The consumption of energy by buildings in different geographies, evidently is not the same.
We all know that everything from sunlight, the wind, ambient temperature, air quality, humidity and time of sunrise/sunset to the topography of a commercial building invariably affect how we use heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system and lighting.
In other words, the location and environment of your building determine the way your building consumes energy. And yet, there is a good chance that you have overlooked the importance of geography when planning for energy efficiency.
Has your building's energy-efficiency strategy been customised to suit its location? Does your building automation system integrate the nuances of your building's geography and the climate, and use them to deliver optimal energy efficiency?
Unless your building automation system is ahead of the curve and is predictive and proactive, chances are your answer to these questions is a big 'No.' In effect, in the absence of a balanced approach, your building is not equipped to actively and passively reduce energy usage while maximising comfort.
How do location and climate fit into the energy savings formula?
Did you know that 1 per cent increase in temperature leads to 1.17 per cent hike in energy demand in hot climates? Cooler climates, alternatively, reduce energy consumption as the temperature drops. While trees, landscaping and hills provide shade, keeping buildings cool in hot, humid climates, they act as heat insulators in cooler climates. A building's heating energy consumption is also directly proportionate to the wind speed and direction. The more the wind, the more the heating and cooling load. Shorter days would mean increased dependence on artificial illumination and so on. In brief, each location needs different measures for lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation to keep buildings comfortable.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution!
The variations in climatic and geographic elements from one location to another make a one-solution-fits-all approach to energy management inadequate, leading to energy wastage and increased energy costs.
To combat these inefficiencies, what you need is an intelligent building automation system that understands the behaviour of your building and its dynamic environment. It should be capable of incorporating insights from weather forecasts, learnt behaviour of your building and patterns of climatic changes in your building's environment. It should combine these insights with real-time data feed from your building to draw a unique, customised energy-efficiency strategy that ensures minimal energy consumption and maximum occupant comfort.
The perfect energy management plan not only incorporates technology that is sustainable, but also takes the inevitable environmental elements into account. A state-of-art building automation system or energy management system should be able to: