With the price of energy on a constant upward trajectory and the value of efficient building practices continuing to increase, now is the best time to boost the energy efficiency of your office.
From insulated skylights to an office layout that allows for simple, unobstructed air flow, improving your office’s energy efficiency has numerous benefits. Read on for a quick primer in the five biggest benefits of making your office more energy efficient.
1. Reduce your energy bills
A 2003 report from the California Sustainable Building Task Force indicates that a two percent increase to a construction budget assigned to energy efficiency results in a ten times return on investment in reductions to energy spending.
With the cost of energy making what was one a minor financial footnote a serious business expense, increasing your building’s energy efficiency rating is a great way to reduce your long-term operating costs.
Many offices spend as much as 40 percent of their energy bill on lighting and heating solutions – two expenses that can be substantially lowered using natural light and a more efficient form of building insulation.
2. Improve workplace productivity
A 2012 study by Swiss scientist Mirjam Muench found that employees feel less tired, more productive, and significantly happier when working in an office that’s lit using natural sunlight.
Energy inefficient buildings frequently make use of artificial lighting – a solution to poor design that results in increased employee stress and decreased output. Using natural light in your office not only reduces bills – it increases productivity, too.
3. Reduce heat loss and heat transfer
Does your office rapidly lose its heat when you turn off your heating system? Do you start to feel sweaty and uncomfortable within minutes of switching off your office’s air conditioner? Both situations are signs of a building with insufficient insulation.
Using insulation to reduce ambient heat loss and solar heat gain is one of the easiest ways to decrease your energy expenses while eliminating your dependence on heat pumps and air conditioning.
4. Benefit from a comfortable environment
Did you know that long-term exposure to artificial lighting can reduce your body’s ability to fight off diseases and disrupt your circadian rhythm? In a 2009 study from Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers found that artificial light can lead to depression, immune system deficiencies, and other worrying health effects.
While artificial light can lead to a variety of negative health effects, exposure to light from a natural source – particularly that doesn’t pass UV into your environment – is linked to an increase in comfort and happiness, as well as reduced stress levels.
5. Increase the value of your property
Because of the long-term savings in energy usage that a green building produces, an office that’s energy efficient is almost always worth more than its energy dependent counterparts.
If your business owns its own office complex, one of the best ways to increase your office’s value is to invest in energy efficiency. A small investment in natural lighting and insulation can increase your office’s sale price should you ever need to upgrade to a larger working environment.