Companies in the industrial sector are recognizing the importance of energy efficiency as a cost-savings method at their energy intensive sites, according to the Jones Lang LaSalle white paper, “Manufactured Energy Savings,” released in August. More than ever, these companies rely on sustainability minded facility management teams for value driven and innovative solutions to reduce consumption and, in turn, operational expenses.
“Industrial real estate dominates much of the energy consumption throughout the United States,” said Brenda Crisp, senior vice president and national industrial property management lead in Chicago, IL. “Management teams with solid knowledge of energy efficiency can help find energy savings in a number of systems and areas throughout an industrial building, often for no cost or low cost.”
In its Annual Energy Outlook 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that the industrial sector consumes one-third of the nation’s total delivered energy, and projects that the sector will report the second largest increase in total primary energy use between 2010 and 2035. That said, identifying and implementing effective solutions to reduce energy will remain a priority for the industry for years to come.
According to Bob Best, executive vice president of Chicago operations and product lead for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Energy and Sustainability Solutions Group, industrial building occupants and investors can cut costs and enhance property values by taking the following measures:
- HVAC: Making basic improvements to HVAC operating practices and systems can reduce energy expenses by 11%, on average.
- Lighting: Re-lamping, de-lamping, and integrating bi-level lighting, LED lights, and daylighting have proven to reduce energy expenses.
- Renewable Energy: Installing rooftop solar panels and ground source heat pumps reduces existing greenhouse gases, supports corporate/occupant sustainability goals and enables building owners to earn roof rent, reduce energy costs, and offset building improvement costs.
- Building Envelope: Configuring air control systems at loading docks, reconfiguring loading areas to block air flows with insulated walls, and using simple “venting strategies” can minimize air leaking through a building’s roof, walls, windows, or doors.
- Process Controls: Auditing air systems, motor controls, and water systems to determine efficiency and identify areas for adjustments can lead to savings.
In addition to taking the above steps to increase energy efficiency, industrial property managers are also leveraging “constant or continual commissioning.” This measure involves predictive analytical software that measures, tracks, and adjusts systems and equipment to increase optimization levels,
Technology alone can’t improve the efficiency of industrial buildings, though. Professionals, well-versed in energy efficiency must guide industrial sites to high performance.