Flexible working ‘increases lift energy use and emissions’

Lifts in modern buildings are using 36% more energy due to flexible working practices. That’s according to a study which compared on-site measurements of real lift energy consumption with predictions […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Lifts in modern buildings are using 36% more energy due to flexible working practices.

That’s according to a study which compared on-site measurements of real lift energy consumption with predictions from industry standards.

It found lifts consume between 16% to 36% more energy than the international standard predictions.

Changing working patterns such as flexi-time and hot desking – i.e. a system which involves multiple workers using a single work station during different time periods – seem to have increased pressure on lift systems by increasing inter-floor journeys and energy use, it adds.

Commercial buildings account for 50% of UK electricity use and lifts making up 8% of office buildings’ energy use, the study by StepJockey and specialist lift consultants SVM Associates states.

They suggest employees promoting the use of stairs to reduce energy costs.

John Newbold, SVM Associates Director, said: “Our findings will worry many but property professionals need reliable data if they are to make progress. This study shows the importance of direct measurement of lift energy consumption and how, with simple behavioral changes, significant savings can be made.”