Energy Efficiency or Idiocy?

Our new office building is considered to be energy efficient. I believe there is a building management system operating the building. Lighting uses energy efficient lamps. Air conditioning and lighting are zone operated which means that only the areas presently occupied will have the air conditioning and lights turn on. The building management even remove some lighting fixtures in rarely occupied areas to reduce electricity consumption.

Well and good! Energy efficient, less carbon footprint and better for the environment.

All is well, ends well! Nope! I have just one comment. The intelligent lifts or elevators as other people call it are not intelligent at all. But before I go any further, I need to describe how the lifts operate.

As the building is secured, to access any level or floor of the building, an access card needs to be swiped into the lift's operating panel. No other operating panel or button is located inside the elevator car. Secured isn't it?

Then the intelligent(?) operation comes into play. There are four of us using the lifts at the same time every morning as we are taking the same train. We are swiping our access cards successively at about 15 seconds interval. And presto, what do the lifts indicate (there are four lifts in the building and could access any floor), 1 person on each lift and even the two people going to the same floor level uses separate lifts. Is what they call an energy efficient building operation.

All the energy saving in all the light reduction may just be consumed in the wrong lift operating philosophy. I don't think the programmers of the building management system are aware this. To be energy efficient and reduce carbon footprint of the so called intelligent building, the first that need to be reduced first is idiocy as this will counteract all the efforts imparted into these endeavor. It is just another instance oxymoron.

1150 = 1148 = 1155

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
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