Smart Choices For An Energy Efficient Modular Building
Would you believe that 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily? With approximately 5.6 million commercial buildings in the US, that’s a lot of inefficient energy consumption. There is an opportunity, however, to break the cycle of bloated energy costs in your business. When you use modular construction to expand your business there are several choices you can make in the design and operation of your building to create an energy efficient modular building that will curb unnecessary energy costs and positively impact your bottom line.
Choosing Energy Efficient Options
For a long time, modular construction has been making headlines for its achievements in keeping more construction waste out of our landfills. From better inventory management and less material waste to the adaptability and reusability of the final product, modular plays a major role in the movement towards sustainable construction.
Not only is modular construction leaps and bounds more efficient when it comes to controlling construction waste, it also provides opportunities for energy efficient operations when you take occupancy of your commercial building. Many of the green building components listed below allow you to create an energy efficient modular building.
Windows – Energy efficient windows are designed to maximize solar heat gain in the winter and minimize it in the summer, in addition to lowering air leakage rates. They allow your building’s heating and cooling system to operate more efficiently.
Lights – Lighting accounts for about 23% of commercial energy consumption and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) can save a great deal of energy. CFL lighting uses about 1/4 of the amount of energy as incandescent bulbs, so a 75-watt fixture will use just 19 watts of electricity.
Sensor Switches – There are certain areas of your commercial building that may not be in use for hours at a time, including storage rooms, meeting rooms, or restrooms. Installing motion sensor switches will keep lights off when no one is around, adding potential savings on your energy bills.
High-Efficiency HVAC – The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will be big contributors to the energy efficiency of your modular building. Something as simple as a programmable thermostat allows you to save on heating and cooling costs after-hours or on the weekends.
Roofing Color – You might not give much thought to roofing color, beyond what looks aesthetically pleasing, but the colors you choose can affect the temperature inside your building. In warmer climates, roofing that is gray or contains flecks of white can reflect heat and prevent absorption. In colder climates, dark roofs will help snow melt faster and absorb heat.
Want to take energy efficient roofing even further? Modular buildings can be constructed with solar panels which produce their own energy for electricity or heating.
Additional Advice for Energy Efficiency
Track your efforts using the EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool to benchmark your energy performance and cut down on your energy bills. A recent study of participants found that by tracking their efforts towards being energy efficient, they saved about 2.4% per year in energy costs. To give you an idea of how much that small percentage represents:
For a 500,000-square-foot office building
- Cumulative cost savings of $120,000
- Increase in asset value of over $1 million
For an 800,000-square-foot school district
- Cumulative cost savings of $140,000
- Salary of 1.2 full-time teachers each year
Looking for more advice on building or expanding using energy efficient options? Contact a modular building expert in your area for more information on bringing down your energy costs.