High performance buildings

With more efficient pump solutions, the world’s energy consumption can be heavily reduced. The result of which is not only a positive impact on climate change and global emissions. It’s higher performing buildings, greater indoor comfort and increased water safety. 

Why optimise commercial buildings?

To combat global warming, global emissions need to halve by 2030

As the pace of urbanisation increases, so too is the world’s energy demand and rate of global emissions. And at 10%, pumps currently account for a significant proportion of the world’s electricity consumption1.

The global cooling demand has doubled in less than 20 years

Global use of energy is projected to increase almost 25% by 20502. And in the past 20 years, the global cooling demand alone has nearly doubled, making it critical to transition to greener energy and improve energy efficiency. 

In commercial buildings, HVAC accounts for up to 40% total energy use

As both end-users and governments demand more efficiency, HVAC systems must be continuously optimised to limit costs, reduce consumption and lower emissions. Yet HVAC currently accounts for up to 40% of total energy use in buildings3.

HVAC systems account for 40% of total energy use in buildings. Energy efficient systems are crucial to keep cost and energy consumption low. Grundfos iSolutions offers a wide range of intelligent products, to decrease system complexity and operating cost, without sacrificing end-user comfort. Watch the video to learn more about Grundfos iSolutions for HVAC systems.

The typical challenges 

Commercial buildings today are expected to perform well over their entire lifetime. However, HVAC systems in buildings can be highly complex since they’re often made up of many standalone components. These components typically need to work together as an integrated system, which means that the risk of failure is significant. 

When making detailed schematics and specifications, designers are often working under significant time constraints, which increases the risk of design faults. In addition, the pumps used are often oversized and running at peak load, so they’re overperforming compared to demand. This means many systems suffer from inefficient designs due to faulty tender material, leading to under-performing, high-consuming  HVAC systems with high CAPEX and OPEX.  

The commissioning and integration of components and solutions to a BMS system are the final activities before putting a HVAC system into operation and hand-over. ​Nonetheless, this is also when mistakes occur, good practices are neglected, and procedures aren’t carried out. ​The reasons may stem from staff not having the right training or sufficient time for the task. Or when manuals for components or solutions don’t offer adequate guidance.       

As well as this, many prioritise CAPEX more than OPEX during design and installation. This can lead to increasing costs over time as pumps may be running uncontrolled or operated in inefficient control modes. This may result in Delta T issues and means a building’s actual energy use will exceed design calculations. Ultimately, aging systems that aren’t operated properly will lead to poor indoor climates and low end-user satisfaction.

How you can optimise

Today, 10% of the world’s electricity is consumed by pumps. And if everybody switched to high-efficiency pump systems, the world could save 4% of this usage1. This is why optimising HVAC systems is significant to combat global climate change and ensure higher performing buildings. 

It’s also critical to reduce system complexity and operating costs while increasing asset value and end-user comfort. System components need to work together as one, creating an ecosystem of efficient solutions, which are easy to install and commission, and work reliably throughout a building’s lifetime. Furthermore, as requirements for energy efficiency increase, HVAC systems need to be high-performing and CO2 friendly, keeping energy and maintenance to a minimum.  

The Solution

Grundfos iSOLUTIONS looks beyond individual components and creates an intelligent system of pumps, drives, sensors and software that work together to optimise performance in any HVAC system. Grundfos iSOLUTIONS comprises a wide range of intelligent and energy-efficient solutions that make installation and commissioning easy, track building performance, and also monitor and control your systems. 

For instance, you can significantly reduce the challenges of complex system design as well as inefficient installation and commissioning with our MIXIT and Modular solutions. Grundfos MIXIT is an integrated solution that replaces all separate components in one mixing loop. And Grundfos prefabricated Modular systems are factory-built systems that are pre-wired, pre-tested and pre-commissioned ready for simple and fast on-site installation and operation. 

Additionally, Grundfos Distributed Pumping is a paradigm shift in how to control chilled water systems. It allows you to fully eliminate control and balancing valves, replacing them with smaller, intelligent pumps that adapt to system demand based on the chilled water temperature. The result is reduced CAPEX from a downsized primary pump as well as a better balanced system. Ultimately, this enables you to improve indoor comfort and gain significant energy savings.

Lastly, Grundfos BuildingConnect gives you a simple and user-friendly overview of all your applications and enables you to monitor every installation right from your desktop or tablet. BuildingConnect is constantly improving, and with continuous software updates, you’re ensured a future-proof solution that will always keep you up to date.

Podcast: High performance buildings

Listen to Bent Jensen, CEO, Commercial Building Services Sales at Grundfos giving his perspective on how we can address challenges such as urbanisation and population growth by designing and optimising our commercial buildings to run more efficiently.

You can listen to more podcasts from Grundfos Commercial Building Services - on your preferred platform. 

Are you working with commercial buildings?

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Source1: Global CO2 emissions from power generation is 12.5 GT (2010), World Energy Outlook 2012, International Energy Agency (IEA)

Source2: Global cooling report; International Energy Agency, June 2020

Source3: Guide to Best Practice Maintenance and Operation of HVAC Systems for Energy Efficiency (January 2012), Council of Australian Governments (COAG), Pages 36-37

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