen your business in a safe and responsible manner for both the staff and customers. In this article, we take a deep delve into how you can navigate these unprecedented times and reopen your business or workplace safely and confidently with covid-19 building optimization.
Have a workplace safety plan
As an employer it is your duty to ensure that your workers or employees as well as clients are in a safe environment that mitigates the spread of covid-19. You should have a covid-19 safety plan written as per requirement of all operating businesses. Make sure that the plan is easily accessible to all your employees and visitors. It is important that all the people related to your business are aware of the plan. Also do not forget to regularly change or update the plan as the pandemic is evolving daily.
Ensure covid-19 building optimization
To reduce risk of covid-19 transmission make sure your building is optimized to prevent the spread. For example, rearrange your employees’ workstations to ensure they are 6 feet apart. Create appropriate hand sanitizing stations, screening areas, install awareness signage and stickers in high traffic areas. If your business has visitors or customers, install plexi-glass screens. Make sure the building is well-stocked with hand sanitizers in appropriate places.
Inspect the HVAC system
Since covid-19 has been established as an airborne disease, air quality at your workplace is of paramount concern. Lack of ventilation, inefficient and dirt-clogged HVAC systems not only increase your utility bills but also increase risk of covid-19 transmission through poor air circulation. Before reopening, make sure your HVAC system is serviced, cleaned, and disinfected to mitigate the risk of covid-19 transmission. In addition, improve ventilation and airflow wherever possible as this helps in reducing covid-19 spread.
Invest in HVAC monitoring system
Simply maintaining and cleaning your HVAC system is not enough. With time the HVAC system loses its efficiency with build up of dirt and biofilms. To maintain indoor air quality and ensure a safe environment for your workers, you can try investing in HVAC monitoring app or CO2/T/H monitoring which will send you automated alerts when air quality is poor through sensors that detect CO2, temperature, and humidity levels in an area. This will not only help minimize the risk of covid-19 spread but also ensure overall health and productivity of your employees, thus benefiting you in a multitude of ways.
Sterilize the building
Covid-19 can be spread by surface touching, so it is imperative that you make sure the premises are disinfected to eliminate the risk before reopening your facility or workplace. Whether you have a retail store, an office space or a large industrial area, make sure every square footage of your premises is disinfected. There are several disinfecting methods available that can kill germs even upto 99.9999% and are very fast and efficient. Make sure you hire a professional disinfection service provider that can do the job thoroughly for covid-19 building optimization.
Inspect facility operations
If your building has been unoccupied for a long period of time, before reopening you must ensure that the building systems are running smoothly. For example, perform security and fire alarm checks. Ensure all the tools and equipment are functional and check for signs of structural damage or pest infestation and take necessary steps to fix the issue.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting
Apart from sterilizing the building before reopening, to ensure covid-19 building optimization, you also need to have a regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule in place. This should be done for all high traffic areas including entrance, washroom, kitchen, common space as well as high contact surfaces such as desks, doorknobs, workstations and so on. Use hard surface furniture that are easy to clean. Make sure there is adequate supply of cleaners and disinfectants in your building and maintain a log of cleaning and disinfecting schedule.
Have a schedule in place for employees returning to work
Make sure all your employees’ and suppliers’ contact information are updated. Make a list of employees that must return to work immediately and those who can continue working from home. Remember elderly, immune compromised, and chronic illness suffering patients are vulnerable to covid-19. Also, use a staggered return schedule to avoid a large number of employees returning at once.
Determine your building capacity and schedule number of employees at work accordingly to avoid crowded gatherings as prolonged exposure in enclosed and congested spaces can raise the risk of transmission. Have an assigned personnel or HR team that can smoothly handle the transition of employees’ return to the workplace.
Raise covid-19 awareness in the workplace
The first step for any prevention tactic is to raise awareness of the issue. Communicate the risks associated with covid-19 to your employees such as how it is transmitted, steps to prevent it, its symptoms, what to do if someone has been infected with covid-19 and so on. For example, educate your employees to maintain personal hygiene and safety procedures such as avoidance of touching nose, eyes and mouth, covering nose with an elbow while sneezing, regular hand washing with sanitizers, avoiding large gatherings in small, crowded places like the kitchen, not sharing personal belongings and so on. Your employees should also know when to self-isolate if someone has covid-19 symptoms. You can read more on what to do if someone in your building has been infected with covid-19 here. Additionally, if you reside in Canada, here are additional resources on workplace safety during covid-19.
Take control measures to minimize the risk
Prevention is better than cure. As an employer it is your responsibility to take the maximum precautions for the safety of your employee as well as customers. Apart from covid-19 building optimization, make sure that your staff follow appropriate measures to reduce the spread of covid-19. For example, if physical distancing is not possible, have staff and visitors in the building premises wear face masks.
With the above guidelines along with your region’s public health guidelines, you can reopen your business safely while ensuring safety of your workers and customers. A-TECH Engineering Ltd, a leading building automation system and controls provider in Toronto, provides a number of solutions such as sterilization packages via partners, HVAC system disinfection, indoor air quality monitoring and more. Connect with an A-TECH specialist to find out how we can optimize your building for covid-19 and help you reopen safely and confidently.
Several organizations today are inclined towards sustainable business practices with the aim to conserve the environment. In addition, the need to reduce exorbitant energy costs and enhance efficiency drives organizations in every industry. This is why many progressive organizations actively look for alternatives to traditional energy use such as electricity and heat. As such, one of the widely used energy generating methods is using CHP or commonly known as combined heat and power. This method provides organizations with a number of benefits in comparison to the traditional thermal and electricity production. However, before going into that, let us delve deeper into what CHP is, how it works and its many advantages.
WHAT IS CHP?
Combined heat and power, also known as cogeneration, refers to the combined use of a heat engine or power station to generate electricity and heat concurrently. Cogeneration offers a much more efficient method to use energy as it generates electricity and converts the excess heat which can be used in a productive way such as for heating water, the space itself, or something else. In this way, it does not waste the excess heat produced. Cogeneration or CHP have been prevalent for decades during the earliest development of electrical generation. Before power stations were in use, industries producing local power used exhaust steam in heating. Large commercial and residential buildings, facilities like hotels, and stores usually generated their own power and used the waste steam for heating systems.
There are a number of CHP systems available, however, two of the most common CHP systems are:
- Combustion turbine, or reciprocating engine, with heat recovery device
- Steam boiler with steam turbine
There is also trigeneration, also known as combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP), which refers to the concurrent production of electricity and useful heating and cooling from a single heat source such as fuel or solar energy.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
CHP units such as combustion CHP systems usually work by burning fuel to turn generators for producing electricity and using a device to store heat that can be reused or by producing steam that can be used to turn a turbine to run a generator for producing electricity as is the case of steam turbines. The steam is then used to generate additional thermal energy for some other use.
CHP units can come in various sizes and can provide service to large residential buildings as well as
generation plants used for running factories or warehouses.
CHP has been widely prevalent in many industries since the 1900s as it is looked upon as a more efficient form of energy production. It Is used widely in several industries, facilities and buildings including:
- Commercial buildings—office, hotels, health clubs, nursing homes
- Residential buildings—condominiums, co-ops, apartments, gated community
- Facilities—schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, military bases
- Power —wastewater treatment facilities, district energy systems
- Industries—chemical, refining, paper, food processing, glass manufacturing, etc.
In addition, they are typically installed in facilities or locations that require both electricity and thermal energy. This is also called combined heat and power district heating since the energy generated is used locally and the process minimizes loss of energy and increases efficiency. Although the biggest advantage of using the CHP system is its efficiency, it has a number of other benefits as well.
