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Is a demand-controlled indoor climate worthwhile?

We believe that investing in an on-demand system will quickly pay off.

In the beginning, a demand-controlled system often costs more than a solution for ventilation with constant volume flow. However, with the higher investment you get lower operating costs, higher property value and also increase the productivity of the people who are in the building. In this blog post we analyze how much more expensive demand-driven systems really are and which main factors contribute to the amortization of the investment.

Productivity contributes to savings

One factor that is often overlooked when it comes to investments and savings is the productivity of the people in the building. The indoor climate is strongly linked to human well-being and performance. With a demand-controlled room climate, you can adjust the room climate on an individual level, which has a positive effect on performance. The 3-30-300 rule, for example, shows that this is worthwhile: It says that a small investment (3) in an energy-saving demand-driven system reduces operating costs (30), but that the real added value lies in increased productivity and well-being the employee lies (300).

Lower operating costs

In addition, a needs-based indoor climate lowers operating costs in a variety of ways. With the help of sensors, the indoor climate is measured and controlled as required, which is good for the environment and your wallet.

Schools are a good example of how a demand-controlled indoor climate can significantly reduce operating costs. A study shows that it is possible to save up to 80% of the energy for air treatment and up to 40% of the energy for cooling and heating compared to ventilation with constant volume flow. Another study that was carried out in a school showed even greater savings in heating energy. In this school the rooms are only occupied for a maximum of 30 minutes a day or 110 hours a year, the rest of the time the occupancy is significantly lower. When comparing the heating energy consumption / year between ventilation with constant volume flow and demand-controlled room climate, the differences are clear:

  • Ventilation with constant volume flow consumes 35.07 MWh / year.
  • A demand-controlled indoor climate consumes 6.47 MWh, which means a reduction of more than 80%.

With a networked system, service and monitoring of operations can even be carried out remotely - this saves time and money. In addition, the individual control of the room climate means a reduction in the number of error messages and the associated costs by up to 25%.

Investment costs

In a study that compared the installation price and energy consumption for different types of systems in a school with 16 rooms, the implementation of a demand-driven system was about 30% higher than for a system with constant volume flow. With this in mind, constant flow ventilation with its lower initial investment can be the right option for smaller projects where the demand is not that high but the investment cost is a critical factor. In order to achieve an acceptable level of comfort, however, this solution risks becoming expensive in the long term due to a lack of energy efficiency and flexibility.

A demand-controlled indoor air conditioning system is energy efficient because the system delivers exactly as needed.

A demand-controlled room air conditioning system is energy efficient because the system regulates exactly as required. It does not ventilate, cool or heat too much - which costs energy - nor too little - which affects comfort, but only as much as is needed.

If you choose a system with wireless communication, you are also more flexible, as the installation time is significantly reduced, since no communication cables have to be laid and the risk of incorrect connections is eliminated. The logistics in the construction process are also simplified, as the products do not have to be preconfigured. A study shows that the use of wireless climate products and sensors can save 80-330 euros in installation costs per device compared to an equivalent demand-controlled system that is not wireless.

Increased property value

There are many different aspects that affect the value of a property. The choice of ventilation and air conditioning systems influences several of them, such as: B. low operating costs and an individually adapted room climate (which contributes to higher productivity). A high ranking in various building certification programs and flexibility can also affect the value of the property.

In recent years, the demand for environmental certification has increased significantly. The demand for a controlled indoor climate that is both energy efficient and environmentally friendly contributes significantly to a high classification in various certification programs such as BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum. Environmental certifications often have a positive effect on the value of the building and the rent per square meter. The value of a building can increase by up to 26% and the rent by 6% if the property is certified. In addition, 62% of property owners see a positive effect on property value in connection with a high level of environmental certification.

A wireless system contributes to flexible buildings that enable more efficient use of the premises and simplify the process of renovations and conversions. If the requirements of the system need to be adjusted, e.g. If, for example, walls are moved or activities in the premises change, the system can easily be changed without the renovation being too expensive.

How quickly an investment in a demand-controlled room climate pays for itself in comparison to ventilation with constant volume flow is difficult to quantify across the board, as it varies greatly from project to project. The above-mentioned study in a school shows that the investment in a demand-controlled room air conditioning system pays for itself in terms of energy savings after about 4 years compared to ventilation with constant volume flow. One reason for this is the low level of occupancy, which means that energy can be saved. In general, demand-driven systems can be used to say that you receive low operating costs, a comfortable, individually adapted room climate, increased performance and the option of environmental certification of the building according to the highest standards.

Sources:

Wireless demand controlled ventilation - a cost-benefit analysis and comparison of installation
costs, Jens Kunter Bergersen, 23/05/2019

Making school buildings more energy efficient through demand controlled ventilation.
Evelina Lann & Julia Lysén, 2011
https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:420664/FULLTEXT01.pdf
Juha Pasila, Demand controlled ventilation in school buildings, 2013, Seinajoki university of applied sciences.