With pressure on Commercial Landlords and Occupiers alike, many business are trying to work out how they are going to achieve net zero from their existing Building stock. To make matters worse they also have to try and reduce Energy Consumption based on varying occupancy levels.
Finally there is there is the issue surrounding improving Indoor Air Quality.
These are all challenges that all businesses are facing, and clearly there is no "one sized fits all" answer. So how do you go about achieving net zero, whilst improving IAQ & Ventilation based on varying occupancy?
Measure it and Manage It
As has been said by others before, if you can't measure it then you can't manage it, and we have identified multiple buildings and systems where accurate data can be obtained.
1. Main meters This is an obvious one when it comes to doing something to reduce energy usage. Automatic meter readings are commonplace with modern pulse output Main Gas/Electric and Water meters, but what about older type analogue meters?
We have a range of retrofit reed switches that can fit virtually any type of meter no matter whether analogue or digital and no matter what age. This means we can offer remote reading of any type of meter. The objective is to provide bill validation.
2. Occupier Sub Meters
Since the changes to legislation in 2020, for multi-tenanted buildings, it's a requirement for tenants to have an accurate bill, but older buildings have always had to use the size of the occupied space as a benchmark and then landlords and management companies have had to provide service charge billing on that basis.
This has proved unpopular as many tenants that (occupy the same size space) as others could easily have 2-3 times more staff and therefore consume way more energy than one with less staff and on flexible occupancy.
To overcome this, tenants are now asking for their bill to show their actual energy consumption. Therefore, we can provide remote readings from existing sub-meters, but if needed, we can also fit new local heat/cool meters, which can accurately measure the heating, cooling and water consumption per floor/area/tenant.
The ROI is mainly to the benefit of the tenant, but the management company will gain great credibility by offering this as a service.
With the changes to working patterns since Covid and the drive to net zero, all at the forefront of people's minds, businesses are actively looking at ways of reducing energy consumption.
Measuring Occupancy enables bill payers to reduce the cooling/heating requirements, however, unless there is a physical interaction between the amount of people in a space and the ability to deliver localised ventilation, heating or cooling then delivering energy savings based on occupancy will be hard to deliver.
Through a partner, we can now provide a direct interaction based on occupancy to install automatic duct-mounted ventilation zone dampers, as well as interaction with local FCU control that delivers localised zone/area or room air only to those areas that are occupied rather than heating/cooling the entire floor.
We can also manage the energy consumption of individual assets such as chillers/VRF units, which in turn follows what has been stated above. Occupancy is key. Our latest generation Modbus units can interact with any 3rd party control system as needed, so others can make adjustments to settings to realise the savings being made. The ROI is self- evident.
Indoor Air Quality
Hybrid working is now the norm for many businesses, and since the advent of the Well Building standard, this is becoming ever more important, especially as buildings occupants have the ability to measure things like CO2 through phone apps. Building Users/occupants are demanding that landlords and building management companies provide a safe and comfortable working environment for them to return to post Covid.
Monitoring CO2 is easily available through small inobtrusive battery powered units, but also through the same sized unit, we can monitor other key things such as PM2.5, CO and TVOC's. Once an issue has been identified and notified to stakeholders then either manual or automatic actions can be triggered.
Coincidentally these tie into improvements in Ventilation strategies also being provided, but that will mean physical changes to existing equipment, and of course there will be a cost attached.
There is no doubt that more modern equipment will be more efficient than something that was installed 20+ years ago. Either way not everyone will want nor will be able to replace plant, but IoT monitoring is here to stay.
For net zero to be achieved then businesses have to look at everything that impacts on the energy that a building consumes. Renewables aren't always practical for a city centre office with limited or small roof space and fitting PV and wind turbines wont go far enough. For the moment fixing what we have now seems a good start.
Get in touch if you want a quote for an IoT monitoring system and join these companies who are already seeing the benefits