Brenair Mechanical Services has a strong technical capability to provide clients with energy management products and solutions which will assist them in reducing their environmental impact.
Energy Assessment Services
Energy Audits provide the Client with a complete understanding of the energy drivers and resulting consumption at their site. As a result it is the best way to establish a baseline and an ideal best practice operation guide. This will allow the client better control of how to move forward in approaching system upgrades, for improved energy efficiency and cost savings.
Energy cost Analysis
Energy efficiency improvements are imperative to our environmental footprint. By proposing a strategic energy management plan, we can also help the client reduce their energy costs. A detailed Energy Cost Analysis is part of the service, which will allow the client to understand the correlation between their energy reduction achievements and the financial savings. The more complicated the energy management design is, the more critical it is choose the right objectives to achieve the highest savings.
Lifecycle Assessments (LCA) and Reporting
This technique is used to assess how equipment’s current life expectancy and condition will affect its environmental impact. The LCA will provide the client with a report on this relationship, which can assist the client in making decisions on energy management design strategies. Along with the LCA a budgeting plan will be developed for the client to approach their equipment replacement strategy in a way which is financially viable.
Project Delivery and Installation
A detailed project plan is essential for the client and us to know forecasted timeframes, tasks, costs and any expected disruptions to building operation during implementation. As part of this, a cash flow analysis is used to forecast the progression of the entire project.
Measurement and Verification
Upon project completion, a full measurement and verification (M&V) report is carried out. This will be an effective way to see simply how the installation/project has achieved the initially proposed energy savings. An M&V requires indicative measurement and analysis of expected energy savings and actual achieved energy savings. This is important in verifying that the projected energy saving targets is actually achieved.
The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) is a national rating standard. This benchmark is used to identify the environmental performance of buildings, tenancies and homes in Australia. This environmental performance is the industry measurement tool which looks at energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment.
The NABERS is managed nationally by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) NSW on behalf of Australian, state and tertiary governments. Through NABERS, the Australian property industry has a credible standard to judge environmental initiative and confidently communicate results through a well –established star rating scale.
NABERS rating are awarded using a scale of 1 to 6 stars. The star rating is calculated using a benchmarking process that compares the performance of your building or tenancy (or both) to the Australian market. The highest rating of 6 stars represents market leading performance, while 3 stars represent average performance within the market.
Green Star Ratings
Green Star is the Green Building Council of Australia’s environmental rating system. It is a design based system that provides accreditation to buildings that have maintained strict environmental standards in the design and through the construction of the building.
The assessment covers new buildings, refurbished buildings and fit-outs for a range of building types against set criteria and best practice. The Green Star assessment covers nine categories: management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use & ecology and emissions. An overall environmental rating is then provided.
Once an assessment is complete, the Green Building Council issues a certificate identifying the awarded Green Star rating. Current Green Star ratings are 4 stars, 5 stars “Australian Best Practice” and 6 stars “World Best Practice”.
A Green Star rating provides evidence of the sustainability profile of a building. This can be useful for marketing purposes and some tenants will have a minimum Green Star requirement for new space.
In recent times, 6 stars has become the benchmark for a building to be seen to as an environmental leader. This rating is challenging and can be expensive to achieve unless care is taken to integrate environmental performance at every step, rather than bolt it on as an afterthought to an otherwise traditional design.
Energy Management Systems
Real Time Metering Systems
A Real Time Metering system will record real time energy consumption as it is occurring and will compare it against actual weather conditions and internal space temperatures. This system enables the user to identify peaks and troughs in the site’s energy profile. This can be used to further determine what approach to take to achieve additional energy savings.
Building Management and Control Systems
BMS systems are “intelligent “microprocessor based controller networks installed to monitor and control a buildings technical systems and services. This would include air conditioning systems, heating and ventilation units, lighting and hydraulics.
More specifically they link the functionality of individual pieces of building equipment so that they operate as one complete integrated system.
