Millions of offices in the world open their doors to workers and customers every day. This means a huge energy waste if we consider the elevated number of electronic equipment, cooling systems, elevators or lighting systems used to perform their duties.

The air conditioning in offices and buildings represents the hugest energy waste. Basically, this energy consumption is due to the lack of a previous research, which can provide us with the statistics of the real air conditioning needs of the company or business. Although it is shown that the efficient use of the energy can represent between 5 and 25% saving.

Which measures can be taken by the offices to reduce their energetic waste and become more sustainable?

Insulation is one of the most neglected points, but one of the most important elements to achieve energy efficiency. Improving building insulation, we can reduce up to 30% of heating and cooling needs.

Firstly, structural improvements should be made, that means, walls, floors and building facade should be insulated. At the same time, leaks derived from doors and windows also must be reduced. In order to avoid these temperature losses, the ideal is to choose automatic doors that open only as needed, remaining closed when there is no movement. And windows should have double glazing. Both measures provide thermal and acoustic insulation, increase comfort and reduce electricity bills.

Conditioning is a key to increase the workers’ productivity and the expected energy savings. In addition to monitoring internal ventilation and CO2 levels, temperature must be controlled and fixed between 21 and 23ºC, depending on the season. The air conditioning system should be adapted to the characteristics of the building, providing an optimal working environment in which workers will be more efficient and wherein we can ensure the lowest energy usage. If these standards are modified, it will incur in higher expenses. Within this section, it is essential to invest in efficient equipment and undertake regular reviews, in order to avoid the spoiling of its function.

Lighting also plays an important role in achieving energy sustainability. Apart from installing efficient equipment and fulfil the cleaning and maintenance issued by the manufacturer, it would be desirable the installation of light-sensitive cells, presence sensors or time switches, without forgetting that we should get the most out of the sunlight to avoid the usage of the artificial light.

As we can see, thanks to the commitment of the administration, teaching healthy habits of consumption and the use of new technologies and renewable energies, companies are becoming aware in reducing energy consumption, so, gradually a cleaner, sustainable and efficient worker environment will be achieved.