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Retrofitting for beginners

Little changes to your place of business can have a big impact on sustainability and your bottomline.
By Inna Abinuman |
<>The equipment survey looks at the current state of elevators, pumps, and the like. Based on these assessments, and your budget, decide whether you need to retrofit, in phases or in one go. Meanwhile, here are six easy steps to start transforming your place of work or business into a sustainable and environment-friendly space.

 

1.Use the building envelop—the shape, size and positioning of the roof, walls, windows and doors—to be energy-efficient. Reposition old windows or make new ones to bring in natural light and catch the breeze. Windows or doors that face the sun contribute to letting heat in the building, so move them if you can. If not, use heavy curtains to block off the heat. Use these methods instead of adding air-conditioning or lighting.

 

2. Clean, repair or replace your air-con units; air-conditioning is responsible for up to 60 percent of your electricity bill. Dirty filters, worn-out ducts and cooling coils can be remedied by good maintenance. Toss very old units and switch to modern, energy-efficient models.

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3. Be enlightened about light bulbs.Switch to CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) or LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs from incandescent or halogen bulbs that consume more energy and produce even more heat. Tip: a CFL bulb is five times as bright as an incandescent bulb. Imagine the energy savings resulting from using a CFL bulb.

 

4.Re-pipe to be able to use recycled or rain water to flush toilets and urinals, and install low-flow or aerated faucets and showerheads. Flushing the toilet, on average, makes up 30 percent of your water bill.

 

5.Chuck out materials that are costly to maintain, and even harmful to your health. Carpets, cubicle separators, etc. that absorb moisture, molds and germs affect your indoor air quality and ultimately the health of your staff.

 

6.Don’t neglect renewable energy. Solar roof panels may still be expensive, but prices are steadily going down. Start with a small panel to power light bulbs that are kept on the entire day, such as those in your fire escape or dark corridors

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