All buildings leak heat but regular maintenance of your building fabric can avoid costly energy-loss problems later.
Typically, two-thirds of heat in an office is lost through the building fabric, with the remaining third lost through air infiltration and ventilation.
If the building suffers from draughts through windows and doors, it’s better to address these before improving its heating, ventilation or cooling systems.
Improving an office’s building fabric makes good savings sense for many reasons:
- Better temperature control can lower ventilation costs and prevent overheating
- Improved staff morale and productivity can be enhanced by providing a more comfortable working environment through reducing draughts, solar glare, overheating and noise
- Lower capital expenditure – a more efficient, well-insulated office needs smaller heating and cooling systems
- Good investment – better insulation can increase an office’s value and attractiveness.
By focusing on easily actionable and, in many instances, low-cost measures, you’ll be amazed at the savings you can make with the quickest payback without compromising staff productivity.
Start by focusing on the following six areas:
Building control systems, coupled with building management policy have probably the most important influence on the energy performance of an office. The more complex a building is, the greater the need for a clear control strategy for each service. To be effective, controls need to be user-friendly for managers and intuitive and accessible for occupants.
Undertake regular maintenance and avoid expensive problems later
2 RED Ltd said”Maintaining buildings well means identifying potential problems pre-actively and dealing with them promptly before they become expensive problems—inparticular, gaps or holes in walls, windows, doors and skylights should be repaired immediately”
Establish a housekeeping schedule and involve staff
Compile a checklist to address areas where energy is lost via the building structure. A comprehensive schedule should include regularly checking window panes and frames, roof lights and doors. The larger a building, the more beneficial it would be to appoint a staff member to execute this task. Ask staff to report any problems and ensure these are promptly repaired.
Regularly check the building for damp
Damp causes significant damage to the building structure and reduces its insulating properties. Check for signs of damp and condensation at least once a year—preferably prior to winter months—and repair split downpipes, faulty gutters and leaky roof tiles.
Redirect heat and light from the sun
Overheating due to high levels of glazing is a growing problem in offices. Fitting horizontal blinds or external shading to windows to direct light away from workstations and onto ceilings and walls will allow more daylight into the space, whilst minimising heat and glare from sunlight.
Insulate to accumulate
Up to a quarter of a building’s heat will escape via an un-insulated roof, which adds hundreds, or even thousands of pounds per year to heating bills. Insulating any roof spaces and unfilled external cavity walls is an effective and inexpensive way of reducing heat losses.
Simple energy solutions with a big payoff
Combined, these relatively simple solutions help you save money, increase your staff productivity, and reduce your carbon footprint—all of which enhances your Triple D bottom line.