According to the Department of Energy, every year much of the energy the U.S. consumes is wasted through transmission, heat loss and inefficient technology, costing American families and businesses money, and leading to increased carbon pollution. So the question remains, what can facility managers do to reduce their own building’s energy consumption and utility expenses?
First, identify areas and resources that are consuming the largest amount of utility costs and energy. Windows are one of the most common places heat and air loss occur, contributing to approximately 20 percent of energy loss. Insufficient insulation and air leaks around doors and windows are two other significant culprits. Once you have identified the main source of energy loss and where energy is being most used, start taking the necessary steps to remedy those specific areas.
From a building materials standpoint, managers can take advantage of technologically advanced products on the market today such as energy-efficient window film, solar panels or green insulation — to name a few. There is a vast selection of materials to choose from when constructing or renovating a structure to become an energy-efficient facility. While sustainable materials may have higher upfront costs than traditional materials most energy efficient products have much greater long-term benefits and savings. That’s why the future is focused on forward-thinking building strategies.
A prime example of a newly constructed building that is taking advantage of energy-efficient material is Southeast Bank in Knoxville, Tenn. In 2014, Southeast Bank constructed a new four-story commercial building that encompasses the local branch, service center, mortgage office and executive offices. Southeast Bank wanted to make sure their new building was energy-efficient. One of the materials they used to aide in this endeavor was tinted window film on all exterior-facing windows.
After careful consideration, Southeast Bank selected Madico’s Sunscape Purelite 40 to be professionally installed. The bank’s managers chose Purelite 40 because the film blocks more than 99 percent of UV rays, rejects 53 percent of total solar energy from entering the building and reduces glare, all while providing the sleek aesthetic that the Southeast Bank designers desired. The window film also regulates temperatures throughout the building and preserves its new flooring, paint and furniture, ultimately conserving energy—just through a high-quality tinted window film.
The Southeast Bank example shows how using even one type of energy-efficient material, such as window film, can dramatically reduce costs and save energy, reducing a building’s carbon footprint. Window film is an affordable and easy-to-install option for those working towards creating an energy-efficient facility. Professional installers are able to apply the film with little to no disruption to those working inside the facility. Window film may also help you attain LEED credits, getting your building closer to certification.
If you are considering renovating or upgrading your facility’s windows, first research adding film to the building’s current windows; often times it will provide the same results, along with many additional benefits. Professionally installed window film also costs a fraction of a complete window replacement. One of the easiest ways to reduce a commercial building’s energy consumption is through the improvements of windows, doors and insulation.
Michael Byrd is project manager for Madico Window Films based in St. Petersburg, Fla. He can be reached at email@example.com.