Industry is over-specifying buildings by ‘up to 40%’

Research by the British Council for Offices (BCO) has shown that the industry is over-specifying small power loads in offices by up to 40%.
The BCO enlisted Hilson Moran to monitor typical loads on desks as part of a revision to the BCO Guide to Specification, due out this month.
The study has revealed that far less energy is typically being used at desks than the average office building is designed to accommodate.
At occupation densities of 10sq m per person, 40% less power is actually required, and at the higher occupation densities of 8sq m per person – although most office space use still falls between 8-13sq m per person – research has shown that power consumption rarely exceeds 19W/sq m, 24% lower than the load recommended in the previous 2009 BCO Guide.
For the first time it has been recognised that HVAC loads should be slightly lower than electrical loads to reflect the very short duration of peak electrical consumption in modern computer equipment.
Nigel Clark, Technical Director at Hilson Moran, said: “This is good news for developers, landlords and owner occupiers who will be able to reduce the specification of their buildings to reflect advancement in technology and new ways of working while reducing costs and helping them to meet Part L and energy saving targets.”

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