Easy Energy-Efficient Habits for Your Building – Part 1

Energy efficiency movements are more than just a craze; it's a financial reality. "Going green" has evolved to an incredibly practical way to save money on your power bill. Today, building managers can consider energy efficiency while paying less for better performance. Energy efficient appliances, materials, insulation, lights, and smart devices can greatly reduce your utility expenditures, but even routine maintenance around the building can significantly improve the energy efficiency of a business. While you're putting together your budget for major upgrades, consider these small procedural and area adjustments that can easily and positively impact your energy consumption budget.

snowy alley between buildings with leafless tree

Take Care of Trees

Most businesses with their own grounds have a landscaping contract with a local service. This ensures that the grass is always cut, the flower beds are beautiful, the trees stay out of the power lines, and even the design is maintained throughout the year across changing seasons. Whatever your landscaping plan, those trees and shrubs are actually more useful than you may have imagined.

In summertime, your building heats up greatly with amount of sunlight that hits it. The more direct sunlight to the façade, the warmer the building gets, and the harder your air conditioning system must work to sustain a comfortable environment. One of the most useful services a tree can provide, other than creating oxygen, is to shade your building and help keep temperatures down. Blocking direct sunlight can drastically reduce temperatures, and thereby building cooling costs.

However, don’t let tree branches grow long enough to overhang rooftops; this creates an entirely different problem. Throughout the year, a heavy storm may cause limbs to directly break and fall. In addition, particularly wintertime, tree branches can become overloaded with heavy snow and ice. If a branch breaks over your roof and crashes to your building, it can do serious damage that will require repair. To serve all seasonal needs, grow big trees near the building, but prevent branches from overgrowth. Trim, prune, or cut branches from overhanging the roof by more than a foot or two.

Watch Out for Roof Snow

Snow has one of the biggest impacts on building operation utility bills. There is a fine line between useful snow on your rooftop and becoming a hazard. Snow can act like a blanket, insulating parts of your roof. On the other hand, potential risks start as snow begins to melt and refreeze. This is a particularly bad problem when piles stay in place for days, as partially melting and refreezing snow becomes dense, heavy, and change to partly solid ice. These piles can form ice dams and could even collapse weaker sections of a roof if the structure can no longer support it. If you can do so safely, try to keep your roof clear of excessively piled up snow with a rake, extended broom, or shovel.

Throughout all seasons, and especially in summer or winter, making your office building more energy efficient is a simple matter of thought and implementation. Of course, there are plenty of technologies and systems to automate sectors of your building to reduce energy costs, but even some minimal-effort practices and routine facility maintenance can do great for building operations.

In the next post, we discuss energy-efficient wall decor, appliances, office Wi-Fi settings, and more. Contact us today for more information on how we can help evaluate what areas of improvement your building needs and how our solutions, backed with advanced data and analysis, can make your office more energy efficient through building intelligence.

 

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