The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International last month released what it calls the top 10 ways to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings without significant added costs. The group issued the list to commemorate Earth Day, April 22.
"The built environment accounts for 48 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in this country," said BOMA International Chairman and Chief Elected Officer Kurt R. Padavano. "The good news is that there are many low and even no-cost strategies that are proven to save energy, reduce emissions, and they are easy to implement and have the added benefit of often reducing building operation costs."
BOMA's top ten energy efficiency strategies include:
Check that equipment is functioning as designed. Regularly inspect all equipment and controls to ensure they are functioning as designed, especially energy management system (EMS) programming to make sure that operations are optimized.
Consider cleaning options such as team cleaning, day cleaning and motion sensors to detect when an area is unoccupied and turn lights off when cleaning crews are done.
Turn off equipment such as copiers, kitchen equipment, task lights, etc., during off hours. Use cleaning/security personnel to turn off miscellaneous items such as coffee pots, kitchen equipment and individual office lights.
Use high efficiency LED exit signs
Start an energy awareness program to inform occupants about energy-saving goals, techniques and benefits.
Install computer monitor power management software to help save the more than $1 billion a year in the U.S. that is wasted on electricity for computer monitors that are left on when not needed.
Change incandescent lights to compact fluorescent lights and/or high density discharge (HID) lights that use less energy, have a longer lamp life, and produce less heat.
Harvest daylight by locating workstations requiring high illumination adjacent to windows.
Evaluate after hours usage and adjust building operating hours to reflect actual use.
Adjust ventilation by reducing exhaust and outdoor-air ventilation rates within codes. Adjust ventilation in unoccupied and low-density areas to reduce the ventilation to a practical, yet comfortable level.
For more details and additional information on sustainable practices for commercial buildings, visit BOMA's Green Resource Energy and Environment Network at www.boma.org/AboutBOMA/TheGREEN.