How Modern Office Buildings Are Ingeniously Efficient
Enhanced with the latest design and technological feats, a modern office building is capable of being extremely environmentally friendly. Green, modern office buildings use smart design to save on energy consumption as well as take advantage of renewable energy sources when possible. While saving on energy, building owners and occupants also save on the costs associated with providing the energy needed to keep office operations up and running.
Modern Office Building Innovations
What makes modern office buildings so efficient? One of the greenest office buildings in the United States, the Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, utilizes many different aspects of sustainable design to save on energy. The building is said to be a “breathing tower” as a major component of its design is its natural ventilation system. Some examples of design innovations that make the new PNC office building so green include:
- Solar Chimney: This chimney connects to a rooftop solar panel and helps to ventilate the entire building. The rooftop solar panel creates an updraft, drawing fresh, cool air into the building and back up and out of the chimney without the use of pumps or fans. This is a highly efficient, energy-saving way to ventilate the space naturally. The building’s double-skin facade also plays a key role in the natural ventilation system.
- Daylighting: The implementation of automated blinds takes advantage of natural lighting during the day. These blinds help to save on lighting costs and power usage while ensuring efficient lighting throughout the day.
- Water Recycling and Treatment: By recycling and treating water used within the office building, water consumption is reduced by 77%. This is a significant reduction of water use, especially remarkable in a building the size of the PNC Tower (a 33-story, 800,000-square foot building in which 22,000 people are employed).
By saving power and energy with smart, built-in ventilation systems, lighting, water systems and more, the modern office building is a green alternative to traditional buildings. The Tower at PNC Plaza uses 50% less energy than other office buildings of comparable size, making it extremely environmentally friendly as well as sustainable and money-saving. Less reliance on the power grid may also mean a lower chance of experiencing power failure when issues with the grid occur. As smart, energy-efficient design is integrated into new office buildings, sustainability and reduced costs of operation are not far off.
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