I’ve been told, “If you’re looking for answers, they’re not going to just fall into your lap!” Well, if you post the right question, they just may fall into your LinkedIn lap. Following a Building Engines webinar on LEED EBOM certification, I wanted to open up the discussion to other property and energy management and professionals.
LinkedIn, specifically the BOMA International Group, proved to be a fruitful forum for my question: What are some tips around the greening of existing buildings? Here are some of the discussion’s responses:
Since lighting represents about 30% of our energy bill upgrading to LED lighting saved us from 74 – 90%! We have tried several different LED lamps, however, we found that the ones offered at www.lightingatlanta.org are some of the best available.
You could also add motion sensors and wire them with the light switches so after 5 minutes of no movement, the lights will automatically go off.
There are many low-cost/no-cost measures you can take to green your facilities: (1) adjusting thermostats for seasonal comfort and programming in night set-backs; (2) reducing ventilation to unoccupied spaces and for nighttime operation; (3) replacing air handler filters, and (4) other basic O&M practices to tune up energy equipment performance
You can go further by periodically conducting Level 1 audits and follow-up retro-commissioning on key systems such as the controls or boilers/chillers/air handlers.
Relative to HVAC system energy savings, if the building’s systems utilize a building automation system, a comprehensive review of the sequences of operation in comparison to actual setpoints and schedules is a great method to save operational dollars and energy. Often, over many years, changes are made by operators and unintentionally the intended energy savings design features of the HVAC systems are lost.
The building envelope is a good place to start to realize energy savings. Before upgrading HVAC equipment, it makes sense to seal up energy leaks at the roof and facade, to avoid over-spending on heating or cooling.
Do not source a lighting solution which uses products available only from one manufacturing source.
Reducing your outdoor watering costs. Most landscapers do not know how to properly set the sprinkler systems, and often just defer to over watering, since you will only notice on your water bill.
Make sure that any intelligent lighting solution is native to the building management/automation system so there is seamless access to any available data from the lamps at any time. Further this allows you to easily share information between lighting and other systems for even more potential efficiency savings.
Read more on using lighting to conserve energy!