Commercial and institutional buildings energy use and expenses differ significantly from residential. The typical residential electric bill is based on monthly usage and not the intensity of usage at any one time while the commercial customer electric bill is often largely based on the amount of energy intensity that they used.
There are many opportunities to save energy in commercial buildings. In new construction, the site can be chosen so as to maximize opportunities to face to the north or south, away form direct sun. If there are many tasks needing lighting, the use of daylight can be incorporated into the design. Windows can be selected to maximize the visible portion of the spectrum of sunlight while reflecting the non-visible portion. Commercial buildings with high occupancy such as offices, schools (see our research on school facilities), and public buildings often require cooling through most of the year because the people and associated activities put off heat. Choosing an appropriate cooling system for removing heat and moisture is important. In humid climates the key factor in design of such systems is the amount of outside air brought in for ventilation. Lighting systems should complement the daylighting system, and a roof system that rejects the heat is extremely helpful. Once the construction is complete, the building should be commissioned to verify that it works as planned.
Don’t miss our priority list for commercial building construction. You may also be interested in learning about commercial HVAC systems or understanding Building Science. Daylighting information and slide shows on the justifications for energy efficient and renewable energy systems, daylighting design, and on energy efficient window design and selection is also available on our site. Check out our various training programs including our course on Designing the Failure Proof Building. Finally, you may want to check our publication database for a number of relevant publications.
Lighting contributes significantly to energy use in buildings, both nonresidential and residential. Not only do the lights themselves use energy but lights also increase AC load. Thus, lighting significantly impacts energy use.
|Walls & Roofs
Walls and Roofs can have an important effect on interior comfort conditions in both the residential and non-residential sectors. Walls and roofs come into direct contact with the exterior environmental conditions. FSEC can help determine what is useful for both energy efficiency and comfort.
This section is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers regarding commercial HVAC systems. Example: What is HVAC? How does my AC Work? By clicking on the link above you will receive questions and answers on HVAC Systems.
|Cleaning & Maintenance
This section is based on the publication "Creating a Green and Profitable Work Environment". The publication is broken into six sections and an appendix. All sections are available for download and viewing through Adobe Acrobat. The full publication is also available.
This section on windows discusses such topics as: the two key differences from residential windows, glazing systems, skylights, diffusing skylights, spectrally selective coatings, shading skylights, tubular daylighting devices, energy savings, and sizing skylights.