Usually, traditional electricity production allows heat to escape into the environment. This results in almost two-thirds of the energy to be lost. On the other hand, combined heat and power generation reuse the heat eliminating waste. As a result, CHP enabled systems can effortlessly have efficiencies higher than 90% whereas traditional electrical and thermal generation provide only up to 50% efficiency.
Reduces Carbon Footprint
Many organizations today are extremely conscious towards employing sustainable solutions that are highly environment friendly. Combined heat and power enabled system generally consumes less fuel than methods of electricity production. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants, enabling your organization to reduce its carbon footprint.
Provides Uninterrupted Power Supply
Since CHP systems are highly efficient, they also reduce energy costs for buildings or facilities. In addition, as the source is installed on-site, it provides energy generation even during local power disruptions, thereby ensuring there is no downtime in your operations. Usually around 7% of energy can be lost when a grid is used to transfer energy from the source of power generation to the end user, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of CHP.
Although the CHP system requires installation and maintenance cost, the benefit it brings to your organization largely offsets the cost with increased efficiency and energy savings as well as reducing energy waste and carbon footprint. A-TECH Engineering – an advanced energy company based in Toronto provides innovative energy solutions including cogeneration or CHP systems. There are several criteria to assess before a CHP unit can be installed in your building or facility to suit your goals and needs. Connect with an A-TECH specialist to discuss the scope of work for your building and transform your building into an energy saving one.
No matter which industry you belong to – whether it is an office building you run, a commercial retail shop you own or an industrial building, as a facility or building manager you must be aware of the role of having an efficient energy management system that ensures your building systems are operating smoothly at all times. It not only provides a sustainable solution for your business but also guarantees comfort of the occupants, thereby boosting productivity and improving your bottom line. This is why it is imperative that when considering energy management system, you pay ample attention to several factors such as ensuring the system is aligned to your business goals and invest in a system that helps you achieve them. In this article we delve into how having an energy management system can benefit your business in a sustainable and efficient way.
Energy Management System
Energy management systems used for buildings, also known as BEMS, refer to integrated building energy management and building automation systems. They combine the use of IoT, data analytics and other digital communication technologies to provide a holistic approach resulting in better control and optimization of the building system. The system may have multiple layers approach from various sensors connected to a unified interface. The goal is to enable data collection, analysis, trend monitoring and so on in order to provide smart and fast decision-making. Building energy management system can provide easy access to building automation systems from several platforms and various locations. Ultimately, the system enables an efficient and dynamic control of the indoor climate in a cost-effective way while ensuring the safety, comfort, and well-being of the building occupants. For an energy management system to be efficient and sustainable, it is imperative to consider the following areas:
Working towards the goal of reducing carbon footprint
Carbon footprint is defined as “the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions” that your building or facility releases into the environment in any one-year period. In today’s energy-conscious era, as a responsible business owner it becomes prudent for you to strive towards achieving better energy management, increasing sustainability, and reducing the impact of your organization on climate change – which is where the energy management system comes to play a significant role. By employing an efficient energy management system for your building, you can effortlessly monitor CO2 emissions and take preventive steps to minimize it, thereby contributing positively to reduce global warming.
Ensuring environmental friendliness
Apart from CO2 emissions, most commercial buildings are a major contributor to releasing other environment pollutants as they use an array of harmful chemicals in their day-to-day operations such as methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and so on. When you opt for a reliable energy management system, it also ensures the effective monitoring and controlling of these gases and ensures that your organization adheres to sustainable practices and promotes use of environment friendly processes.
Reducing energy bills
Investing in energy management system plays a significant role in keeping your operations costs from surging high. It is important that the energy management system you utilize is efficient and also one that does not compromise with the operation process. For instance, you might be thinking of investing in an effective ‘daylighting’ system that allows you to harness solar power with the potential for use in building lighting, which ultimately reduces your electricity consumption. In such cases, the use of a proper roofing system can also be a huge help to significantly lower energy consumption. A proper roofing system ensures an ideal temperature is maintained inside the facility and therefore can significantly contribute to efficient use of HVAC systems. Hence both the systems work synergistically to dramatically reduce the overall operational costs of your building.
