Offices see reduction in energy use

18 Jul 2014

Use of mobile devices and other new ways of working mean many offices in the UK are using much less energy than they are capable of, according to a new report.

The British Council for Offices (BCO) says workplaces with one employee per 10 sq m only tend to use around 60% of the energy the 2009 BCO Guide recommends.

Those with 8 sq m per worker use around three quarters of the energy they are advised to accommodate.

It asked the Hilson Moran consultancy firm to carry out research on office energy loads and the information will form a part of the BCO Guide to Specification, due to be published in September.

The amount of energy used to power office heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems should be a little less than a building uses in electricity to make sure it can cope with peak periods of computer equipment use, the BCO advises.

It says energy use in offices is falling because of modern working trends.

Employees are more frequently away from their desks than they used to be and use battery powered mobile devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.

This change is expected to continue in the coming years as technology improves, meaning even less energy will be used, the report predicts.

It is good news for building and facilities managers as it means the specifications of office buildings can be reduced, which will help them cut costs and meet energy consumption targets.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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