How to make your workplace energy efficient? Some solutions from the : Rajiv Prabhakar on how to make your business environment friendly.

By Rajiv Prabhakar

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Think about it: We spend a major part of our day at work, straddled to our chair, in the confines of our office, battling those deadlines. But how many of us stop to consider how healthy the air we breathe is? Or how much energy it takes to run an air-conditioner full-blast while we cool down after a particularly trying meeting?

As an entrepreneur who is out to make a difference, it is upon us to be environmentally conscious as well, and look for sustainable growth.

After all, there's enough proof today that going for sustainability improves your bottomline as well. Energy efficiency is one of the best ways to not just cut costs, but also decrease your carbon footprint.

Here are five ways to make your working place more energy-efficient.

1. Double it: Made of steel and glass, our office buildings might look sharp, but they are extremely energy inefficient. In our work with workspaces and residential areas, what we do is simply use double glass. This not only maintains the temperature inside, but also keeps the area quieter. Also, double wall area with air in between is the best insulation in the world, since the heat ingress goes down drastically.

2. On the outside: Make sure the color of your office from the outside is as light as possible. The lighter the color, the more it will radiate heat, thus keeping the inside of the building cooler. With the air-conditioning not working as hard as it does, you will save big bucks on your electricity bills and also reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Use waste intelligently: I must share this with you. A few months ago, there was a building we were working on, and we noticed a mound of broken tiles lying in the premises. Instead of having to pay someone to throw it out, we used it on the office roof; this not only gave it a jazzy look, but also made it a reflective roof! Heat ingress from the roof, which is otherwise huge, came down significantly because the tiles were reflecting back heat. You can do that, too, and be innovative when it comes to energy saving.

4. Grow green: When air passes through plants, its temperature comes down. We have measured a difference of up to five degrees in places such as Delhi. Not just that, plants and shrubs around the office area also absorb impurities such as particulate matter. When the Co2 in the environment is used by the plants, it further cools the air. This also brings down the number of filters that you have to install, and the energy costs go down.

5.Tap that water: Those rivulets or incessant drops of condensed water dripping from air-conditioners can not only be used for watering the plants, but also be used to cool normal tap water. We did it in a school. We collected all this condensed water with the help of some extra pipes.

This was put in a tank and a small pump circulated it around drinking water, which was cooled in a few minutes. Thus, the children are now drinking cold drinking water without any extra energy cost! Imagine how much energy it would otherwise take to install water coolers in the premises?

(As told to Prerna Raturi)

Rajiv Prabhakar

Director, Panasea Technologies

Rajiv Prabhakar is a LEED accredited professional, with over three decades of experience in ventilating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration. His enterprise Panasea Technologies has overseen and executed prestigious green projects in India for more than 30 years.

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