Did you know incorporating energy-efficient solutions in commercial buildings can drastically decrease bills while improving net income of the building owner.
Commercial construction with efficient features also improves occupancy rates and helps property owners create a healthy and comfortable environment. As 5.9 million commercial buildings use more than 18% of energy in the US, efficiently designed projects can decrease the emission of greenhouse gas.
Whether it is the building’s electrical, energy, or water consumption system, MEP engineers can help you design and install them optimally. As a result, you will be able to significantly reduce commercial leasing build-out, operating costs, and resource usage.
Before we plunge into the strategies you can use to make commercial buildings more efficient, let’s briefly discuss the benefits.
Benefits of Making a building More Efficient
- Cost Effective- Using efficient building design tactics lowers the cost of your energy bills.
- Environmental impact- As efficient building reduces greenhouse gas emissions, it controls fossil fuel usage while impacting the environment positively.
- Occupant Comfort- The comfort of the building’s occupants can be improved, boosting output and satisfaction.
- Building value- Being more appealing to potential purchasers or tenants will increase the value of an efficient property.
Why Smart Buildings ARE Important
Smart buildings, also called efficient buildings, use technology to improve human comfort, safety, and productivity. Residential, commercial, and industrial structures all use this idea.
It is feasible to achieve automated control for the functioning of a building. Thanks to the capability acquired by Internet of Things (IoT) devices to gather, process, and analyze data from various elements and locations, MEP engineers can use advanced construction methods to improve these architectural spaces’ accessibility, safety, usability, and energy efficiency.
The whole-building concept, which views a building as a unified energy system where each component influences the performance of the whole building, is a specialty of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers.
Typically, the whole-building strategy effectively utilizes water, power, and other natural resources. Additionally, it seeks to reduce waste and requires all building experts to know each component that impacts a building’s energy use.
Ways to Make a Building More Efficient
1. Use of Renewable Energy Sources
Fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal, were utilized as fuel before the development of technology that enabled energy to be gathered from nature. While there is still a considerable use of fossil fuels, new techniques are replacing traditional fuel collection methods.
Unfortunately, using fossil fuels can damage the environment and deplete natural resources. Renewable energy sources, however, generate relatively little waste and will be available for years to come.
Advancements in technology include solar cells, a form of renewable energy. Solar cells can convert sunlight or solar energy into a usable form of renewable energy. This allows commercial construction to be more efficient. Other renewable energy sources include hydroelectric power, wind turbines, hydrogen fuel cells, and nuclear energy.
2. High-Security Features
Undoubtedly, high-security features are vital to make a building more efficient and safer. This is why highly qualified MEP Engineers combine artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the IoT to design buildings that can control sophisticated security systems and instrumentation.
Let’s examine a couple of instances:
- The central system is coupled with a monitoring system that continuously tracks building accesses and provides real-time and archived reporting. This data and analysis is used for vulnerability reduction and prevention.
- When a fire signal is activated, it is examined visually by the video surveillance system, along with the number of times false alarms have been generated.
- Interconnection is the most critical component of an efficient building. Internal networks are used by the system, but data can also be accessed anytime and from any location over the Internet.
This allows you to manage and control a building remotely with an internet connection and secure access.
3. Glazing Systems of an Efficient Building
The design of an efficient building should include energy-efficient skylights, doors, and windows appropriate to the climate zone of the property.
Remember that direct sunlight-facing structures heat up more quickly and use more energy to maintain cooling. Avoid letting direct sunlight enter the building by covering the windows. Think about insulating the building’s climate-controlled spaces and enhancing insulation using solar screens, awnings, and solar films.
Inspect the doors and windows for leaks because they affect the inside environment. MEP engineers can install a glazing system, including energy-efficient doors and windows, that will provide ventilation, light, and warmth while reducing energy bills.
4. Smart Building Devices
A practical solution to save money and energy while enhancing building safety is to incorporate smart building products into the design of a structure.
Ceiling tiles, motion sensors, smart lighting control systems that shut down lights when the building is not occupied, programmable thermostats, integrated air purification systems, and various air quality alarms are a few examples of smart building products.
5. Insulated, Waterproof Slab Foundation and Plumbing Fixtures
A compressively designed commercial construction finance plan considers smart electrical and plumbing solutions. It includes using automated plumbing fixtures designed to function with less water, which will save large quantities of water.
For instance, toilets that once used 7 gallons to flush now only require 1.3 gallons, saving more than 80%. Plumbing and building codes mandate water-saving plumbing fittings in many locations.
Concrete slabs with stiff foam insulation underneath the slab are used to create an energy-efficient building design. Concrete’s great thermal mass traps radiation and makes a building’s interior cozy and dry.
Commercial construction is an expensive endeavor. You can take the initiative and avoid using more energy than you intended. Cost-effective tactics put into practice the techniques that cut waste and boost efficiency, and lower expenses.
To make the most of the strategies mentioned above, seek the help of professional MEP engineers. Pro Engineering Consulting, Inc specializes in MEP engineering consulting. Contact our experts with questions about your next commercial project.