Current generation BMS systems are now based on open communications protocols and are WEB enabled allowing integration of systems from multiple system vendors and access from anywhere in the world. Benefits of having a BMS system are:
- Flexibility and ease of change
- Operator interaction feedback and control
- Improved tenant comfort conditions
- Energy management and reduced operational costs
- Management of building rating such as NABERS
Lighting and Lighting Control Systems
A lighting control system is an intelligent network based lighting control solution that incorporates communication between various system inputs and outputs related to lighting control with the use of one or more central computing devices. Lighting control systems are widely used on both indoor and outdoor lighting of commercial, industrial, and residential spaces. Lighting control systems serve to provide the right amount of light where and when it is needed.
The major advantage of a lighting control system over stand-alone lighting controls or conventional manual switching is the ability to control individual lights or groups of lights from a single user interface device. This ability to control multiple light sources from a user device allows complex lighting scenes to be created. A room may have multiple scenes pre-set, each one created for different activities in the room. A major benefit of lighting control systems is reduced energy consumption. Longer lamp life is also gained when dimming and switching off lights when not in use. Wireless lighting control systems provide additional benefits including reduced installation costs and increased flexibility over where switches and sensors may be placed.
Swipe card entry systems
Swipe card readers offer a low-cost, flexible, easily maintained means of controlling entry to and exit from premises. They can be fitted to many different internal and external doors and to other entry points, such as gates and barriers. As each card is individual, you can restrict access to, for example, computer server rooms, and can automatically record who went where and when.
Air-conditioning systems can consume over 50% of energy in buildings. Tuning HVAC systems to enable them to work properly is the ‘first best’ money you can spend to improve energy efficiency in a building.
Make the most of what you have: Up to 50% of energy efficiency gains for building equipment can be made by ensuring that systems work properly. The primary focus is usually the Heating Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems; these constitute the majority of improvement potential and conversely the greater part of the energy wastage risk.
It’s a ‘team sport’: Most buildings do not operate at optimal levels. Getting them to perform to where they are capable is a challenge that requires a strong and coordinated facility team effort involving building owner, facility manager, facility users, service providers and technical tuning experts.
Review operation and develop a tuning program: The program of tuning initiatives should consider the building’s thermal and operational dynamics as a whole. Its primary focus will be control strategies and the refinement of the existing HVAC systems operation. The program should use the Building Management and Controls System (BMCS) as a diagnosis, tuning and reporting tool to optimise energy with the building’s operational requirements.
Tuning philosophy: While immediate efficiency gains can be made, a tuning approach including inbuilt seasonally adjusted energy conservation logic should be established over a 24- month period (two complete seasonal cycles). Energy efficiency maintenance strategies should be implemented to protect against energy wastage and should include ongoing tuning activities to assure ongoing efficient operation, also identifying additional improvements.
Federal and State Grants and Funding
Energy Assessment Grants
Sustainability Victoria has established an Energy Assessment grant which will support small businesses in carrying out an energy assessment at their site. There are two types of grants which will be applicable to different sized site consumptions. The grant will be applicable to companies who are interested in identifying potential energy efficiency projects, reviewing tariffs and potential renewable energy options.
Two grants types are available to cover 50% of the cost of an energy assessment at your business site:
- Basic energy assessment grant: up to $2,000 towards the cost of the assessment. This is recommended for businesses spending between $20,000 and $50,000 on energy per annum
- Detailed energy assessment grant: up to $15,000 towards the cost of the assessment. This is recommended for businesses spending more than $50,000 on energy per annum.
A $3,000 implementation bonus is also available for businesses that carry out one or more assessment recommendations.
Emission Reduction Fund
The Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) has been designed to help Australia reach its emission reduction target by 2020. The ERF has been set-up to allow the Government to purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) which are at the lowest cost of abatement. The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) is an independent authority who will oversee the ERF’s participant/proponent’s applications and energy saving actions which they undertake to achieve the carbon abatement. This incentivises companies, households and landowners to reduce their carbon emissions.
Each ACCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2) which has been stored or avoided by project implementation or retrofitting energy solutions. The ACCU can be traded or sold directly to the government in an energy abatement contract.