Commercial buildings are, in general, more energy intensive as compared to residential buildings. For instance, the Energy Performance Index (EPI) of a typical one-shift office building could be 3 times that of the average residential building. High energy consumption in commercial buildings is attributed to occupant density leading to higher usage of equipment, artificial lights, and usually a large part of building being air-conditioned.
While energy consumption is high, the potential to save energy (for up to 50%) is also high in commercial buildings.
There are some common aspects that lead to more energy consumption in commercial buildings.
- Poor envelope design, with high WWR, no shading, high U-value of walls, deep floor plate, etc., leads to high-energy requirement for thermal and visual comfort.
- Poor design and oversized air-conditioning and lighting system, coupled with low efficiencies, leads to high-energy consumption.
- Renewable energy integration, if not planned in early design, becomes very difficult or impractical to add later.