Greener Offices: How Eco-Friendly Innovation is Changing HVAC
Many businesses are interested in the things they can do to become more eco-friendly and benefit the environment. With climate change increasingly impacting individuals and companies across the globe, there is an onus on doing more in this area. Given companies can have significant carbon footprints, it is not surprising to realize they can do even more to help.
Of course, one of the most significant aspects of any business’ carbon footprint is its office. The use of energy for heating, lighting, powering equipment and keeping the environment comfortable is significant. However, there is actually a lot companies can do to keep their office energy use down.
The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system an office has plays a huge role in its use of energy. Power-hungry, inefficient systems can use up a significant amount of electricity. This is not only expensive for the business, it is also harmful to the environment. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, businesses are looking for more eco-friendly solutions to integrate with their HVAC system.
Here we will take a look at some of the ways businesses are modernizing their HVAC system and utilizing green energy, technology and innovation to make this easier.
Harnessing Solar Power
Perhaps one of the most obvious places to start in terms of running HVAC systems in a more eco-friendly way is to look into solar power. Solar power has undoubtedly become one of the most popular forms of renewable energy for companies to invest in. It can also be extremely effective for those individuals who own the building they work in, as they can place solar panels on the roof.
The simplest and most effective solution is to have a solar array powering the heating and air conditioning system in your office. If you don’t own the building, it may take some negotiating with the owners. But you may find they are amenable to the idea as it can add value to the property and reduce energy costs.
Of course, some companies have the resources to go a step further. A great example of this can be seen at Google, which is launching its new Bay View campus complete with a technology being referred to as ‘dragonscale’ solar skin. This is a type of building-integrated photovoltaic panel which is physically built into the structure of the building.
This kind of innovation is only possible with a great deal of forward planning. Fortunately, many larger businesses are now in the position to make these kinds of investments.
Some of the technologies becoming commonplace in the home are also finding their way into offices. A good example of this is the smart thermostat. Many offices now use a smart thermostat to automatically track and operate the heating and air conditioning needs within the building.
Smart thermostats can be programmed to keep the office at a specific temperature. These types of thermostats can monitor the levels of heating and air conditioning as well. Another advantage of a smart thermostat is it can be used to manage the thermostat remotely. This means if someone forgets to turn off the air-conditioning before they go home, it can be done remotely instead.
Running this kind of system is both far more cost-efficient and will reduce the amount of energy used. It will also ensure staff can work at a comfortable temperature throughout the day.
Systems Focused on Efficiency
One of the best forms of eco-friendly innovation comes in the better design of HVAC systems themselves. Experts in this field have evolved their knowledge considerably in recent years. Then, when this is combined with the fact new eco-friendly technology is available at lower prices than ever before, it’s easy to see efficiency-focused systems are simple to acquire.
BSE FM is one HVAC-provider putting a significant focus on the environmental impact of its systems. “We have seen an increased interested in HVAC systems that help companies meet sustainability targets and allow them to achieve their long-term property value goals,” says Philip Todd, the company’s managing director “we have been able to do this through utilizing sustainable materials with traceability and focusing on local products with a longer lifespan”.
It is also true HVAC technicians now place an emphasis on efficiency and the smart running of products.
Utilizing Recycled Materials
Recent years have added a greater focus on utilizing recycled materials within a company’s HVAC system. It is now possible to more easily build systems with eco-friendly or recycled products. An interesting example of this is the duct insulation made with recycled denim. This may only be a small change on the surface, but multiple small changes can make a big difference.
The HVAC industry is continuously looking for new ways to incorporate more eco-friendly options into its design and building stage.
Changing HVAC Jobs
It is also interesting to consider how the advent of eco-friendly technology is impacting HVAC professionals. The greater interest in systems with a lower carbon footprint means designers, installers and technicians need to be more aware of the range of technologies out there, and how they can be integrated.
Remember, this will not only affect the consultation with the client and the initial design stage, but it will be vital in maintaining the HVAC system. Professionals in the industry need to consider this an essential part of their role.
Is Your Business Ready for Eco-Friendly HVAC?
Given the potential benefits in cost savings and increasing productivity from eco-friendly HVAC, it is easy to see why businesses would be interested in them. The responsibility is on companies of all sizes to look into the possibilities for their office and find the best energy-efficient solution.