10 Ways You Can Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Commercial Building!

If you own or manage a commercial building, you know that energy bills aren’t cheap! Even if you aren’t paying the bills yourself, current and potential tenants almost always consider energy efficiency when searching for space.

If this is space that you utilize, you want it to be as energy-efficient as possible for financial reasons but also because sustainability is the right thing to do for the planet and your brand’s reputation. Here are some proven ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your commercial building.

1. Rethink Your HVAC Systems

If your commercial building’s heating and cooling equipment requires frequent repairs, is more than a decade old, or your energy bills are through the roof, it may be time to upgrade to something more efficient.

Installation and proper equipment sizing are vital elements in HVAC efficiency. If the unit is too large for your building, it won’t remove humidity efficiently. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to maintain a comfortable environment. By investing in a new system, you may be able to save on your heating and cooling costs. You should also consider installing a smart thermostat to optimize your internal temperature and save energy.

2. Improve Your Insulation

There is generally a link between a building’s insulation and its energy efficiency. According to energystar.gov, thoroughly insulated walls, ceilings, and floors can save as much as 10% on annual energy costs for a building! It goes without saying that those are significant savings.

When you choose a higher grade of insulation, your building’s HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, which saves energy and money. If your building isn’t insulated properly, this might even lead to indoor air quality issues.

3. Use Energy-Efficient Lighting

The lighting you choose for your commercial building can be an energy drain or help you save a lot on your power bills. As much as possible, see if you can use more natural lighting inside the building. You can also replace incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs, which cost less to use and maintain. Finally, consider installing light sensors so that your lights turn on and off automatically to minimize wasted energy.

4. Build Up Instead of Out

If you’re looking at a new commercial project or want to expand your existing space, your construction team can help you choose the most energy-efficient design. For example, building a structure up instead of out not only uses less land but it also reduces material waste and energy use. When you build narrower, taller buildings, it reduces the envelope space, which improves the efficiency of your HVAC and lighting systems.

5. Focus on Renewable Energy Sources

One of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your commercial space is to rely less on fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas. This can be challenging since roughly 74% of the world’s energy comes from these sources, but there are other options. You could use solar cells to power your building or at least supplement your existing power supply.

6. Weatherize Doors and Windows

In the summer, cool air escapes through your building’s gaps and cracks, and in the winter, you’ll experience heat loss. You can make your commercial building more energy-efficient by creating weather-proof barriers around your doors and windows.

Weatherstripping helps to reduce uncomfortable drafts and can significantly reduce your overall utility costs. You can also install a set of internal doors to act as a barrier between the exterior elements and your building’s occupants. 

7. Use Modular Construction Methods

Another helpful tip for new commercial construction clients is to leverage modular construction methods. This involves using off-site building strategies to improve the envelope, insulation, and seal of your structure. These methods produce less material waste and are more efficient because they get completed faster. Most modular buildings are also more air-tight, meaning the HVAC systems will operate more efficiently.

8. Install Energy Star Products

Energy Star is a joint program run by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to label energy-efficient products and practices based on third-party testing.

Energy Star products are up to 25% more efficient than federal standards require. Your commercial property can save a significant amount on energy bills by installing these labeled products, which include things like water heaters, appliances, HVAC equipment, lighting fixtures, and computer equipment. 

9. Focus on Your Ventilation

Commercial buildings need to protect the interior from harsh external elements, but that doesn’t mean the space doesn’t need effective ventilation. In fact, good airflow is necessary to improve air quality and achieve energy efficiency.

Opening windows and doors may not be practical for a commercial space. Instead, ensure you have the right type of mechanical ventilation systems in place to bring fresh air in and take stale air out. You can even choose self-propelled and energy recovery ventilation systems in some cases.

10. Engage Your Building’s Occupants

Saving energy should be a team effort. While it can begin with a building owner or manager’s initiative, it’s more effective when all of your building’s occupants are on board. Engage with your employees or building tenants to encourage them to embrace more energy-efficient options. Share various alternatives and even provide incentives for lowering energy use. By educating people on the benefits of being energy-efficient, you can achieve your goals. 

Choose Koehn Construction for Commercial Construction Services!

If you have any upcoming commercial construction projects, Koehn Construction Services is the company you want to work with. We specialize in the design-build method of construction, which means that we handle the entire project from the initial design phase all the way to the finish touches. If energy efficiency is important to you, we can help you design an energy-efficient structure from the ground up.

We serve clients throughout the Midwest and approach every project with passion, dedication, and integrity. When you work with us, you can feel confident that you are receiving the best possible work for your money. Call (620) 378-3002 or email lyle@koehncs.com if you would like to discuss your upcoming project!

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