Utilizing an efficient energy monitoring system
Since efficiency and savings are two major components of any energy management system, the application of energy monitoring system is not only reasonable but also ultimately necessary. Energy monitoring system not only helps to identify trends in energy use but also gives alerts of potential problems, reducing hassle and cost of major repairs of the building system. In addition, you should also ensure that your energy management system actually adheres to standard energy ratings such as LEED or Energy Star to ensure their efficacy.
More and more companies nowadays are implementing robust monitoring and assessment of energy consumption in their facility or building for reducing overall energy costs as well as optimizing efficiency and neither should you lag behind and get started with a qualified energy management services provider. Some companies like A-TECH Engineering offers free evaluation of energy or zero upfront cost to help you get started. Connect with an A-TECH team specialist today to find out more.
With COVID-19 pandemic still hovering over us, it is prudent to take preventive measures that minimize the spread of transmission of the disease. But sometimes even with the best of prevention tactics, there can be an outbreak of COVID-19 in your building or facility. This guideline offers to shed light on what to do after COVID-19 has been confirmed in your building. This entails notifying people who have been in close contact to the person who tested positive, reporting to Toronto Public Health or concerned Public Health authority of the outbreak, cleaning and disinfecting the premises, improving air quality and taking steps to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 is transmitted from one person to another most commonly via respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, talking, or laughing during close contact of say within 2 meters. COVID-19 can be spread by infected individuals who have mild symptoms or no symptoms, i.e. asymptomatic. COVID-19 can also be transmitted through surface contact which is touching something that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Factors that increase risk of COVID-19 transmission include:
- Close contact
- Closed indoor spaces
- High traffic places
- Prolonged exposure
- Forceful exhalation
What to do once you get a report of someone with COVID-19 in the building?
Making informed decisions and notifying appropriate authority and contacts
When someone in your facility reports to you that they have tested COVID-19 positive, ensure that the individual’s identity remains protected. Have a system in place to handle the situation. For instance, dedicate a team or a HR member to interview the person by phone and ask them basic questions such as:
- When was the last time he or she was in the building?
- What was the first day of their symptoms?
- Were they diagnosed of COVID-19 through any test, if so what type?
- Find out names of people in your facility with whom they have been in close contact.
Ensure that the individual follows isolation guidelines to minimize the risk of transmission. Individuals should stay home even if the symptoms are mild or have only one symptom. They should only return to the workplace after isolation criteria have been met and have been in consultation with a healthcare provider. As per updated WHO guidelines, the isolation criteria is:
For symptomatic patients: 10 days after symptom onset, plus at least 3 additional days without symptoms, including without fever and without respiratory symptoms.
For asymptomatic cases: 10 days after positive test for COVID-19
When someone in your building has tested COVID-19, it is mandatory for you to notify people who have been in close contact with the individual that they were exposed to someone with COVID-19, while protecting the identity of the individual. You should have a quick method of notifying the contacts, for example through an email.
If you reside in Toronto, then Toronto Public Health also mandates you to notify them of two or more COVID-19 cases within a 14-day interval at your workplace premises.
- In addition, you should also have a designated person who can be contacted for any information or for implementing any measures by Toronto Public Health to minimize health risk of the community.
- Have access to accurate and updated contact information for all workers that can be given to Toronto Public Health within 24 hours of request for contact tracing requirements for COVID19.
- Notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development and other relevant government authorities in case of two or more COVID-19 cases within a 14-day interval in your building or facility.
- Cooperate with infection prevention and control personnel from Toronto Public Health, such as permitting entry into the building for assessment and preventive measures.
You may also have to consider closing down the building or facility. It will depend on multiple factors, such as how fast disinfection or cleaning can occur, the number of employees affected, and whether you deal with people who are at high risk of COVID-19 such as the senior population.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Employers or business owners should follow established processes for cleaning and disinfecting the building after someone in the facility has tested positive for COVID-19.
