As a building/facility manager you have the responsibility to keep the systems and equipment in the building running smoothly and with minimum breakdown time. However, with the current global warming and climate change, you have also the responsibility to reduce the energy consumption of these systems as much as you can to protect the environment and preserve it to the coming generation. Everybody should have this responsibility and save energy as much as they can.
Not always the energy conservation measures require high capital cost or need an expert to implement them to save energy. There are many measures that can be implemented by only changing the settings in the BMS (Building Management System) or with simple ways that are in the capabilities of the Building Manager and/or the maintenance staff.
Below are some simple recommendations and tips that can help the Building Manager saves energy in simple and non-costly ways:
- If the operating schedules of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system in the BMS start the system more than one hour before the occupancy time, then reprogram it to one hour only or less. Likewise, if these schedules keep the HVAC system run after the occupancy time, then reprogram it to stop at the end of the occupancy time. By this way, you reduce the running time of the HVAC system and save energy. You can do the same thing if you have programmable thermostats instead of BMS.
- If the temperature setpoint of the air conditioning system in the cooling mode is less than 24°C, then reset it between 24 to 26°C. If the setpoint in the heating mode is more than 20°C, then reset it between 18 to 20°C. Remember that by adjusting the temperature setpoint by 1°C, you change the energy consumption of the air conditioning unit typically by around 10%. See our article How Much Can you Save Energy by Adjusting your Thermostat by 1°C for more details. If you have one temperature setpoint with a dead band, then widen the dead band to 3°C. All these settings can be done through the monitoring computer of the BMS.
- Have a look to the insulation of the chilled water and the hot water pipes and fix any damages. This does not require expert and can be done by the available maintenance staff in the building.
- Clean the air conditioning and refrigeration coils regularly to improve the heat transfer and then their efficiency.
- Lower the domestic water heater storage temperature to 60°C if it is more and this can be done through the water heater controller or through the BMS if it is interfaced with it.
- While we usually recommend replacing the whole old light fixtures with new LED type, still the building manager and the maintenance staff can replace only the light tubes and the bulbs with new LED type to save energy, which won’t cost much to replace them.
- Program the computers in the building to go into standby mode after 20 minutes of inactivity.
- Install plug timers to the tea/coffee boiler, printers and copiers to turn them off during unoccupied time and during weekends.
- Educate the building occupants about energy saving and how to use the systems and equipment efficiently to cut any energy wastage. Changing occupants’ behavior can save substantial amount of energy with zero cost.
- Improve cleaners switching off routine.
For a detailed energy audit that can provide you with comprehensive recommendations, please contact us.