The role of facilities management (FM) is evolving with the ever-changing sustainability landscape. FM has focused on operations and maintenance in large infrastructures within predetermined budgets. Though, as we knuckle down on sustainability, the post-construction service of FM goes beyond operations. As a result, we see an entrance into the realm of energy conservation.
Ensuring new buildings are sustainable and energy-efficient is vital in tackling climate change. Structures are reported to be responsible for forty per cent of energy consumption. Across the globe, buildings contribute to thirty-three per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. IREP provide best-in-class FM capabilities and in this article, we outline how Facilities Managers can drive energy efficiency.
Cutting costs and energy consumption
There is some inquisition whether erecting a new green construction – be it a mall, building, school, or hotel – is viable. Yet, FM in existing infrastructures is the most sustainable option because it offers:
- The ability to control operational costs
- Productivity of the workforce
- Promotion of energy savings, waste reduction and water conservation
Thus, existing buildings allow for vast expenditure cuts.
Christopher Hodges, the founder of Facility Engineering Associates, notes, “Facilities Managers control the facility’s operating costs, and they have the greatest amount of influence on the productivity of the workforce. Workforce costs are the greatest expense to an organisation: about ten to fifteen times that of the facility cost. Small improvements in workforce productivity can easily overcome the cost of facility improvements. Facility professionals manage about twenty-five to sixty per cent of an organisation’s hard assets. They have a huge amount of influence over the productivity of the workforce by influencing the comfort, health, and safety of the workplace.”
Improvements, as such, enable buildings to achieve sustainability objectives that form part of a continual business strategy.
John Samuels, Head of FM at International Real Estate Partners (IREP), shares his views on how FMs can help drive energy efficiency. He explains, “With pre-emptive strategies and continuous data collection, Facilities Managers can play a vital role in driving energy efficiencies in buildings. We see business costs drop by twenty-five per cent and energy consumption reduce by twelve per cent, often from day one.”
Natural daylight and sustainable standards
One way to improve operational efficiency without blowing the budget on FM is to absorb the benefits of natural light. Additionally, Matthew Smith, associate head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, notes the importance of harvesting the power of natural daylight. For example, he says, “one of many ‘no-cost’ initiatives forms part of good sustainable FM practices.
Achieving a right balance between natural daylight and artificial lighting systems can potentially have a direct impact upon the overall satisfaction and health of employees, which in turn is one of the crucial elements that govern the success of an organisation.”
The focal point of FM is to track operational efficiency by meeting building codes and sustainable regulations. Today, facilities need round-the-clock checks and inspections from ecological materials to energy-efficient devices.
One regulation drafted in 2021 is The Revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPDB). The EPDB standard requires existing buildings in EU countries to meet energy performance class E to be sold or rented. By January 233, these buildings need to meet energy performance class C.
FM energy conservation is a global issue, so we face similar challenges, albeit with varying regulations regardless of location.
It is not until we put these practices into place that buildings meet legal requirements, lower costs and boost performance.
DNV GL undertook the Commercial Facility Pulse Survey of almost five hundred facilities managers, concluding that energy efficiency is an effective investment strategy. For instance, Eighty-four per cent of survey respondents reported positive effects such as lower operating costs and higher employee productivity.
IREP’s support for Facilities Managers
Facilities Managers have the responsibility to drive into the energy transition and stay within the parameter of predetermined budgets. According to the Levelized Cost of Energy Report, the price of renewable energy has dropped by ninety per cent in the last decade. So, what better time to make this transition?
Natural daylight and sustainable standards are crucial to energy efficiency. So, we recently launched our Energy Saving Calculator to support FMs operating a greener business model.
With energy performance in mind, we examine each asset within your portfolio. We use our fully automated, self-serve business intelligence solution: IREPort. It takes data from all asset systems and puts it all in one place, in real-time.
IREP is a competent workforce that partners with you to find the best solution for you and the environment.