NEWS

 

 

date: 07/07/2008

Creating energy efficient fit-outs

Despite the growing global need to conserve our non-renewable resources, today there is still very little consideration in the design phase and retrofitting of office and retail fit-outs into developing a functional yet energy efficient environment. Very often this is governed by higher perceived short term costs, time constraints, tight budgets and habitual processes in the design phase. There are, however, changes that can be implemented to reduce our energy consumption and save money long-term.

Listed below are just a few savings to think about during your next new build or refit:

  • Get a proper lighting design conducted on the area which will highlight the lighting levels and show any potential areas for over or under exposure. Areas to think about are lighting distribution, spectrum, level and glare.
  • Consider local environmental factors at design phase such as average temperatures, hours of sunlight and any obstructions which could reduce natural daylight before installing lighting, heating and ventilation or any solar panels/wind turbines.
  • Choose energy efficient lighting with electronic ballasts from a reliable commercial lighting manufacturer that will stand the test of time.
  • The use of Passive Infra-Reds (PIRs) linked to lighting in corridors and low-usage areas conserve electricity by automatically switching on/off lighting if movement is detected.
  • Consider the use of daylight sensors with the lighting to continually scan the level of light in the level (lux level) using photometric cells and switch off if not required saving energy and reducing unnecessary glare in the office.
  • Install time clocks in tandem with the luminaries – these will automatically switch of the lighting when not required.
  • Fit a last man-out key switch near the exit doors of the office or retail unit to isolate all lighting and power circuits that are fed on those particular circuits. This will ensure that any lighting/electrical appliances will be switched off.
  • Consider the use of renewable resources such as wind and solar to heat water and even produce electricity. Batchelor Electrical are the recognised UK installer for Alwitra UK solar pv array roofing product which combines a flexible roofing membrane and solar panel in one efficient product. The system is grid-connected meaning that if you are not at the site using electricity it gets fed back to the national grid and reimbursed for your energy.
  • If the budget of the refit does not allow for new luminaries, look at replacing the lamp or tubes to a low energy equivalent. Many lamp manufacturers are now offering fluorescent and LED alternatives to standard fittings with considerably less wattage - saving money, time and creating a positive ‘green’ statement to your clients
  • Select energy efficient appliances such as hand dryers, heaters, kitchen and office equipment to reduce energy consumption.
  • Install a ‘smart meter’ in a prominent position to monitor your total daily consumption, set downward reduction targets and raise awareness internally of usage. The new real-time monitors show dynamic information for energy as and when it is used in a graphical format linked back to a sensor in the mains board.
  • For larger offices it is worth considering a Building Management System (BMS) to automate the control of heating, ventilation and lighting from a central computer.
  • Ensure that whatever contractor you choose they are environmentally responsible by recycling the old fittings that are stripped-out during a refit. Under the WEEE directive of January 2007 this is now law and your electrical contractor is breaking the law by disposing of them incorrectly – see our environmental statement.

icons1View PDF Guide to Creating Efficient Fit-outs

 

 

 

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