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Energy Management for Building Administrators

Schools, office buildings and commercial centers, once they have finished construction and are turned over to the building administrators, it is only then that issues with energy management is discovered. But since the building is already built, what approaches can be implemented to add some form of energy management retroactively.

  1. Different approach for different spaces:

    Each type of space has its own characteristics, and the energy management approach should be made appropriate for that space.

    1. User pays system:

      Any space where there is a specific and identifiable party who uses that space can institute a user pays approach, this applies to places such as classrooms, piano rooms, and similar types of rental spaces.

    2. Conditional use

      For places where it would be difficult to implement a tariff based system such as offices, lounges, meeting rooms, libraries and other public rooms. These places can make use of energy saving controllers, such as restricting use based on time, temperature or in combination with sensors.

    3. Automatic schedule or sensor based control

      Used appropriately for various types of spaces such as hallways, elevator lobbies, halls, outdoors and parking lots.

  2. A central control system is not all encompassing, local smart controls are more effective

    In the past, whenever there is an issue with energy management, the immediate solution that comes to mind to implement a central control system. But this is not only expensive, but it does not guarantee that it will solve the problem.

    1. Local automatic controls

      For certain types of spaces, where effective control can be achieved locally and does not require the intervention of the central control. In such cases, central control only places a support role.

    2. Types of conditional control
      1. Insert card to use

        Such as a teacher’s card or administrator card that are the only ones authorized.

      2. Restricted use based on the time of day or the temperature, especially applicable to air conditioning.
      3. Preset time reset

        There are designated times of the day where the power is reset by cutting off the power then restoring it. But restoring power does not turn the lights on.

  3. Automatic Energy Saving Control
    1. Auto off: When the lights are turned on, an automatic delay off countdown is started.
    2. Power supplied but lights does not turn on: The occupant needs to manually turn on the lights, the sensor is only responsible for the turning the lights off when the occupant leaves and forgets. When the occupant leaves they still have the option to manually turn the lights off.
    3. Scheduled on and off.
    4. Reduced power: Alternate lamp posts, dimming, temperature restricted.
    5. Sensor control: Interactive control using temperature sensor, photo sensor, occupancy sensor.

Building Types for Lighting Control

Type 1: Public Buildings

Such as shopping centers and bus stations. No local control switches, since the user has intention of operating the wall switches anyway.

Solution: Centralized control for all lighting, and install staff only switches near the entrances and equipment rooms.

Type 2: Mixed Type Buildings

Such as school campuses, office buildings, factory buildings.


  1. The user operates the local switches as needed, the switches would have some form of local energy saving control.
  2. Controls would also be centralized.

Type 3: Large Halls & Rooms

Such as conference halls, multi-purpose halls, stadiums, distribution warehouses, data centers, open offices.

Solution: Digital switches or touch panels are installed near the entrances and strategic locations (such as the podium), which can be preset with patterns for quick scene recall, and allow for multiple access points. Sensor control can also be implemented.