Facilities management has a significant role to play in the energy consumption chain. Having simple scrutiny of an energy management system, the lighting, and the how and when maintenance procedures are done, in a building can result in significant annual energy savings. Because drastic reduction in relation to what was used before and what is being used now by the staffs in an organization or tenants in an estate using the energy facility add to these savings.
Avoidably, businesses squander around 30% of the energy consumed in their commercial buildings, according to the EPA, while buildings account for 32% of global energy usage and 19% of energy-related greenhouse emissions. It is now pertinent for companies to turn to facility managers and rely on their professional deduction towards giving feedback and guidance on how to continue using energy for their operations and maybe increase the energy efficiency of their building systems as they also decrease energy waste.
Facilities management is ideally positioned to use both the local operational efficiency and technical devices in accordance to the vastness of the environment that is to be managed in other to detect and act to increase the efficiency of energy consumption throughout their facilities since it is responsible for maintaining the functioning, comfort, and safety of the physical environment.
Even though the facility manager may not be involved in the direct construction of a building they, however, have a better awareness of the site’s unique problems and possibilities after professional study and critical analysis into the building giving them the opportunity to advise on how to effectively combine people, processes, and technology to achieve maximum efficiency.
Ways Facility Manager Can Increase The Energy Efficiency
There are three ways facility managers may increase the energy efficiency of their building systems, these ways will help the organization to achieve their sustainability program, it can also help them attain their operational investment plan on the long rumor just to save money on utilities.
1. Ensure that energy-consuming equipment is managed proactively
Being that the discussion on energy is primarily on facility managers and their managerial skills towards it, then the key to ensuring that building systems remain functional, comfortable, safe, and efficient is to guarantee that equipment is well-managed and maintained through periodic inspections and preventative maintenance.
These will help to get a precise account of when faults are noticed and know the perfect working condition of a facility as opposed to when the facility gradually experiences a reduction in its efficiency. Because when attention is generally focused on other critical concerns related to operations and sales, equipment checkups are sometimes ignored because little or no regard are being given to the minute depreciation in the efficiency of facilities until they are become big and bring a direct and total halt to the functionality of an organization.
When maintenance is neglected for an extended length of time, it can lead to decreased equipment efficiency or asset damage. Preventive maintenance of energy-consuming equipment should be done regularly to discover leaks, repairs, and replacements. Compliance scheduled preventive maintenance works may all be tracked using a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) system, especially if you have a big portfolio of locations. The information gathered by this sort of technology provides insight into asset performance and may be utilized to increase energy efficiency even more.
2. Use lighting and HVAC controls to their full potential
Facility managers can save energy by improving the efficiency of lighting and HVAC systems with the help in controlling solutions. Lighting that remains on in vacant spaces or rooms that are completely lighted by natural daylight wastes energy, regardless of technology. One major use of HVAC control is Occupancy sensors. Occupancy sensors are one of the most prevalent forms of lighting controls, which switch lighting on automatically when motion is detected and off when the area is abandoned. Sensors can be mounted on the wall, in the ceiling, in the corner, or on the fixture itself. Another means of reducing energy to avoid wastage is automated daylight harvesting systems. This automated daylight harvesting system reads ambient light levels and raises or reduces artificial lighting levels to maintain a basic level of illumination in locations where enough ambient light is available.
After considering the automated harvesting system, we can also consider Timer. Timers are another approach to ensure that lighting in big, open spaces is switched off when it isn’t needed. A basic time clock or computer controls can be used to do this. Exterior lighting can also benefit from lighting control systems. The key to getting the most out of lighting controls is to double-check that the programming is right and that the system is working correctly on a regular basis. When developing, installing, and maintaining these control systems, it’s also crucial to keep safety and occupant comfort in mind.
3. Improve the efficiency of current building systems
When organizations restrict the scope of their refit to a few broadly applicable measures and roll out a sustainable technology investment package throughout their portfolio, the retrofitting process is most effective. Companies may better account for the interconnections between measures by combining measures, preparing for, and installing new equipment and technologies at the same time.
There is a lot of potential in retrofitting older, existing buildings to make them more energy efficient by changing the building systems. “As much as 80% of the energy spent is wasted,” according to Project Drawdown, “lights and electronics are kept on needlessly, and breaches in the building’s exterior enable air to seep in and out”. While identifying and piloting remedies on a building-by-building basis is possible, widespread deployment of “one-touch” retrofit initiatives is more cost-effective and significant.
Facility managers are frequently required to participate at multiple phases of the retrofitting process, including onsite audits to identify retrofit possibilities, coordination with procurement on equipment standards and specs, retrofitting itself, management, and maintenance.
Consultants can be hired to assist businesses with the retrofitting process. They may offer advice on which retrofit bundles are the most cost-effective, as well as assist with financing. GameStop, for example, collaborated with a consultant to make educated judgments regarding the timing and extent of lighting and HVAC system retrofits.
According to reports, their refit initiative has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in overall energy use. These approaches have helped GameStop reduce its environmental footprint and increase its operational efficiency.
Article Written by Haruna Inuwa