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By: Kevin Ahern on June 7th, 2016

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5 Ways to Achieve an Energy Efficient Building Envelope


Your commercial building's envelope is critical for maintaining energy efficiency. The tighter the envelope, the less energy is lost during the heating and cooling season. Having a tight envelope can help keep your building comfortable for employees, clients and customers.

While newer buildings are all constructed with an energy-efficient envelope, older buildings require upgrades to conform to modern energy efficiency standards. If you are an owner of a commercial building, the following tips will help you improve your commercial building's energy efficiency.

Install Proper Insulation

Installation of proper insulation is an important part of maintaining an energy efficient building envelope. While many newer buildings should already be constructed to code with proper insulation added, many older buildings need additional insulation.

The best way to determine whether or not your building has the appropriate insulation is to have your commercial building evaluated by a professional contractor. While there are also insulation calculators online, it's better to have your building inspected by a contractor who understands insulation.

Replace Doors

Older doors in commercial buildings can leak air during the heating and cooling season, which can significantly increase your building's utility expenses. Modern commercial doorways are often designed to accommodate many people coming and going. Through innovative design, newer doors help keep the warm and cool air contained in the building, but older doors do not. Replace the door on your commercial building with a door that helps to contain the cold or warm air within your building.

Install New Energy Efficient Windows

Older wood frame windows leak air through the heating and cooling season, while modern energy efficient windows do not. In fact, many commercial windows will not open at all, which helps to seal climate controlled air in the building.

Window Film

If the installation of entirely new windows is not realistic for your budget, you can still improve the energy efficiency of your building and tighten the envelope by installing a window film on the glass. Low-e glass coatings can reflect up to 74% of UV radiation.

Low-e coatings prevent heat loss in the winter and stop heat entry during the summer. The right window film will reduce your building's energy costs during the heating and cooling season, and can also protect materials inside like upholstery and hardwood, which can fade from exposure to UV rays.

Roof Coatings

Roof coatings help keep the roof of your building cool throughout the summer. Heat and exposure to UV rays can cause the early deterioration of the roofing material, shortening its service life and leading to leaks. Roof coatings also help prevent heat from warming the inside of your commercial building during the summer, and can keep in the heat during the winter. The most efficient roof coatings reflect 65% of solar radiation.

At Litchfield Builders, we encourage our clients to make green improvements to their existing buildings. Tightening your buildings' shell can help reduce your building's carbon footprint, which is better for the community and the earth itself. For more information about how you can improve the energy efficiency of your commercial building, contact us today at 203-772-2453.Commercial Construction Trends and Predictions