Question: When the initial cost of designing a sustainable office building is so high — are there really saving costs that are worth that kind of investment?

Answer: Sustainable office buildings will achieve long-term savings when it comes to energy efficiency and is an environmentally responsible route to take. Saving in energy costs and lowering your carbon emissions is a smart business decision and we’ll tell you why.

While there aren’t always pure green intentions when businesses get sustainable, if it’s the saving costs that work as an incentive to get your company to get energy-efficient and more considerate of resources — the emissions are still being reduced and the environment is still benefiting.

The sustainable building trend for head offices is something the green community happily encourages. When a sustainable building is used as head quarters for a company or corporation, it helps to promote a green corporate identity that is well received by consumers, clients and the environment.

What areas will I find my savings in a sustainable building?

From you HVAC system to your lighting — the practice of water and energy efficiency will always result in savings. Heating and cooling costs make up for a significant amount of energy consumption in a commercial building. Whether you’re starting from the design stage and have the ability to integrate a super energy-efficient heating and cooling technology into the build — or you’re upgrading parts of your pre-existing HVAC system such as the chiller or variable speed drivers — energy efficiency is something businesses can look at as an opportunity for both savings and to get more sustainable.

In older commercial buildings, heating and cooling can account for a significant percentage of the building’s carbon emissions and energy can be easily wasted as these two opposing systems battle each other, according to the Guardian.

While new energy-efficient buildings with a sustainable design built in can tackle this conflict between heating and cooling with advanced technology that avoid wasting heat or cool air that’s generated by the system — this can be challenge for older buildings. Of course, to get efficient and avoid wasted heat, some businesses invest in heat recovery systems that recover heat and re-use it to provide hot water or heat for other areas of the building.

With energy monitoring systems and smart metering, buildings can identify where energy is being consumed and strategically avoid wasting energy.

“Thermal modeling can also help to clarify where heat recovery opportunities may lie,” reports The Guardian, “The consequent decreases in energy bills means that the upfront costs of installing complex integrated systems can often be recouped relatively quickly.”

In the accommodations scene, The Four Seasons Vancouver partnered with BC Hydro’s Power Smart program and targeted their HVAC system for optimal savings after realizing it was consuming 33 per cent of the hotels overall energy. With strategy and technology, they’ve managed to improve their bottom line. 

BizEnergy offers incentives for businesses

For businesses looking to get energy-efficient, we have incentives. We also have an interactive Energy Audit available.


Image credit: EIDEO Servizi Ingeneria Sri