Reducing the energy consumption of a building takes a concerted combined effort from the property owners, managers, tenants and staff – but is a very worthwhile exercise, both from a financial and an environmental point of view.
This is according to Martin Bester, Managing Director of Intersect Sectional Title Services, the sectional title specialist subsidiary of the Spire Property Group, who manage the Icon Building on the Foreshore in Cape Town.
“The Icon is a 19 storey building that used to be a high consumer of energy. So much so that we were concerned and adamant that things had to change,” says Bester.
“We started by tracking the consumption of the building at various stages over a period of time and compared this to the municipal invoices and meter reading statistics. This then presented us with a benchmark and allowed us to calculate what we would like to achieve in energy reduction.”
“Once we ascertained our goal, we then set about specifically identifying the energy intensive equipment in the building and sought ways to reduce their consumption. This led to replacing over 600 T8 fluorescent light fittings with the smaller and more energy efficient T5 fittings and converting 1100 down lighters to LED alternatives.”
The next step
According to Bester, the next step was the installation of CO2 sensors in the basement parking levels, which reduced the usage of the extraction fans from 24/7 to ‘as required’ – this resulted in a massive decrease in the energy consumption of the building.
“We were also able to take advantage of Eskom’s rebate policy to recover a great deal of the capital cost of the exercise as well.”
“These measures, along with the awareness and assistance from the various role players in the building, have led to significant reductions in both energy consumption and cost. Further savings are achieved by the installation of timers and sensors thereby utilising equipment only when required.”
A welcome reprieve for building owners
“These savings are perpetual, and in the face of ever increasing energy costs are a welcome reprieve for the owners of the Icon building. Intersect are pleased and proud to have helped with, and to be associated with, this important exercise in ‘green’ retrofitting,” concluded Bester.
Intersect Sectional Title Services is the sectional title specialist subsidiary of the Spire Property Group and manages many upmarket buildings in and around Cape Town.