Donald Rushing Contractors Highlight Money-Saving Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Tips
As commercial building contractors, we know that our clients are often concerned about the amount of energy their building will use—and we’re always happy to offer design recommendations to help lower their energy costs. We like to offer these recommendations, when possible, during the design phase, or just before construction begins because it is much less costly to implement them when they are part of the plan, rather than trying to retrofit eco-friendly components after the design is finalized.
Here Four Easy Ways to Make a Commercial Building More Energy Efficient
1. Turn off unnecessary lights and equipment at night.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but anyone can look at a city skyline and see a huge number of buildings that are fully lighted, despite there being no one around. Likewise, compressors and other equipment are sometimes left running during off hours. There’s rarely a good reason for this. Building developers should look into implementing “smart” office switches that shut off lights and equipment when no one is using them.
2. Solar panels.
It might not be possible (yet) for most buildings to be truly energy-independent via solar, but solar can do a lot to decrease reliance on the power grid. A set of solar panels on the roof, or even on the sides of the building, can feed batteries that can substantially reduce the amount of external electricity a building uses, and the up-front costs quickly pay for themselves.
3. Deploy energy-efficient fluorescent lights, or even LEDs.
Older-style fluorescents fixtures and bulbs are much less energy-efficient than modern bulbs. The newer T5 or T8 fluorescent bulbs can decrease your lighting power usage by 40% or more. LEDs are another good option. They’re even more energy-efficient and they last longer than fluorescent bulbs.
4. Solar screens.
Installing solar screens, an energy efficient mesh that covers windows and other exterior glass, will deflect both light and heat. This makes them vastly superior to traditional curtains or blinds, and can significantly reduce the amount of power your HVAC system consumes in warm weather.
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