An energy efficient office can save you money for years to come, and it all starts with the office build out or tenant improvement process. Energy efficiency is an important part of interior construction, as it can make your space more comfortable and affordable. According to the Urban Land Institute, energy efficient build outs can save 30-50% in energy costs with a payback timeframe of 3-5 years—in some cases shorter. Plus, energy efficient office build outs have an average 25% rate of return.
The ULI Tenant Energy Optimization Program lists 10 steps to design and build smart and energy efficient spaces:
- Select a team; general contractor, architect, etc.
- Pick the right office space
- Create energy efficient office goals
- Create a model of energy reduction options
- Do the math to calculate future return on your investment
- Select the right options
- Create a post-occupancy plan
- Conduct the build out
- Put the post-occupancy plan into motion
- Assess and communicate results
The most important areas to focus on regarding energy efficient offices include lighting, equipment (computers, machines, etc.), and climate control. It is far more affordable to install these things from the get-go, as opposed to adding them later. Keep in mind, the sooner you install these features the more money you save.
1. Add LED Lighting with Auto Controls
LED lighting is far more energy efficient than traditional bulbs, plus LED bulbs last a lot longer and need to be replaced less frequently. High-efficiency lamps are further benefited through the installation of lighting controls. Lights can be set on auto timers or turn on based on movement, also known as occupancy sensors. Auto controls help prevent your business from paying to run lights when no one is there to benefit from them—aka wasting money.
2. Programmable Thermostats
A cool and comfortable office is crucial but it can cost an arm and a leg to air condition your entire building, especially if it’s not energy efficient. A programmable thermostat allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature without breaking the bank by setting it to the most energy efficient settings. Some thermostats give you the option to auto turn on or off at certain times.
If you have a data center or a room that requires more cooling than other parts of the building, you might want to consider installing separate spot coolers in these areas. Otherwise, you’ll end up overrunning your central AC trying to keep one room cool, while every other part of the office feels like an ice chest.
3. Install a Sub-meter
Install sub-meters during the build-out process to keep track of how much energy you use on an ongoing basis. Knowing exact data gives you the opportunity to make changes as you go to cut costs and reduce energy usage.
4. Insulate Windows & Walls
Insulated windows and walls are fundamental to an energy efficient building. Otherwise, exterior temperatures greatly impact interior temperatures and it costs more to maintain a comfortable office environment.
5. Energy Efficient Data Center Considerations
If your building contains one or more data centers there are unique things you can do to save energy and reduce your monthly bills, including metering UPS output so your building can get an accurate Energy Star score. Meters should be adaptable to future changes to your data center’s power distribution infrastructure.
6. Purchase ENERGY STAR Office Equipment
ENERGY STAR rated office equipment offers greater energy efficiency than other appliances and can reduce your electricity bills.
7. Outfit Your Business for Energy Efficiency with Perillo Construction
Allow our expertise to save your business money today and over time thanks to energy efficient solutions and more. No one knows office build outs like we do!