US researchers take on SME retrofits

11th November, 2013

Andy Pearson looks at energy efficiency in properties used by smaller business

There’s plenty of guidance out there on upgrading the energy efficiency of bigger buildings, but what about all the smaller businesses operating out of anything from converted pubs to purpose built premises?

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $10 million (£6.5 million) funding for six research projects which will help small commercial buildings to save money by conserving energy. The studies will develop user-friendly tools and resources that can be easily deployed for any small commercial building, including schools, churches, restaurants and grocery stores.

About 20% of US energy annually is consumed by the commercial building sector, and 90% of buildings in it are classed as ‘small’ with a floor area of less than 50,000 ft2 (4,650m2). However, small building owners and operators often lack the capital and resources available to their larger counterparts.

No UK legislation specifically targets small buildings; instead energy efficiency initiatives are aimed at the occupants of small buildings. In the UK space is at more of a premium; 50,000ft2would be the equivalent of a building accommodating up to 500 employees.

This is an extract from an article published in the August issue of BRE Retrofit Briefing. To subscribe and read more, click here.

Source: Building4Change

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