Flexible working actually increases energy use within office buildings

Flexible working options are increasing energy costs for most office buildings, at least as far as lift use is concerned, a recent study which compared on-site measurements of real lift energy consumption with predictions from industry standards has been able to suggest.

The paper suggests that lifts consume between 16% to 36% more energy than the international standard predictions. Changing working patterns such as flexi-time and hot desking – i.e. a system which involves multiple workers using a single work station during different time periods – seem to have increased pressure on lift systems by increasing inter-floor journeys and energy use, it adds.

Commercial buildings account for 50% of UK electricity use and lifts making up 8% of office buildings’ energy use, the study by StepJockey and specialist lift consultants SVM Associates states.

John Newbold, SVM Associates Director, said: “Our findings will worry many but property professionals need reliable data if they are to make progress. This study shows the importance of direct measurement of lift energy consumption and how, with simple behavioral changes, significant savings can be made.”

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