For instance, high-touch surfaces such as desks, phones, keypads, doorknobs, door handles, handrails, light switches, chairs, credit/debit machine, elevator buttons and so on should be thoroughly cleaned. Cleaning and disinfection should also be carried out in shared spaces within the building premises such as kitchen and washrooms.
Coronaviruses are said to be one of the easiest types of viruses that can be killed with an effective disinfectant. Usually cleaning with soap and water reduces germs on surfaces which plays a critical role in reducing the risk of spreading infection. When someone in your building has tested positive, it is imperative to thoroughly clean and disinfect the premises as well as high-touch surfaces.
Coronaviruses can be terminated effectively with an approved disinfectant solution. However, those solutions need to be used properly as stated on the label in order for the solution to be effective. For example, if a solution states that a wet contact time of 60 seconds is required the entire area needs to be evenly treated and left for 60 seconds prior to wiping. If not, the surfaces will not be properly disinfected. Surfaces such as computers, electronics, paperwork, carpets area generally left untreated unless disinfection services are completed by a certified infection control expert. In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, it is imperative that a complete decontamination of the environment to mitigate the risk of transmission.
Air Quality and COVID-19
Since COVID-19 has been revealed to be an air-borne virus, indoor air quality needs to be monitored and improved in order to reduce the risk of transmission. Closed spaces with a large number of occupants and poor ventilation are high risk factors for COVID-19 transmission. Moreover, the virus can linger through the HVAC system when it recirculates into the building. This is why it is important to have the HVAC system draw air from outside and have clean air filters.
In addition to having an efficient HVAC system checked and maintained by a professional, it is also important to disinfect the HVAC system once someone has been infected with COVID-19 in the building before reopening. A-TECH Engineering – a leading HVAC contractor – provides a unique HVAC system cleaning process that can kill germs and microbes including COVID-19 via trusted partners. In addition, A-TECH Engineering also has tie-ups with one of the top disinfection companies in Toronto currently being used in healthcare facilities including ambulances where the entire disinfection process can be done in as quickly as 15 minutes, whereas before it used to take 4-5 hours.
Workplace safety and minimizing risk of COVID-19
- Prevention is better than cure. To ensure a safe workplace environment during this pandemic, as an employer or business owner, make sure your building is equipped with easily accessible hand sanitizer and hand wash at multiple points.
- Premises and high touch areas are cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- There is scope of physical distance of at least 2 meters. Implement physical barriers like plexiglass where necessary.
- Ensure air quality monitoring or HVAC monitoring to ensure the system is running efficiently.
- Automate building systems where possible to minimize surface touching such as lights, doors and so on.
During this difficult time, it falls on all of us to adjust to the new normal and do everything we can to reduce the spread or transmission of COVID-19. As an employer or business owner, ensuring a safe building or facility can not only save lives but also establish goodwill among your staff and clients. Connect with an A-TECH Engineering team member to ensure the safety of your building and occupants today.
In today’s modern world, corporations and businesses – whether small or big – are increasingly employing sustainable practices that are environmentally friendly as well as beneficial for the company in more than just improving the bottom line. Investing in energy management services helps you gain better control of your facilities energy consumption, identify energy waste, reduce energy cost and at the same time reduce the carbon footprint. Let’s delve deeper into what energy management entails, what its benefits are and how it works for your business.
What are energy management services?
Energy management services basically refer to any services that help companies monitor, control, and optimize the energy consumption. With a proper energy management system installed, you can reduce energy waste, increase profitability, and decrease the carbon footprint. It not only benefits you financially but also helps in saving the environment and combat the effects of climate changes.
You might think these are of high cost and can be implemented by only large, well-established companies. However, in reality any type of business – whether big or small can benefit from a range of energy management services. These can include building automation system, building analytics, HVAC monitoring, HVAC optimization, retrofitting, utility metering and so on.
