Facility operations require several different technologies to run and maintain various components, and to run them efficiently requires even more tech. Buildings will use many different resources to function normally, and paying for all these, especially if they’re wasted, adds up in the long run. Now, there are new technologies that will help with managing each building resource to minimize extraneous use and reduce operation costs.
Many are familiar with building automation systems; they're starting to become more common across many industries. For example, automated lights are installed in buildings, allowing them to turn on when a room is occupied and immediately turn off when vacant.
Generally, these systems use motion sensors to detect whether anyone is in the room, needing use of the lights. Based on the detection data from the motion sensors, lights can turn on or off readily. People don't have to worry about lights inadvertently turning off when they're in a room but relatively motionless, like sitting at a computer desk all day. Sensitive motion and other sensors can detect when a body is in a room. Thanks to these sensors, buildings won't waste electricity activating lights clearly not in use.
Today, many hot water tanks are constructed and designed to be more efficient than those of the past. Using a more efficient hot water tank can immediately result in a building consuming less water. Given the amount of energy that goes into heating water, this is also a change that will make a building generally more sustainable.
Saving water can also result from certain building automations. Sinks can be programmed to also turn off immediately, which can cut excessive water use. Most people only need so much water for tasks, and automatic sensors can reduce water from constant-flowing faucets to provide water only when needed.
Buildings’ cooling and heating systems have a tremendous effect on overall energy consumption. Many buildings will run air conditioning at high levels consistently throughout the warmest parts of the year, even if it makes a building uncomfortably cold. Building heating systems can be just as problematic on the other end of the spectrum.
When these systems are replaced with more efficient systems, even automated ones, the building runs easier and becomes much more sustainable, since the system can use less resources to output energy for optimal environmental conditions. In many cases after implementing changes, occupants are more comfortable as well. Inefficient cooling and heating systems often waste a lot of energy while running but provide subpar output. Most newer and more advanced cooling and heating systems available run properly and use energy effectively, turning input resources to output energy better.
Energy conservation can be more complicated. It's important to make sure the building itself is not using too many resources. Automation and efficient cooling and heating systems are only a few components in overall operations. If a lot of heat escapes from the building due to the design of windows or the lack of proper building insulation, for example, building operation costs will still be high, even with installations of new systems. Better insulation and windows that were designed to help buildings maintain internal temperatures more effectively can make a building significantly more energy efficient.
To find all your building’s areas of inefficient energy use, it is important to conduct a proper analysis on where inefficiencies lie and what areas can be improved. Like in the example above, adding new, technologically advanced systems throughout your building will benefit you little if energy is actually wasted through improper insulation. Contact us to learn more how an energy audit and breakdown can better pinpoint areas of your building to best invest to better use resources.