Door open to energy saving opportunities for commercial buildings

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

As Australia’s number of non-residential buildings rises past a million for the first time in history, energy experts are looking at ways to reduce the power consumption of both new and existing commercial buildings.

Aussie entrance technology company Boon Edam Australia, says reviewing commercial buildings’ entryways and switching to revolving doors could be an easy method to help reduce properties’ carbon footprints.

According to a Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) report, existing commercial buildings are responsible for about 24 per cent of Australia’s total annual electricity consumption,

Australians use 227 petajoules (PJ) of electricity annually, plus another 40 PJ of gas, to power their commercial buildings – which equates to 46.9 megatonnes of equivalent CO2 emissions per year.

Boon Edam, who specialise in energy-conserving entranceways, are looking to reduce those numbers through their new sustainability calculation software, helping architects, designers and building owners review the energy costs of their entranceways.

Managing Director Michael Fisher says while choosing revolving door technology may sound like an insignificant change, it can have substantial energy-saving effects by aiding a building’s temperature regulation.

“Revolving doors are an immediate and effective way, within the building envelope, to help achieve energy use reductions by preventing expensively cooled and heated HVAC air from escaping from the building in the first place,” Mr Fisher said.

“Instead of air expensively rushing in and out of open doors, revolving doors have a natural long-term and sustainable advantage through their always open/always closed functionality.”

“The new Boon Edam Sustainability Software confirms scientifically what many building designers and managers have known intuitively and on a practical basis for years – that revolving doors save energy because you are not losing large quantities of expensively heated or cooled air rushing straight out the front door, or up through the lift shafts.”

According to the DCCEEW study, commercial buildings identified as significant energy consumers include offices, warehouses, transport facilities, factories, entertainment venues, education facilities, health and aged care sites and religious buildings.

And with rising energy prices, Mr Fisher says the return on investment period for installing revolving entrance doors is faster than ever before.

“The permanent sustainability advantage of revolving doors will become even more pronounced as payback times shrink, with the savings depending on the application,” he said.

According to Boon Edam’s Sustainability Software, the payback period for installing a revolving door is shrinking rapidly as energy prices here accelerate quickly.

Melbourne has the quickest payback time of four years, with Brisbane next at 4.9 years and Sydney at 5.7 years.

The software, developed in partnership with the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, is available to designers, builders, and managers involved in new buildings and retrofitting to existing buildings.

Boon Edam Australia National Sales Manager Manuel Abdo says the technology would benefit those seeking higher NABERS and Green Star ratings for their buildings.

“Many architects and specifiers have understood from world experience that revolving doors save energy – but they haven’t had evidence to present scientific evidence to clients favouring cheaper options up front,” he said.

“Through the new sustainability software, architects and builders now can make some science-based ROI comparisons that consider the comfort and sustainability objectives of the spaces they create.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.