Sustainability is all the buzz in warehouse management these days, and for good reason. Going green isn’t just a nice gesture for the planet. You can think of energy-saving warehouse upgrades as power moves for your company that cut utility bill costs and build your bottom line. As an added bonus, many eco-friendly warehouse improvements also improve the comfort and productivity of your workers.
Here are a few sustainable warehouse ideas to consider.
7 Eco-Friendly Warehouse Upgrades
Energy-efficient lighting – Building performance experts agree: Lighting is hands-down one of the “lowest hanging fruit” where energy efficiency is concerned. If you have an older warehouse and haven’t upgraded the lighting, you are likely spending far more than necessary on your lighting bill.
These days, LED bulbs are a very popular energy-saving lighting choice. In addition to being super-efficient, they are exceptionally long-lived, which reduces the cost of maintenance. However, in a warehouse situation they may or may not be your best choice (especially if you have to change all of your fixtures to install them.) Other energy-efficient lighting options, such as T5 or T8 fluorescents, may be more cost effective for your situation, so be sure to crunch the numbers first.
Also, don’t forget skylights as a lighting option. Daylighting provides free energy while the sun is up. Natural daylight also has health benefits and has been proven to improve worker productivity, too.
Insulation – Warehouse insulation is essential not just for worker comfort and energy savings, but also to protect your building from condensation damage. There are many types of insulation on the market. Some may be more appropriate for your building than others, so consider consulting a building performance consultant for an expert opinion.
Air sealing – Leaks and drafts are one of the biggest ways to lose energy from a building. A leaky warehouse is also easily invaded by insects and rodent pests. Fortunately, air sealing is a relatively inexpensive operation, even in a large warehouse.
Loading dock efficiency – One of the most important areas to address when creating an energy-efficient warehouse is the loading dock. Dock doors represent a huge hole in your building’s envelope when they are open, so it’s important to minimize energy loss through them. Dock seals and dock levelers can help prevent the loss of cooled or heated air in this area.
The solar warehouse – Solar panels are a big investment, but they can pay big dividends over time. Most warehouses feature large, exposed roof areas that are ideal for solar. The panels can also help shade the roof and reduce the need for cooling in the summer.
Building automation – “Smart” building technology utilizes sophisticated control systems to automatically adjust lighting and HVAC for optimal energy efficiency. These may include programmable thermostats, automated lighting and motion sensors to reduce or eliminate energy use when it is not needed.
HVLS warehouse fans – High-volume, low-speed fans are widely recognized as being one of the best and most cost-effective energy-saving upgrades for warehouses. In un-air-conditioned warehouses, they can lower temperatures by up to 10 degrees through evaporative cooling, providing welcome warm weather relief to warehouse workers without blowing a hole in your budget. They can also significantly lower your warehouse heating expenses by gently sending warm air near the ceiling back down toward the floor where you need it most, so you’re warming your employees, not the roof. And their low energy consumption is ideal for use in a solar warehouse, too.
Green Warehouse Solutions
Looking for sustainable HVAC solutions for your eco-friendly warehouse? Go Fan Yourself® warehouse fans and systems are available in many sizes and models to meet your needs. Browse our energy-saving products, or contact us to learn more!