Reducing energy consumption in a post covid world
A sector long overlooked until now, Facilities Managers the world over have been under constant pressure during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic to date. It’s become evident Coronavirus will have fundamental impact on their goals and objectives for the foreseeable future and beyond.
Building performance strategies and standards have been regimented and goalposts have constantly moved over the last two decades. But now, the whole sector has been thrown a curveball, with the overriding priority being to keep building occupants safe from virus transmission.
Yes, buildings still need to be comfortable, functional and efficient, but who will even step inside if they are reported to have no provision for limiting transmission of viruses? No distancing measures, no ventilation and no anti-bac freely available?!
Most importantly, those previously charged with target emissions rates (TERs) and sustainability goals are now being forced to ignore targets and blow budgets to become compliant with new post-Covid guidelines, but this is not always necessary and indeed savings can even be made.
Building services like HVAC systems that re-circulate used air are being upgraded and other potentially bacteria harbouring equipment replaced, in order to comply with the latest CIBSE Covid guidelines. Not to mention the huge increases in required maintenance, cleaning and building running costs.
Whilst under so much pressure to recover from the impact made on the world’s economy, when will building and facilities managers get time to stop and consider the most cost and energy efficient solutions?
The more traditional methods seem to have been forgotten whilst we seek new innovative ways to ensure safety and comfort in our buildings. Natural ventilation and daylight provides comfortable, safe environments for users, and can be energy efficient, even in a construction industry focused on building performance.
The alternative to costly, energy guzzling air conditioning systems for example, are passive cooling techniques such as fixed external shading, which block solar heat gain. They use no energy themselves and can reduce or even eliminate the need for mechanical space cooling. Furthermore, external systems help balance the amount of natural daylight within the building, significantly lowering the need for artificial lighting.
MicroLouvre™ screens have been used as window coverings since the 1940’s, to protect buildings from excessive heat gain. The unique construction of angled miniature bronze louvres stop the sun’s heat from ever reaching the window, whilst the fabric’s 80% open area allows through optimum unfiltered daylight and fresh air when windows are opened. The angled louvres also redirect air movement upwards helping to clear hot air outwards. Moreover, it has been tested and proven by LBNL to significantly reduce the need for HVAC by 68% - and with it, the potentially harmful recirculation of used air. MicroLouvre™ is the answer to the new normal in building safety and comfort.
With its passive, angle selective, maintenance free technology, MicroLouvre™ supports all today’s energy saving, occupancy comfort and sustainable building performance requirements.
Read more about how MicroLouvre™ can improve your building’s performance through superior solar shading here .