Utilizing energy management services results in reduced energy consumption and facility management costs as well increased system efficiency. Since each business or organization is unique, energy management services also tend to be varying depending on many factors. For instance, energy management is extremely pertinent when it comes to commercial property management. This is because the sector incorporates several energy-related resources, such as a large inventory of office buildings and in addition, a well-defined approach to energy management is important to the buyers, occupants and stakeholders.
Investing in energy management services can help you resolve issues with several aspects of your business or facility management including efficiency of old equipment, lack of energy management strategy, reducing high utility bills, improving HVAC performance and indoor air quality, besides several others.
Benefits for your business
With energy management services, your organization can enjoy a plethora of benefits such as:
- You can easily monitor and compare the energy performance of multiple facilities in your portfolio, identify cost improvement opportunities, and develop better energy management strategies for properties that are inefficient.
- You will be promoting energy-efficient attitudes and actions in the workplace by setting benchmark of utility targets and motivating employees, peers to become energy saving themselves.
- You will also have a clear understanding of energy costs and can easily track the information anywhere remotely.
- It will also help you make improved decisions with the aid of predictive technology and accurate energy analytics data.
- You can detect utility related billing errors and ensure tenants are charged fairly for utility consumption.
How energy management services work for your business?
Since energy management services cover a wide umbrella of energy solutions, it is important to identify what services are relevant to your business as each will have differing needs, and therefore require customized energy solutions for your business.
In the first step, usually your business will have to go through an initial assessment where you will receive various findings in your existing system, a list of measures you can take to better monitor and control your systems. In addition, you will get generalized forecasts related to costs, available incentives, or rebates as well as predicted energy saving. This will provide you with adequate information of what the energy management services can do for you and help you decide if you want to proceed further to receive a detailed assessment. Through this rigorous energy audit, you will get a clear picture of existing site conditions, building systems, current operating parameters, what systems are lacking in efficiency and so on. This will help you decide what energy management services are best suited for you and define the scope of work.
Based on the assessment and your chosen prioritized energy management strategies, a final agreement will be drawn including pricing quotes and detailed scope of work with the energy management service company.
Some energy management services provider such as A-TECH Engineering Ltd. also allow investors for project funding from reputable and qualified lenders with low interest rates, special terms and conditions, rebates, grants and so on. They are experienced partners who are willing to serve the community for reducing carbon emissions and encouraging green buildings. It is important for you to choose the right project funding that best fits your budget and fulfills your energy management goals.
During the implementation stage, based on your energy conservation goals, changes, new additions like system, software, apps will be integrated into your existing systems with minimal downtime. After everything has been integrated, you will soon start to receive real-time updates of building system performance through IoT solutions and gain better control over your automated building system.
Progressive and energy driven businesses today are increasingly leaning towards energy management services and with the plethora of benefits they offer, it is easy to rationalize why. Energy management services not only allow you to manage resources better and reduce waste but also reduces environmental impact. This results in an energy saving building with increased sustainability and contributes to your corporate social responsibility as well.
If you are tired of high utility bills, inefficient systems, regular breakdowns that are costing your business, connect with A-TECH Engineering – an energy company based in Toronto serving major cities all across Canada and find customized energy management services that best fits your energy management goals.
If you run a business or manage a commercial building, then you must be aware of the various building systems that are required to be functional in order for the business to run smoothly. On top of that most commercial buildings tend to be high energy consumers thus putting a dent on your net profitability. As a business owner or commercial property manager, you do not have to think out-of-the-box on how to lower costs as you know all too well how energy consumption costs reduce your bottom line. There are many steps you can take to transform your commercial space into an energy saving building. Let’s delve deeper into some of these:
Energy saving building
These days, the entire world is talking about conserving energy and whether you acknowledge it or not, conserving energy is not simply about making the world a better and greener place, the concept is also tied to enhancing efficiency and improving building performance. An energy saving building is any building that has been designed, constructed or upgraded in a way that it is able to get the maximum work out of energy provided to them while minimizing the loss of energy. Energy saving building also works by reducing energy demand of the building system, for example- by turning off power when not in use or in areas not required.
