Commercial

What's the number one workplace complaint in the United States? According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the answer is temperature. The most common complaint is that the office is too cold.  The second most common complaint is that the office is too hot. 

Depending on the configuration of the heating and cooling systems, these complaints can occur in the same building at the same time of the year. Workers in an under-served area of the building may be wearing shorts to work in July, while at the same time workers in over-served areas of the same building have space heaters humming beneath their desks.
 
There are several reasons for poor temperature control in commercial buildings. Often, remodels and renovations have changed the configuration or use of the building, while mechanical systems are still performing to serve the old configuration. Aging equipment, sensor placement and undiagnosed equipment failures can also play a role.
 
The IFMA asked workers how they adapt to uncomfortable temperatures. 60% of workers who complained of offices that were chronically too cold admitted to using personal space heaters, even though they are banned from many sites for safety reasons.  56% admitted to blocking or redirecting vents. These workarounds make running your building even more costly, and in the case of space heaters lead to a safety issue.
 
The chart below illustrates the US Energy Information Administration's estimate of energy use in commercial buildings.
 
HVAC Cost in Commercial Buildings
 
As you can see, 51% of the energy used in commercial buildings goes to HVAC. At the same time, the US Department of Energy estimates that 30% of the power used in commercial buildings is wasted. A well performing building automation system, along with preventive maintenance to ensure equipment is performing as expected, ensures your building is running as efficiently as possible and that your occupants are comfortable.

 

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