As companies become aware that they can save money through reductions in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, the perception of energy efficient buildings as a business opportunity is growing. Beverly Quinn, environmental engineer at TÜV SÜD reports


t has also been proven that green buildings have a positive effect on both

employee wellbeing and productivity. Building price premiums, regulations and government incentives are also encouraging energy efficient and sustainable retrofits of existing properties. Refurbishment can be a more

sustainable option when considering long term environmental impact and the building’s whole life cycle, and it could also allow building owners to attract higher rental rates or retain existing tenants. A sustainable refurbishment process could also significantly limit maintenance requirements and reduce associated costs. However, while the market for sustainable retrofit and renovation projects is growing, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach as the energy usage of each unique building structure, alongside its systems and components, must be assessed on an individual building basis. In the case of new buildings, reducing

energy requirements and operating costs is an increasingly complex task that requires a holistic design approach. This calls for not only engineering skills but also a broader understanding of building design, as it is important to understand the costs and benefits of implementing energy efficiency features. TÜV SÜD’s early involvement in the mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) design of the new Balfour Hospital, Orkney, was key in establishing the design of a hybrid heat

pump solution. Not only did it recognise the Orkney renewable energy situation, it also achieved a balance between satisfying legislative procedures and the practical concerns of ensuring reliable resilience via the oil-fired boiler plan. Energy efficiency covers a wide spectrum

of expertise, addressing all aspects of a building. This includes its passive design features, efficient systems and low/zero carbon technologies (LZCT). All of these elements must combine to provide a complementary solution to realise reduced utility costs. As the requirements will be different for commercial, industrial and residential real estate, a high degree of technical know-how is required for both new construction and retrofitting projects. Investments in energy efficiency can be

optimised through a solution that combines multiple engineering and design disciplines, such as architecture and a sustainable approach to MEP design. Another approach to consider is the implementation of an energy management system (EMS) in line with the ISO 50001 standard, which supports organisations in all sectors to use energy more efficiently. 3D computer modelling and dynamic simulation modelling can also be used to conduct energy efficiency and simulation studies. A tailored approach to sustainability

should begin at the concept design phase, as planning for carbon reduction and energy efficiency at this early stage of the building lifecycle will help to reduce costs

Market demand is driving energy efficient construction projects

and the complexity of the final product. A screening analysis approach could also be used to help save time by eliminating options that are not suitable. To revitalise existing buildings, an

energy efficiency consulting approach should focus on analysis, measurement and interpretation of all aspects of the project. For example, an energy audit could be used, covering process analysis, electro-technical system and consumers, heating systems, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as the condition of the building itself. The energy supply infrastructure and the energy demand of the main consumers within the building should also be measured, considering factors such as heat transmission, air distribution and potential re-use of waste heat during actual production processes. Based on the audit results, energy saving measures can be identified, including the savings potential for each proposed measure, as well as the costs and payback period of any required investment. By integrating passive and active design

elements for lighting, HVAC and other building processes, requirements for engineering services can be reduced by as much as 25 per cent, as well as reducing energy consumption and optimising efficiency in building operation. Such a holistic energy efficiency solution enables buildings to be future-proofed against rising utility costs and any new energy performance legislation. Building owners can also meet corporate social responsibility obligations and demonstrate building efficiency through sustainability scoring systems such as BREEAM. Several key factors are driving demand

for energy efficient and reduced emissions buildings, including market pressure, client expectations, operating cost reduction, social/corporate responsibilities and legislative requirements. Energy efficiency and emissions reduction in new buildings must be integrated from the design phase, while the value of existing properties will be enhanced with energy efficiency and other sustainability criteria. However, a strong degree of technical insight is required to implement the right blend of energy efficiency measures to optimise these benefits.

TÜV SÜD 16 SPRING 2019 | ENERGY MANAGEMENT 

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