Before COVID-19 struck, it felt like everyone was talking about net zero carbon. The UK Government became one of the first major economies to commit to a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050, and a host of big businesses followed suit: Apple, Microsoft, Nestlé, British Airways, BP, Shell, Ikea and more.Meanwhile, the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment was also gaining traction, securing more signatories. This commitment challenges companies, cities, states and regions to ensure that all buildings they directly operate achieve net zero carbon by 2030, and for them to advocate that remaining buildings do so by 2050.In short, there was a real momentum gathering around net zero carbon.
Degree days are the most underused performance metrics in energy data analysis. Simultaneously, they are widely misunderstood and therefore misused.Weather conditions are the most influential factor when it comes to the variability of energy use in buildings. Even in a moderate climate such as the UK’s, changes in the requirement for heating and cooling typically accounts for 50%-70% of the variation in usage over the course of a typical year. In other words, regardless of everything else that’s going on inside or outside our buildings, changes in weather account for nearly all fluctuations we see day to day, week to week or month to month. If you’re not going to use degree days for your energy data analysis, then you may as well be blindfolded. It would be like going on a diet but not tracking how much you eat.
There is very little doubt surrounding the fundamental role that energy efficiency plays in the success of commercial real estate making a return once the world reaches somewhere close to normal. Whether you refer to it as sustainability, energy efficiency or building optimisation, the need for us all to ‘run buildings better’ is increasing exponentially.There will be an understandable emphasis placed on healthy workplaces in the coming months but that can’t be at the expense of a building's buildings carbon footprint. Equally, businesses must do what they can to minimise excessive operational costs after months with little, or no revenue. With running costs associated with electricity, gas and water constituting up to 50% of a commercial building operating costs, efficiency measures are a viable cost-saving measure, but this can’t be at the expense of occupant well being. You see where I’m going with this…The three underlying driving factors of building optimisation are:
No-one said it would be easy. But did it have to be this hard? At least it’s hard AND fun at the same time.Here are the seven lessons of building optimisation that we learned during the years since the founding of Fabriq - so you don't have to!
Apologies for the title. Yes, it helped to grab your attention. And no, we didn’t support the guy during the election and definitely no – we will not “just get along” now that he’s made it to the top. Instead we will fight harder than ever before to protect the planet and reduce our consumption of natural resources and toxic emissions. It might even make the RoW (rest of world = everyone outside of the rust belt) more united in fighting the good fight.
The property industry is notorious for sticking to existing processes and tools (or the lack thereof). Energy management in buildings is often an initiative that’s spread across various internal stakeholders and external contractors. This can lead to a loss of accountability and momentum to address inefficiencies. Implementing new solutions or technologies becomes a painfully long-drawn process. Combine the two - energy and buildings - and you have one of the most challenging markets to effect positive change in.