Lots of us get to take a break over Christmas, and the holidays can be a great opportunity to give the planet a break too (and make savings on your energy bill!) Remember – even when everyone is away on holiday, offices and buildings still use power. Below are top tips from staff around the world.
In the colder countries, set heating controls to set back to 5o+C to frost protect the building while reducing wastage. Also turn off any domestic hot water plant, so it is not wasting energy keeping water tanks warm and ready for use.
Simon Wyatt, Associate Director, London
Whilst its generally not simple to turn off your lifts or elevators for Christmas, many offices also contain escalators. Escalators should be turned off, and suitable barriers erected top and bottom to prevent their use as a staircase (escalators are not staircases and generally do not comply to the regulations for such). Where it’s not obvious through existing signage and wayfinding, signs should be erected to direct any persons who are working in the building over the Christmas holidays to the nearest lifts.
Where a lift is provided for Firefighting or Evacuation purposes, remember that such events could happen during the office closure and therefore this equipment needs to be operational and clearly accessible – don’t leave the Christmas tree in the Firefighting lift ready to dispose of on the first day of 2017!
Graham Barker, Director of Vertical Transportation, London
When I leave the office I turn off my monitor, however not everyone does this, therefore ask the last people in the office could walk around and make sure everyone has remembered before the Christmas break. Another great tip is to clear the fridge and turn it off over the Christmas break.
Amie Shuttleworth, Head of Sustainability, Hong Kong
Talk to your buildings facilities management and inform them of when you will be occupying the office of the Christmas period. Ask them to ensure that unnecessary lighting, ventilation and air conditioning be switched off over this period.
David Collins, Associate, Singapore
Turn it off! Items such as kitchen chilled water, printers, microwaves, dishwashers, all draw a small amount of energy on standby but it all adds up– it is usually easy to switch it off at the wall.
David Clark, Partner, Sydney
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas, we look forward to working with you in 2017!