Last month we gave you tips on saving energy inside your office. This month we would like to expand on this by providing you with information about how you can make your commercial building energy efficient. These tips are especially relevant when building a new premises, renovating your office, or if you would like to make some smaller changes to help save you money on your power bills!
Insulation – A well insulated building can save you up to 45% of your energy use. Insulation in your walls and in the roof can keep your office warmer in winter, cooler in summer and can also make your office quieter by keeping out noise from surrounding buildings, or the traffic outside.
Lighting – Natural lighting is of course the best lighting for your office, so if possible design your office space to capture the north facing sun and put bathrooms and storage rooms etc on the southern side. When you are planning internal lighting we recommend you using Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and/or Compact Fluorescent Lamps as they are the most energy efficient. It is also worth researching skylights as they can admit more than 3 times as much light as a vertical window of the same size.
Glass – When building or renovating if you plan on having lots of windows and glass, then this can unfortunately make your office warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. Lots of glass can of course look fantastic, so if this is a part of your design then the most energy efficient solution is to get double glazed windows or triple glazed windows installed. In the short term this can be more expensive, but in the long term costs are reduced, as double and triple glazed windows can save you up to 50% in the amount of heat lost compared to single glazed windows.
Heating /Cooling – If you have a smaller one room office, then an energy efficient split system unit would sufficiently heat or cool your room. Whereas for larger commercial buildings, a ducted system can provide heating and cooling for the entire premises. A ducted system is a fantastic energy saver, as these systems can be zoned and temperature controlled, so you can have one room on, one room off and different rooms cooled at different temperatures, all at the same time.
Colour – You may not think the colour of your external building or internal building is that important in terms of energy efficiency, but it can make a huge difference. Lighter colours reflect heat and keep rooms cooler in summer. Your roof colour also matters. Products such as “ Cool Roofs” which is made of a highly reflective light paint, sheet covering or tiles, can also provide up to 10 degrees more cooling than other roof materials, therefore reducing your air conditioner use.
Shade – Where you plant trees and bushes can also help with providing shade and blocking out the sunlight. By also adding window eaves can help keep your home cooler and reduce electricity costs. Installing external blinds over windows is also a great way to keep out unwanted sun and keep in warmth in winter.
Solar Panels – Installing a commercial solar system can be a big investment, but it is definitely worth researching if you own the building. There are of course energy saving benefits and the Government also provides some rebates. For further information see www.energy.vic.gov.au
Building or renovating a commercial premises can be expensive, so we hope we have helped with some energy efficient tips. Our team at MakoAir can also supply and install the right air conditioning and heating system for your office, so please call us on 0490 333 461 for all your commercial building needs.