As touched on in a previous blog, retrofitting a building with modular offices can improve its energy efficiency and reduce overall costs. But before you can begin retrofitting, you must first determine if the condition of your building is appropriate for the installation of modular offices. Conditions to look at include:
- Current building codes
- Surrounding building environment
- System operating levels
Is Your Building Up-to-Code?
You do not want to begin putting in your modular office only to discover that it is not feasible due to certain aspects of your building being out-of-code. For example, if you live in an area that has high seismic activity, you must be sure that seismic upgrade requirements are met.
If your building is not up-to-code, it could present some problems for you. For one, the structure itself may not be sound enough to go through with a retrofit, possibly resulting in having to tear it down and build new. Secondly, staying up-to-code will allow your business to run smoothly without legal troubles. Even if your building is not up-to-code, there are retrofits you can make that will allow you to get up-to-code.
Check both federal and local laws on building code requirements to ensure that you are operating above minimum requirements. Finding the right resources pertaining to your local building codes may be time consuming, but it is well worth it.
Be Aware of Your Surrounding Environment
Are there hazardous materials like asbestos or lead paint present in your building that must be removed first before retrofitting? If so, you will have to take steps to safely remove them before retrofitting, as construction waste from these materials can be harmful to both environmental and employee health.
32 percent of all energy used by buildings comes from heating and cooling. On a hot factory floor, you want your modular office to be as efficient as possible, which can save you money. Choosing the right wall system can help you with efficient environmental control.
Are Your Building Systems Operating at Optimal Levels?
It is very important to look at your building’s current systems, such as water and electrical, to determine if they are already operating at their peak. If so, there is no need to replace them with newer equipment when you install your modular office. If you do need to replace older equipment, find replacements that will run efficiently and cost you less in the long run.
Often, knowing how to properly maintain and operate your equipment can decrease costs before having to replace them altogether. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your building systems and their efficiency. Reviewing your utility bills from the past few years will be very useful in determining whether energy consumption or cost has risen so you can adjust accordingly. In doing so, you will have a better understanding of what needs to be replaced and what new equipment will benefit your retrofit.