There’s no getting around the fact that dental offices typically use a lot of energy. Between x-ray machines, lighting, computers, and other pieces of equipment, dental offices can become very inefficient in their energy use. Commercial office buildings use large amounts of energy, but 30% of this energy is wasted or used inefficiently.
When beginning your dental office construction or remodeling process, it’s important to take steps towards energy conservation. Designing your dental office to be energy efficient can help you save money and create a greener office space in the long run.
Keys to Becoming Energy Efficient
- Turn Off Lights and Electronics When Not In Use
- Switch To LED Lighting
- Invest In Quality Insulation
- Natural Lighting
- Energy Management Automation
- Measure Your Consumption and Track Your Progress
1. Turn Off Lights and Electronics When Not In Use
If you’re after energy efficiency in your dental office construction or office build out, this is the simplest step to take. You probably forget to turn off lights, or put computers in energy saving mode when you’re not using them. Developing a habit of turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use can actually be huge in creating an energy efficient office.
According to Energy Star, 10 to 40% of lighting costs in your office can be reduced simply by turning off lights. Energy costs are also reduced when electronics are put in energy saving mode, and then turned off at the end of the work day. Building these simple habits are an easy step in improving energy efficiency in your dental office.
2. Switch To LED Lighting
Lighting is probably one of the most important parts of dental office construction and design. Lighting is also a huge energy consumer in your dental office. It makes up for anywhere between 25 to 30% of your total energy consumption. LED lighting is a quick, easy, and efficient way to reduce lighting costs and improve energy efficiency.
By swapping the normal bulbs in your office for LED ones, you can reduce lighting cost by 50%. LEDs also save on electricity use, thus making your dental office that much more efficient. LEDs are a cost saving and energy efficient option, and a necessary next step in building an energy efficient dental practice.
3. Invest In Quality Insulation
Having a well insulated building is an essential part of creating an energy efficient dental practice. Your dental office uses plenty of energy already when it comes to heating and cooling the building. Without proper insulation, it’s like taking one step forward and two steps back. Without proper insulation, your temperature system needs to remain running longer to reach the desired temperature for the office.
You waste both energy and money the longer the system is heating or cooling your office space. It’s important to examine your office and find any doors and windows that may be leaking air. Having an expert come in to fix those insulation leaks may seem costly at first, but it’ll save you energy and therefore money in the long run.
4. Natural Lighting
Now that you’ve figured out how to save money on lighting by switching to LED, you can take it a step further. Natural lighting can be a really good friend when it comes to becoming even more energy efficient. Building in large windows and opening blinds can be a huge positive in your office environment.
For one, the natural light usually looks really good flowing into your office space and lighting up rooms. Along with this, natural lighting allows you to turn off more of your in-office lights and save some more energy and money on lighting.
5. Energy Management Automation
Today’s technology is a beautiful thing. You’re able to incorporate today’s technology into your dental office build out and design to make your office more energy efficient. Specifically, using an automated energy management system can be huge in lowering energy usage around the office. These systems include various sensors and monitors that can be connected to your lighting system.
The sensors do a great job of detecting movement in rooms and can automatically turn off lights and other equipment when the room is unoccupied. Some systems can even adjust heating and cooling depending on various factors. Automated energy management systems are relatively cheap, especially when considering the costs incurred from leaving lights and other equipment on when not in use.
6. Measure Your Consumption and Track Your Progress
While all these steps sound pretty appealing and simple, there is some work that goes into bringing down your energy consumption. Like with all steps in your business, it is important to know where you started, and know how far you’ve come. Take the time now to track your energy consumption. Find out how efficient or inefficient you are, and what you can improve on. This will give you a good reference point to look at after you’ve begun your transition to energy efficiency.
Track your progress using the original reference point. This will do a couple of things for you. You will be able to track what a huge difference the steps you took have made in your practice. It will also allow you to measure your return on investment. This way, you can track financial benefits of your dental practice becoming energy efficient.
Connect with Stryker Construction
If you’re considering using a remodel your dental office or any other commercial office space, get in contact with us. At the very least we can lend you some extra information and educate you further regarding your office build out and design options. We are proud Northern Nevada community partners and we’re here to help!