July 27, 2015
A driving force in commercial real estate around the world, CBRE is helping its corporate real estate clients achieve improved performance and competitive advantage through sustainability measures that include LEED certification. Here in Central Florida, CBRE Lead Engineer, Paul Carter, is pushing that effort even further, demonstrating on a daily basis that small efforts can yield great results. In a recent interview Paul shared a couple of ideas that are not only very effective, but also cost almost nothing to get started:
- One device at a time – Paul knows that thermostats controlling buildings’ heating and air conditioning systems can be off by as much as several degrees. By placing a reliable thermometer next to thermostats, one device at a time, Paul identifies controls that are not reading correct temperatures. After recalibrating he’s seeing reductions, sometimes significant, in energy consumption.
- Stagger your start times – When an entire building’s air conditioning system energizes all at once it consumes far more power than if separate zones are started one or more at a time. Paul staggers start times for each floor in every one of his buildings to easily prevent these large immediate power demands.
It’s instructive to note that Paul has achieved ENERGY STAR ratings at four buildings to-date by executing these simple steps, and he’s currently working on his fifth.
Once savings start occurring they can be reinvested in energy-saving equipment to further improve performance and reduce energy costs. Three examples include:
- Better lighting – Replace inefficient lamps with higher efficiency models.
- Install variable speed drives – This is a great project to capitalize with savings from initial sustainability efforts. According to one well-known manufacturer, energy savings of up to 60% are possible through use of these relatively inexpensive components.
- Building management systems – Higher on the cost scale, these systems enable further savings through greater regulation of heating and cooling systems.
Paul is making good progress, but he’s not done yet. His next steps include exploring LEED certification for as many of his buildings as possible, as well as achieving LEED credentials for himself. In doing so he is leveraging the largest organized effort in the world at promoting sustainability (LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) while further reducing his buildings’ energy consumption and operating costs, all through smarter management.
There are lots of ways to save money, reduce our carbon footprint and run our facilities more intelligently. What ideas do you want to share?!