Preparing Offices for the Heat Starts in the Spring

Sustainability

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With the summer quickly approaching, there are several steps that could be taken already in the spring to boost the comfort level and efficiency of office buildings during the hottest months of the year, Icon Real Estate Management says.

Hungary's weather has moved towards extremes, with more and more dry, hot days in the summer months, when cooling the interiors of office buildings is essential. Facility management professionals should prepare for this period early by maintaining and monitoring technical equipment and building management systems. In addition, it is also a good time to revisit energy efficiency improvement plans.

"Already in the spring, our operations specialists are checking the air conditioning and cooling systems, the ventilation and air extraction systems, among others, in the buildings operated by Icon. During this time, they carry out planned inspections and maintenance inside and out, as well as necessary repairs, replacing worn or damaged components, from the window shutters, insulation, and shading to the sprinkler system," said Róbert Flück, Icon's operations director, who added, "These small, often invisible, but essential checks and repairs ensure the continued smooth and efficient operation of the property during the summer months."

The company compiled four key points to successfully tackle the challenges posed by the summer heat:
Maintenance of Air Conditioning, Cooling, and Air Exchange Systems
Before the summer months arrive, it is necessary to charge and ventilate cooling systems, maintain ventilation and cooling equipment, check their insulation, and carry out any necessary repairs. In the case of air-conditioning and cooling equipment (fan coils, chilled beams, floor convectors), cleaning and disinfection of filters and indoor units are essential for health protection reasons, and the systems must be tested for safety. It is also essential to check and adjust thermostats and check the programs of the building management systems to ensure that the right temperature is maintained in the interior spaces for optimum comfort.
The Importance of Insulation, Checking the Exterior of the Building
Significant heat loss can occur at parts of a building where the ducts or their insulation are damaged, or even on the external and internal façades where the plasterwork or insulation is in poor condition. Therefore, it is also worthwhile to assess the condition of the external surfaces of the building in the spring and, on this basis, to carry out maintenance and repairs, with particular attention to the condition of thermal and water insulation, cleaning of façade surfaces and repairing frost damage where necessary.
Application of Shading, Maintenance of Shutters
Large amounts of energy can be saved by cooling office buildings not only with air conditioners or other active cooling systems but also by using external shades and blinds to reduce the heat load during sunny hours. It is also worth checking, maintaining, and testing these in the early months of spring when sunshine and outside temperatures are not yet such a problem.
Taking Care of Water Systems, Building Environment
Water systems make the summer heat more comfortable and bearable both inside and outside the building, greatly improving the comfort of office workers. In spring, it is also worth taking the time to clean, disinfect and refill these facilities so that they do not come to the forefront during usage. In preparation for the summer months, it is important to check the exterior cladding, garden the green areas, maintain and clean the sprinkler and drainage systems, and maintain and repair any outdoor furniture.

"There are many ways to save costs and energy in an office building during the summer, but the most important is planning! Most of the advice from our experts does not require costly investments, but the awareness and attention of the building's occupants are essential, alongside preventive maintenance," emphasizes Flück.

"In order to ensure that tenants of Icon-operated properties enjoy optimal working conditions, our experts make suggestions for the optimal operation of cooling and ventilation systems, the use of shading systems, ventilation or the improvement of green spaces around the property, as well as the optimization of the use of electrical equipment in the building, i.e. the reduction of internal heat loads, based on the characteristics and possibilities of the property and the needs of the tenants. All of these measures can achieve measurable energy savings without even a small reduction in comfort levels," he adds.

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