A single advanced building control in development could slash 18% off the annual energy bill of the average large office building with no loss of comfort, according to a report by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
“An 18-percent boost in building energy efficiency by modifying a single factor is very, very good,” said team leader Michael Brambley. “The savings were much greater than we expected. Using the number of people in a room as a factor in determining the level of air flow offers great promise for saving energy and money.”
The PNNL team estimates that the advanced controls would save at least $40,000 annually for each building similar in size to the one modeled in the study. In two cities, Baltimore and Fairbanks, the savings stretch to more than $100,000 each year, because of the greatly reduced need to heat new air being pumped in from the cold outdoors. Even in the two cities where the savings would be the least, El Paso and Miami, estimated savings come to $33,400 and $23,500, respectively.
“While buildings have gotten much more efficient in the last two decades, there are still huge gains to be had,” noted Brambley.
The full press release is available at http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=995.