How to: Five Ways to Make Your Office More Energy Efficient

Does your office building guzzle energy? Are your energy bills and operating costs higher than you’d like? Make a change! Creating an office environment that is more energy efficient is environmentally friendly, and it can lead to saving a few dollars in the office budget.

This can be done in many ways. If you’re able to make a large investment, working toward a third party certification (like LEED or Green Globes) could be an option for your building and create large savings over the years. But small changes can also be made to reduce energy use with less time (and money) required.

In 2005, Karpinski Engineering made the investment and renovated our Cleveland offices to achieve LEED certification. KE accomplished this goal by installing energy efficient light fixtures, low flow water fixtures, and energy efficient mechanical systems.

Since 2005, we have stayed on top of our energy usage by making the small adjustments needed to take full advantage of our energy efficient systems. These actions can be performed in most office buildings and will help to reduce both energy use and energy cost:
  1. Use a Building Automation System to avoid commanding the equipment manually. This system both improves comfort and energy efficiency. 
  2. Adjust the HVAC systems to prevent simultaneous heating and cooling operation.  If economizer operation exists, prevent the mechanical cooling from starting whenever the ambient temperature is below 55 degrees and verify proper operation of the economizer controls.
  3. Lock out the boiler system in the summer to prevent the heating equipment from kicking on should temperatures drop overnight.
  4. Adjust the occupied/unoccupied schedule based on the needs of staff. This is important to maintain both comfort and efficiency. The KE office runs the system when necessary but uses setbacks when possible.
  5. Review gas, electric and water bills regularly to ensure there are no anomalies. This should allow the building operator to discover any problems early on and then address them faster.

All of these actions can help move your building towards being more sustainable, energy efficient, and cost effective. Talk to your facility staff to see which of these changes are feasible for your office.
Have questions? Karpinski Engineering would be happy to talk to you about them!

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