How to make your commercial building energy efficient and reduce costs?
Invest in energy management system – Energy management system offers valuable data and insights to track, monitor and regulate energy use in your commercial building and enhance building performance while reducing costs. You can invest in building data analytics that provide you with relevant and simplified data of energy use and take control.
An energy management system can be used to detect faults in your building system, provide preventive maintenance and thereby reduce maintenance costs and damage to building.
HVAC Controls and Optimization
Perhaps the most energy draining system of your building is the HVAC system. For a commercial building, HVAC system can account for up to 60% of energy consumption. Hence, it is only rationale as a business owner that you pay special attention to HVAC system efficiency.
Apart from having your HVAC system annually maintained by a professional, installing an efficient Building Automation System for your commercial HVAC can significantly improve life cycle of HVAC, provide increased HVAC efficiency while reducing your energy costs.
Building Automation and Controls allow commercial buildings of any size or industry to optimize their central HVAC system- even multiple HVAC systems can be monitored and controlled from a single interface seamlessly from anywhere through IoT. This results in fewer maintenance calls, proactive servicing, and reduced bottom line.
Retrofitting old HVAC system
Sometimes your HVAC system may be too outdated to perform efficiently and if you are not ready to change your old HVAC system, you can try and see retrofitting the old HVAC system. This is simply an upgradation where you can change parts of your old HVAC such as adding a new compressor, ventilation control, condenser fan control and so on to improve HVAC system performance, minimize energy use and reduce utility bill. Retrofitting HVAC system can save you up to 30% energy costs.
Invest in newer energy-rated appliances and equipment
An energy saving building does not only mean it is designed to be an energy efficient building. Today’s energy saving buildings run on newer, better appliances and machines that use less energy and are environmentally friendly. For example, think of simple things in your commercial building that you have not changed in a few years – it could be a refrigerator, oven, air-conditioning system, or HVAC system. Modern equipment are energy rated so that they consume less energy and reduce carbon footprint.
Improve thermal insulation
Poor insulation in a commercial building can also account for significant energy loss. You can retrofit your old building to add insulating layers that allow for lower heat loss. If retrofitting the entire building is not possible, you can take small steps like changing window glasses that are better insulators such as double or triple pane windows, sealing gaps and entryways or even checking vents, HVAC ducts, pipes and so on.
Choose smart building technology
Commercial buildings today have a lot of opportunity to improve energy use by investing in smart building technology. Through this, building managers and owners can view real-time update of energy use in building, take better control and take measures that minimize energy use. For example, smart buildings utilize various sensors to power building automation.
Sensor and controllers provide remote and real-time monitoring of various building systems such as HVAC system, lighting, security, electrical and so on via internet of things. Smart building controls remove the scope of human forgetfulness of failing to turn off lighting and HVAC settings, thereby reducing energy costs. There is also HVAC monitoring app that allows you to track, monitor and control your HVAC system remotely from anywhere.
Invest in LED Lighting
If your commercial building is still using traditional lighting, then you are simply throwing money out the window without even realizing it. While changing the entire lighting of your building may feel superfluous to you, investing in LED lighting can save you money as they are much more sustainable, energy efficient as well as environmentally friendly.
Empower your community
Investing in latest technology will not automatically solve the problem of high energy bills if the occupants or users of the building are not aware. Educate and empower your staff and residents on how to manage the building system in an energy efficient way, such as using equipment properly and so on.
If you have an energy saving building for your commercial space, it will not only reduce energy cost but also result in improved comfort, and better functionality.
A-TECH Engineering Ltd. is a leading building automation and controls provider based in Toronto and other major cities across Canada who can help you transform your commercial property into a functional, comfortable and energy saving building. Contact our team member today to learn more.