Work has begun to reduce the shopping centre’s £1.4million annual energy bill
Shopping centres generally consume large amounts of energy. Artificial lighting along with space heating and cooling are often the main sources for this energy consumption.
With current annual CO2 emissions of 8,000 tonnes Bluewater shopping centre in Kent has acknowledged that something needs to be done to reduce this. They have begun work with the energy analysis software company Sefaira to lower the centre’s energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Sefaira chief executive Mads Jensen said: ‘These sorts of [energy] figures are typical across the retail industry’
‘Combined, the country’s 40 biggest shopping centres consume about £40million of energy annually. Our challenge is to raise the efficiency at Bluewater and halve its energy consumption.’
Sefaira software is being used to analyse the shopping centre’s carbon footprint through looking at the current building fabric, heating and cooling systems, lighting, daylighting and building controls.
They will begin the process by ‘pinpointing’ the inefficiencies throughout the public areas of the building.
Through this analysis they will design a programme of future upgrades and improvements to the shopping centre. Carrying out the analysis first will allow them to work out what improvements will deliver the maximum savings at the least cost.
Lend Lease who manage the Bluewater shopping centre described this approach as a ‘holistic way to enhance energy efficiency’.
Lend Lease’s head of sustainability, Pascal Mittermaier said: ‘Over the past years we have worked very hard to manage energy use at our retail centres, achieving reductions of around 20 per cent.
‘But we are reaching the limits of what traditional methods can achieve. If we want to make another major step, we need to rethink our overall approach.
‘Traditionally building operators have taken a piecemeal approach to managing facilities, focusing on lighting one year, doors the next. This can only improve inefficiencies by upto 3 per cent.
‘What we are embarking on with Sefaira is a deep integrated analysis of huge amounts of data – then sequencing in changes to deliver substantial savings for a significantly smaller capital outlay. Our ambition is to reduce common energy use by 50 per cent.’
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