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BSEE BUILDING CONTROLS


Advertising: 01622 699116 Editorial: 01354 461430


SAVING TIME, ENERGY AND COSTS A holistic approach for buildings of tomorrow


I Ian Ellis of


Siemens Building Technologies outlines the importance of taking a holistic approach to improving efficiency and wellbeing in our buildings of the future.


ncreasing changes to the climate, dwindling resources, and rising energy costs are putting demands on building engineers to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, stricter government regulations and requirements relating to occupants’ health and wellbeing are escalating this issue.


Building owners are now under more pressure than ever, not only to ensure that their buildings are operating in an efficient manner but that they are meeting the upcoming Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) which is coming into force in under 12 months’ time on 1st April 2018. Another crucial factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the government’s ambition to achieve an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases and attain a ‘nearly zero’ carbon emissions status by 2050.


Efficiency challenges


The latest government figures state that around 40% of all primary energy consumption is for supplying buildings, most of which is consumed by heating, hot water production, cooling ventilation, lighting and the necessary auxiliary energy. Today, many new commercial buildings are built to future-orientated low-energy standards and equipped with energy-saving building automation and control functions that meet the highest energy performance standard. They may be helping to reduce global energy usage, but the solution is not as straightforward for existing buildings. Some existing commercial premises can’t be transitioned to long-term state-of-the-art building technology and are currently falling well below the minimum energy performance standard of grade E. According to findings by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), in London alone, over a third of commercial buildings have the worst EPC ratings in the UK, with 18,000 of these only obtaining an EPC rating of F or G. In contrast, of the capital’s 265,000 commercial buildings, only 34% have a performance rating of C or above. The message is clear - there is a lot to be done between now and April next year. Therefore, it is time to start making changes now to meet the ambitious government targets for carbon emission reduction and MEES legislation.


Comfort levels


uIntelligent building technology allows for the integration of multiple disciplines.


By reducing energy consumption levels of all HVAC components, building owners will not only save on operational costs in the long-term but also reduce carbon emissions and significantly improve overall comfort levels.


The Government estimates that around 18% of current buildings in the UK are currently failing to


meet the minimum rating of E for the Energy Performing Certificate (EPC), which puts significant pressure on the landlords and building owners to make the necessary changes. A failure to comply with the upcoming standard will lead to landlords no longer being able to let out a property until the requirements are met. It could also result in a significant fine. For those less than three months in breach of the MEES Regulations, fines will be equivalent to 10% of the property’s rateable value, subject to a minimum penalty of £5,000, and up to a maximum of £50,000. After three months, the penalty rises to 20% of the rateable value, with a minimum penalty of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.


Owners or operators looking to find a way to manage their energy usage and improve the current energy performance of their building can refer to the British and European Standard BS EN 15232 Energy Efficiency in buildings. The BS EN 15232 Standard allows building owners to assess the performance of their existing controls by identifying the link between generic types of building control and energy saving that can be achieved in buildings. The Standard distinguishes between four efficiency classes from A to D and defines the energy saving potential and different types of buildings resulting from building automation and control projects.


The Energy Performance Control (EPC) system can improve the energy performance in the commercial buildings through the use of advanced control functions, such as adaptive cooling set points and ventilation related to the number of occupants in the room. The EPC can also be used as a very useful tool to qualify the energy efficiency of building automation and control projects.


The performance of these different controls can be simply assessed using the BS EN 15232 energy performance of buildings standard which is an ideal guide for those looking to gauge the overall efficiency of their building.


Achieving energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort


Buildings that have a poor energy performance rating not only suffer from excessive energy use and the additional expense that comes with it, but poor performance could also seriously affect the wellbeing and productivity of the occupants of the building, resulting in long-term absences and additional costs.


A recent study conducted by market researchers Ipsos revealed that in the UK, a third of employees don’t like their office environment, with complaints ranging from an uncomfortable temperature, to bad lighting – which results in a significant number of sick days and costs businesses thousands of pounds each year. One of the best ways to improve the overall operation of the building and to avoid the ‘sick building syndrome’ tag is by investing in an intelligent building automation system. Lowering energy consumption using intelligent building automation is particularly effective. Improvements to existing buildings require some form of investment, but nevertheless, it helps to save a significant amount in the long-term and ensures that the MEES target is met, CO2 emissions are reduced and payback periods are shortened.


The use of building automation systems such as Desigo will not only allow for an energy efficient building, but will also save on the overall building operating costs using existing energy resources. It will lower CO2 emissions and will enable the owner/operator to work towards the highest possible energy efficiency standards.


8 BUILDING SERVICES & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER JUNE 2017


uBuilding automation systems can help lower CO2 emissions. Investment for the future


Investment in the buildings of tomorrow is crucial and anyone who owns a building should take a considered approach when developing an efficiency plan. Choosing cheaper alternatives will be less cost effective and will risk failure when attempting to meet future legal obligations. As an example, Desigo can make it possible to achieve the aforementioned efficiency class A and reduce energy use by as much as 30%. Intelligent building technology allows building managers and owners to integrate all disciplines of the building, visualise bottlenecks in real time, create synergies and reduce costs. Many building automation solutions communicate via open protocols such as KNX or BACnet and provide easy installation and commissioning, without programming. This allows users to automate and control individual systems, and integrate and intelligently link heating, ventilation, air conditioning, shading and lighting, power, fire safety and security in individual rooms. Such systems can also respond quickly and flexibly to changes in building usage, allowing users to protect their investments over the building’s entire lifecycle.


Growing concerns surrounding energy performance in older buildings have led to meaningful discussions within the industry. However, many of the potential problems can be avoided altogether by taking a holistic approach to efficiency in buildings. Investing in an intelligent building automation system can save time, energy and costs for many years to come.


www.siemens.co.uk/ buildingtechnologies





Building owners are now under more pressure than ever, not only to ensure that their buildings are operating in an efficient manner but that they are meeting the upcoming Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) which is coming into force in under 12 months’ time on 1st April 2018.


’ VISIT OUR WEBSITE: www.bsee.co.uk


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