According to a report from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researchers believe they’ve developed an advanced building control that might reduce the annual energy bill of large off buildings by up to 18%.
The device the researchers created senses the number of people in various zones in the building and adjusts air movement and fan speed to maximize ventilation.
This may not sound like much, but it’s a huge change from the standard sensor-based ventilation systems found in nearly every large office building now.
Researchers estimate that advanced controls might save the average office building up to $40,000 annually. In colder climates, like Baltimore, Maryland and Fairbanks, Alaska, the savings is upward of $100,000 annually since there is less of a need to heat air being pumped in from the cold outdoors. In warmer climates, like El Pas and Miami, two cities where savings were assumed to be lower, the average office building in each location saved between #33,400 and $23,500.
Being able to retrofit existing buildings is critical since more office buildings are older rather than newer.
Since heating and cooling uses much more energy than lighting, advance building controls offers a greater opportunity for savings.