Improve Your High Performance Building With HVAC
What is a high performance building? According to the High Performance Building Council, it’s a building that integrates and optimizes attributes including energy conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, sustainability, functionality, productivity, and operational considerations. High performance buildings strive to significantly exceed the minimum requirements of current codes and specifications, using much less energy than their average counterparts.
As a result, high performance buildings improve the health, comfort, and productivity of everyone who resides within the building itself. That’s a marketable improvement that makes your building more valuable to tenants than others around it.
It’s easy to build a high performance building from the ground up. It’s quite another thing to retrofit and renovate a building to take in and change things to achieve higher performance. Yet with that as the goal, one of the most obvious places to look is the HVAC system.
Commercial buildings consume about 19 percent of the nation’s energy supply. Heating, cooling and ventilation costs account for about 40 percent of a commercial application’s budget. So indeed, the HVAC system is a wise target for improved energy performance.
Start by knowing your goals
This grounds you and provides your foundational strategy. It’s also the one thing that is most often missing from most operational and maintenance programs. Define what high performance means to your building. Include system reliability, cost savings, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality as a start. The more you implement, the more these will change over time.
Measure and monitor over time
Reaching high performance levels is about understanding your current performance and making improvement as time goes by. By consistently monitoring where you are and how improvements impact your systems, you can make changes based on where you’ll have the greatest impact. It can also help you identify and fix problems early on.
Establish a maintenance program
No matter what system you have in place, equipment that is operating at its peak level will always provide you with optimal results. If you don’t have a regular maintenance program already in place, this is the first place to start. It will also help you keep all new equipment at optimal levels as you install and change things around.
If it doesn’t need to run, turn it off
Simple rule, and one we can all live by. It almost always provides you with better long term performance.
Teach those around you
While you may quickly learn about ways to improve efficiencies throughout your building, the only way they will stay implemented is if building occupants learn about them too. A good training program will help connect individuals to the ultimate goal and help them have ownership in keeping your building at peak performance levels.
Where do you begin? Luckily, that’s where we can help. With our knowledge and expertise, we can help you walk through and evaluate your building and help you put together a plan that will improve efficiencies over time.