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Atlanta Retrofit Specialists – Reducing Energy Consumption For Building Owners

Because energy efficient construction in Atlanta¬† is the construction of the future, it is often represented in web and print media with photographs of newly constructed “green” buildings. However, companies that provide energy efficient construction do a sizable amount of their business by retrofitting already existing buildings with energy efficient solutions. Because a commercial building’s interior lighting and HVAC systems comprise 40 to 60 and 30 percent of its annual electrical usage, respectively, an efficient retrofit plan commonly focuses on optimizing lighting and HVAC elements to offer the greatest bottom line results.

When a company retrofits its old lighting system, it can usually expect to achieve a 50 percent annual reduction in electrical cost that results from interior lighting; a sizable sum for companies that occupy large office buildings, run manufacturing plants or have multiple buildings at one location. Once an energy-efficiency consultant records a building’s lighting data, retrofitting recommendations are based on the company’s goal and objectives as set forth in an initial meeting with the consultant. Two forms of inefficient lighting that are commonly replaced are metal halide lighting and older T-12 fluorescent lighting. Once in place, the new lighting system may be connected to automatic dimmers that regulate brightness according to natural lighting and work shifts.

In addition to wasting electricity, old lighting systems commonly produce more heat than energy efficient lighting, causing further energy inefficiency by raising a building’s temperature and making the chiller in its HVAC system use more electricity.

HVAC systems contain three elements that are commonly targeted for energy efficient retrofit in Atlanta: boiler system, chiller system and air handler system. In older HVAC systems, the chiller and air distribution fans are often oversized for the size of the building that they serve, meaning that they use the excessive electricity without producing enhanced results. Thus, achieving a significant reduction in electrical costs by retrofitting HVAC can be as simple as replacing larger elements with smaller ones, with research showing that reducing the size of distribution fans can cut an air distribution system’s power usage by 50 percent. In the case of boilers, replacing an inefficient boiler with a high efficiency boiler can reduce boiler power usage by 30 percent.

Perhaps the biggest reason why most companies don’t become serious about efficient Atlanta construction is that they only see the upfront cost and not the long-term cost savings. While a consummate retrofitting plan will cost some money, most efficient solutions can be expected to paying for their implementation price within two years. Ultimately, energy inefficiency doesn’t just give you a large energy bill; it eats away at your bottom line year after year. And in a financial climate where product and employee cutbacks are the norm, how nice would it be to cut your energy costs instead of your products and the people who helped make them?

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