Consultancy shows how to fit a building's use to design for energy savings

Building services and low energy consultants, OR Consulting, has identified more than £220,000 of savings in the last year. The London-based firm has carried out more than 20 environmental audits during the period, 16 of which were for NHS Direct, encompassing 22,000 m2 of accommodation. Total clients fees were around £50,000 with each audit costing between £2,200 and £2,500.

Properties audited by OR Consulting have been boosted by:

• Reviewing a building’s design to see if it truly reflects how it is being used

• Resetting internal setpoints

• Regulating fresh air supply rates to reflect occupancy

• Zoning plant operation to reflect the hours of operation of different areas

• Reviewing control strategies

• Examining the operational efficiency of the plant

• Identifying water conservation measures

• Proposing measures to improve building fabric performance and;

• Identifying possibilities for the introduction of renewable technologies.

First principles

Director of OR Consulting, Peter Roberts, said measurement was key to the firm’s success: “We go back to first principles to understand how they use their building and demonstrate, through monitoring and targeting, how the building can be better operated."

He added that the end result was often better than expected. "Very often the actual savings can't be predicted. A client recently saved made 30% of actual energy savings on the 15% we had identified."

As well as for NHS Direct, OR has carried out environmental audits for Close Brothers, PLC and the Transport Research Lab in Bracknell. OR has been accredited to carry out air conditioning inspections with Article 9 of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.