Market Research

Energy Efficient Warehouses, BIM & Energy Simulations can Cut Down Utility Bills


It should not come to us as a shock that, U.S. consumes on an average of 6.1 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 13,400 Btu - British thermal unit of natural gas per square foot annually. 76% of total consumption is of lighting and space heating, making it an obvious target for energy saving. Refrigerated warehouses are more energy-intensive than their non refrigerated counterparts, because of the large amount of energy consumed by refrigeration equipments. These equipments consume about an average of 24.9 kWh of electricity and 9,200 Btu of natural gas per square foot per year. Energy management system, it seems is an ideal solution to save energy at warehouse and distribution centers as well. How about if you can save up to 20% on energy bills without a prominent capital investment? Source

Unlike other commercial buildings, even small measures can make a huge difference and help facility managers save thousands of dollars when it comes to warehouses.

Different buildings have different necessities and means of saving energy.  For instance, using Energy-saving equipments for a warehouse can make great impact on energy consumption compared to the usual HVAC strategy, which we think of. The cost of operating equipments in facilities and distribution center is a black hole of electrical power. You can try cutting on this electrical demand by upgrading those high efficiency motors which gulp power like anything.


Conveyors, AS/RS etc. can be powered by efficient motors or variable frequency drives. One more way to reduce power consumption, is to retrofit existing conveyor motors with highly efficient, variable-speed motors which feature a “soft-start” that reduces the mechanical shock to the conveyor belts when restarting, significantly cutting maintenance costs. In addition, the “soft start” alleviates the motors’ high draw of electrical current during a restart.

Building Envelope retrofit is inclusive of weather stripping for doors and windows, window caulking, new insulation for roof-wall intersections and the sealing of penetrations through the building shell. Hence, while planning the energy simulation of a whole building, incorporating all areas such as lighting, MEP and many more, can reduce the payback period and can be pocket-pleasing.

What and Why of Sustainability Analyses Using BIM

The prime benefit of using BIM in a design phase project is that it eliminates the “what if” scenarios and can make design adjustments easy in case of any changes and improves the retrofitting and environmental features of the building. With a few minor nips in the BIM software, it’s easy to go over quickly on different designs and enhance for the best environmental performance. BIM is the best means of explanation when conversing with non-technical stakeholders. Numerous sustainability analyses can be done using BIM for any commercial building.

Residential Buildings:

Energy efficiency: Taking Rough design ideas and fall of a pre-decided building concept onto the prospective location are not new things, while constructing a new building. With this data, a baseline energy efficient data is generated. Visualizing the building model 360 degrees, and rerunning the energy efficiency, it becomes easy to identify the suited place for the building construction.

Photovoltaic potential: Solar panels installation has been used quite a lot of times and it is convenient for cutting back on energy consumption. BIM allows you to understand the sun and shadow patterns and give a clear idea of optimizing it accordingly.

Heat island effect: LEED certification is valuable as well fruitful or the owners. Now to obtain this, it’s important to look for ways of reducing heat island effect and make sure your warehouse isn’t turning into one. BIM can help in selecting paving and building surface that can help reduce this heat.

Air flow modeling: BIM can analyze and simulate Computational Fluid Dynamics air flow. Modeling air flow is important for thermal comfort in buildings, particularly those with large atria. In certain specialized building spaces, such as storage room or operating room, air flow model is more than important.


Demand of energy efficient structures have increased, and so have increased the innovative ways we help our clients cut on their utility bills. We assist them in conserving energy to enhance building performance. Through BIM and energy simulations, we help to meet sustainability challenges and improve building efficiency.

About Author: Hiral Patel is a news editor and has been contributing to the AEC industry since last 7 years. She mainly writes about the application of BIM across Architecture, MEP and Structural sectors. Her focus is towards encouraging construction companies, sub-contractors and architects to adopt right technologies to improve efficiency and profitability.

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