Before you sign off for the year, please spare a thought for your hard-working building.
Over the past year it’s kept you warm in winter, cooled you in summer, saved your legs with its lifts and powered your work spaces.
And many buildings will still be working hard over the holiday period – using lots of energy – despite being largely empty.
To illustrate this we did a little analysis on the energy consumption of five different building types from across the country, including:
- Commercial office tower
- Local council admin building
- Aquatic centre
- Retail store
- University faculty building
Last year Christmas day fell on a Thursday. In order to compare each building’s performance on Christmas day, two benchmark days are chosen – Sunday Dec 21st to represent a typical weekend day when the buildings are unoccupied, and Tuesday Dec 23rd, a typical weekday when the buildings are occupied.
The energy profile of the five buildings on each of the days is shown below. The benchmark weekday is shown in grey, Christmas day is in red and the benchmark weekend day is green. Note that the aquatic centre and retail store normally operate seven days a week.
The results clearly indicate that the local council admin building, uni building and commercial office tower were working much harder on Christmas Day than the weekend benchmark. Together, on average, these buildings consumed 87% more energy than the weekend benchmark.
|Building||Christmas Day vs Typical Weekend Day|
|Local council admin||+155%|
The retail building operates seven days a week, so its weekend benchmark isn’t too helpful, however, a meagre 7% decrease in energy consumption on Christmas Day compared to a typical day would indicate the building wasn’t told the 25th was a public holiday.
The standout here is the aquatic centre, which clearly enjoyed a relaxing day off. This particular facility won a significant sustainability award in 2014 and it’s nice to see their achievement being supported by the data.
It also serves as inspiration for all the facility managers who didn’t give their buildings some deserved TLC by offering them a holiday, particularly given that once again Christmas Day 2015 falls on what would normally be a work day for most buildings.
To help with this, we’ve teamed up with Arup to put together 15 Energy Saving Tips to Give Your Building a Holiday.
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