How Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) reduce energy consumption in tall buildings

Tall buildings are on the increase due to the number of new homes required, advances in construction technology and the increase in cost of land. In 2019, 76 tall buildings are due to be completed in London, one of these buildings includes 1 Undershaft at 305m, almost the same height as The Shard. Just imagine how much additional energy will be consumed. This blog explains how Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) can improve energy efficiency in tall buildings.

Tall buildings can be classified into three types:

  • Tall (50-300m) = 90% globally
  • Supertall (300- 600m) = 9.95% globally
  • Megatall (600m+) =0.05% globally

(Source: Energy-efficient Tall buildings design strategies: A holistic approach, Science Direct)

Tall buildings use more energy compared to other buildings because they rely on mechanical HVAC systems and the increase in height means they are affected more by weather conditions and transporting energy and occupants to different parts of the building.

Added to that, us humans have high expectations of luxury including requiring comfortable temperatures. Multiply our demands by 74 floors and by tens of thousands of tall buildings globally, and no wonder our poor planet is buckling under the pressure

The good news is that the newest tall buildings are designed to be sustainable in shape, design, orientation, glazing and natural ventilation. For example, plant and services are designed up and down the building according to climate and tenancy type. Building designs often include aerodynamic shapes improving the natural ventilation.

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) in tall buildings

Buildings are responsible for 40% of total EU energy consumption, 36% of GHG emissions and a third of the total European waste (EU, 2012). This is because buildings work continually, 247, for decades, to meet our comfort demands.

Intech Controls works with facilities management companies to improve energy efficiency in tall buildings through optimizing Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS).Tall buildings present interesting challenges for which we particularly enjoy creating solutions:

  • Cooling the western and southern aspects of tall buildings which receive increased sunlight angles and are often prone to overheating
  • North-facing offices tend to have limited sunlight and require more heating
  • Some tall buildings have floor to ceiling glazing which often contributing to overheating, especially in the summer
  • Constant demand including transporting energy up and down the building creates wear and tear on plant

Many new tall buildings have been designed to reduce these problems including natural cooling and ventilation and triple glazing, however, there are thousands of older tall buildings where noise and pollution hinder natural ventilation attempts. Therefore, BEMS modernisation is required to help meet carbon targets and maintain occupancy comfort.

24-7 critical alarm monitoring is a remote service we provide which detects variation caused by worn plant and other factors. It means that problems can be quickly detected before causing harm, avoiding downtime in business and maintaining occupancy comfort.

We create super-sized smart strategies to increase the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. In a tall or supertall building, this could save you £millions.

We provide innovative solutions including window sensors which detect when windows are open and then automatically shut off mechanical cooling, reducing energy consumption.

Intech Controls works with Facilities Managers across the UK. For a full list of energy efficiency measures to reduce energy in your tall, supertall or megatall building while maintaining occupancy comfort, please contact Intech Controls on 01403 288195 get in touch with us via our contact page.



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