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Energy Efficient Office Building – Prudent Ways To Help You Lower Utility Bills

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Energy efficiency is the new age mantra. There is pressing need to inculcate energy efficiency as an important and indispensable part of design. The building and construction industry has embraced the concept of green building design to ensure efficient and prudent use of energy for a building’s operations. Architects, engineers and developers invest a lot of time, money and resources, in erecting new buildings that are energy efficient and in Building Energy Consumption Analysis in order to make them energy efficient.

Building Energy Simulation

Now Optimization and Simulation of Building Energy, and henceforth implementation of efficiency solutions alone – cannot help facility owners bring down utility bills. The onus of efficient use of energy lies on the property owners and the occupants both. Especially in office building where several laptops, desktops, air-conditioning etc is used, it is very important to adopt a prudent approach. Here are some tips!

  • ENERGY STAR qualified products is an indicator of efficiency in terms of power usage for office equipment and appliances such as computers, laptops, scanners, printers, television sets, thermostats etc. Installing such ENERGY STAR certified equipment and appliances in your office can help cut down the utility bills.
  • Additionally turning off air-conditioning, PC’s laptops etc, when not in use – is every employee’s and employer’s responsibility. Wise and prudent use of energy is one of the easiest and the most effective way to save energy and utilize it where required. The best method to save energy during a prolonged absence from desk is to manually turn off the monitor or keep setting so as to automatically switch it to sleep mode.
  • In order to maximize energy savings, use a power strip for laptop AC adapter. A power strip can be switched on and off to completely cutoff the electric supply to the AC adapter. This should be done because the transformer in the AC adapter continually draws power even when it is not plugged into the laptop.
  • Similarly many appliances and equipment in your office, such as television, refrigerator, computers etc, keep consuming a small amount of energy even when they are turned off. Continuous consumption of energy makes a great difference to the yearly utility bills. Unplugging these equipment when not in use or using a power strip is the best solution.
  • If you are going for an organization wide system upgrade, consider switching to laptops. Laptops consume less energy as compared to desktops. This will definitely result in long term savings in terms of energy and hence money.
  • If you think that switching equipment on and off increases its life, then this is a misconception. It is not doing you good; instead this mindset is leading to a lot of energy wastage.
  • Remember it as a thumb rule – unplug battery chargers when batteries are full or when the chargers are not in use.
  • Research has established that rechargeable batteries are more cost effective than throwaway batteries for products like cordless phones and other Digital equipment and PDA’s. If at all you use throwaways, ensure that you follow safe disposal options and get rid of this toxic waste carefully.

If you feel the need to employ cost cutting in your office, then instead of reducing the number of coffee machines or cutting down the facilities you provide to your employees, employ the above mentioned energy efficiency tips and teach your employees to save energy as well. Ensure that you indeed have a energy efficient office building.

Image Source: http://nljones.scripts.mit.edu/publications.php

Bhushan Avsatthi
About the Author: Bhushan Avsatthi is a BIM expert, a certified Sustainable Building advisor, and an associate director with more than 15 years of industry experience. He leads a team of architects, Structural & MEP engineers, LEED consultants and energy modelers. Bhushan strives to make his organization a cohesive resource for sustainable building design. He regularly participates in green initiatives like tree plantations, and promotes using bicycles for everyday commute.