Researchers studied the energy cost savings in a 500,000 square foot building by adjusting heating and cooling based on the number and location of human occupants and found that such monitoring could save buildings of similar size up to $40,000 per year in HVAC expenses.
Since just a small percentage of office buildings in any given year are newly built, Brambley and Liu say a prime target for these advanced controls is retrofitting existing buildings. Liu notes that technology has leaped forward since 1989 — the year the average large office building was built – offering huge energy gains even with the expense of retrofitting.
While such technology may require changes to building codes that require certain HVAC ranges at all times, the ability to adjust a building’s environment based on usage would significantly lower cost and energy use. The findings of this survey will no doubt inspire more technology providers and builders to invest in sensoring technology – yet another preview of the jobsite of the future.