Going green: how to save 15-25% on your energy needs by implementing green solutions in your warehouse.
Written by Peter Dale, National Director, Industrial
In a market where businesses are eager to find savings in their warehousing costs, there are several ways to reduce these costs and create better efficiencies. With developers now producing 5 and 6-star energy efficient warehouses, this trend sets the new benchmark for industrial buildings, designed to take advantage of technologies and implement them into our warehouse facilities – often saving thousands of dollars a year.
The Logistics Council of Australia’s research indicates that the most energy used in the supply chain and logistics sector is in transport fuels, however the second most significant type of energy used by the sector is electricity, used in a diverse range of plant and equipment for lighting, cooling, refrigeration and materials handling. Below is their recommendation for strategies from low cost to higher cost that deliver strong benefits in reducing energy use
Best practice ideas to reduce your energy costs include:
Behavioural changes are basic but effective: turning off lights, minimising the time a door is open to a refrigerated store, and turning off forklifts when not being used
Lighting can account for 50-80% of energy consumed in a warehouse – install skylights for natural light and replace all gas discharge lighting to save another 10%. LED lights can provide the required luminosity for a typical warehouse whilst saving money in the long run
Installing insulation to reduce the amount of artificial heating and cooling required
Fixing cold air leaks in refrigerated stores can save you 10% at little cost. Similarly, leakage of refrigerant fluid is common and good maintenance and repairs can often result in up to 10% energy savings
Optimising compressor operation or replacing compressors with high efficiency units can save up to 10-12% of energy use compared to a conventional unit
Upgrade your old conveyor system to a newer model which can reduce the need for lighting and ventilation
CASE STUDY 1: CALIBRE EASTERN CREEK (INDUSTRY BY MIRVAC)
Mirvac’s 21,000sqm spec Building 3 at Calibre Eastern Creek is designed to meet the equivalent 5 star Green Star rating including the following features:
Solar photovoltaic systems are installed on the roof to provide an estimated energy offset of 17% for a generic warehouse tenant.
Rainwater is harvested to service all toilets, hose taps and irrigation systems.
Energy efficient LED lighting is used throughout all buildings. Timers and photo electric sensors are used for external and warehouse lighting.
Digital performance monitoring is used to display, manage and record real time power/water consumption/reuse.
Coolmax roof sheeting to warehouse and offices, delivering greater thermal performance and environmental benefits.
The double glazed office façade systems use energy efficient glass with high UV and solar heat gain coefficient ratings.
Insulation is used in warehouse walls to maximise thermal efficiency.
Hot water is generated through a roof mounted solar water packaged plant.
CASE STUDY 2: FRASERS PROPERTY
Frasers Property have implemented a series of innovations on key aspects of the buildings designed to make them more sustainable, focussing on energy and water usage.
Energy items that meet 5-star Green Star Australian Excellence include translucent sheeting to warehouse roof, improved glazing and/or insulation, LED with motion and daylight sensor controls and a solar PV system for renewable energy. Water items include WELS rated water fixtures, rainwater for irrigation, recycling fire test water and monitoring electricity and water via a web-based monitoring system.
Assuming a 15,000sqm warehouse with 800sqm of office*, savings thanks to these innovative measures can equal over $50,000 in the first year, a significant saving to the occupier.
* Assuming warehouse operational hours Monday – Friday 6am to 8pm, and Saturday 6am to 12pm. Assuming office operational hours Monday – Friday 8am to 6pm.