So here is a basic fact… large warehouses and distribution centres you see along the highway and industrial areas are built for one of two reasons.
- To act as a leasing property for small/medium businesses (leasing space to operate until they grow larger) – Warehouses
- To work alongside an existing companies infrastructure to optimize distribution processes – Distribution centre
The fascinating tidbit of information is most warehouses built do not contain proper energy saving equipment to prevent energy loss (heat/air conditioning). This is due to some builders opting to install more cost effective products – allowing tenants to make upgrades that best suit their particular business/operation. This practice of installing cost effective products is not negative – rather it may have been conditioned over decades of tenant expectations.
Trends For Saving Energy IN BUILDINGS
Within the next ten years I predict two events will occur in new builds (if not already in the process) for saving energy.
R-Value for buildings will be as crucial as homes being built
Any warehouse member can confirm (and I worked in and around them for over a decade collectively), that loading bays [loading docks] can be a nightmare for employees to stand around in the winter. This is due to improper seals around trucks when docked at the warehouse back doors. Caused by either low end material having wear-n-tear over time or improper installation – this situation is avoidable.
Moving forward, companies and builders (in part with LEED incentives) will need to ensure the buildings operational areas can maintain a tight seal.
The principal is simple – the more air escapes…the harder your HVAC will need to work to regenerate the heat/cold.
Maximize your interior HVAC efforts for saving energy
Buildings will see a mandate for a [relatively] new product in the market called High Volume, Low Speed Fans (HVLS Fans). These large diameter fans are able to equalize the temperates of a building to reduce the strain on HVAC systems. Thus saving valuable resources that can save a companies thousands annually.
Just like programmable thermostats, HVLS Fans will allow buildings to see fast return on investments by perfecting interior temperatures.
Resources for Saving Energy
Northern Dock Systems – an industry leader in loading dock equipment including seals and shelters and HVLS fans offers free energy audits for companies looking to evaluate and save operational costs.
Whalenado HVLS Fans – The coolest fan I have ever seen is designed and developed by a Canadian company. Also uses natural patented technology from nature (Whales) to move air with less effort and blades compared to similar brands.