Successful pilot results in a comfortable and energy-efficient work environment

February 2018

Successful pilot results in a comfortable and energy-efficient work environment

In this joint pilot project, Strukton Worksphere and Ahrend demonstrate that an increase in personal comfort and a considerable energy saving can be achieved.

Two independent innovations, Strukton PULSE and the Ahrend Comfort Workstation, have been connected in a recent pilot project. The experience of comfort and energy consumption of the Comfort workstation has been successfully measured and made visible in PULSE.In this pilot project, Strukton Worksphere and Ahrend demonstrate that an increase in personal comfort and considerable energy savings can be achieved with this connection.

Building’s energy consumption decreased by 10%
The pilot project lasted more than half a year and took place in a sustainable building that is ‘BREEAM-NL In-Use’ certified. In this building, the workplace and space conditions were digitally measured 24/7 and laid down in the digital platform Strukton PULSE. The result of this is that energy consumption decreased by 10%. For property owners, on the long run there is the advantage of a simpler installation concept for revitalisation. In addition, more savings can be made on the (replacement) maintenance of the installations in the building.

Improvement in comfort
Besides the energy cost savings, the pilot also shows that the comfort of the workplace is assessed higher when the climate can be set individually. The table below shows that with a unchanged indoor temperature, user satisfaction (comfort) can rise to 100% if the Comfort Workstation is used. Even if the indoor temperature is lower (for energy saving), the indoor climate is still rated as acceptable by 94% of the users, higher than if no Comfort Workstations are being used.

Reference without Comfort Workstation Comfort Workstation with unchanged indoor temperature Comfort Workstation with 3 degrees lower indoor temperature
Acceptable 86% 100% 94%
Not acceptable 14% 0 6%

For employees and building owners
Owners and tenants of buildings can easily save energy and costs by making the climate control adjustable on a personal level, including human centered heating and cooling. It also contributes to the employees’ comfort and satisfaction of the workspace, which has a beneficial effect on productivity and the level of absenteeism.

Research method
A real-life set-up was chosen, after the Ahrend Comfort Workstation showed very positive results earlier in a lab set-up at TNO. To measure the energy consumption of the Comfort Workstation, the pilot room has been set to a fixed base temperature. Gradually, the room temperature is increased (in summer) and reduced (in winter) to determine how much energy saving can be achieved without a decrease in personal comfort at the workplace. To ensure pleasant comfort in an unchanging room temperature, users additionally have heated or cooled the workplace. The energy required for this has been measured and laid down with the PULSE software platform. The total energy consumption (for the entire building) has been compared with the energy consumption without using the Comfort Workstation. Furthermore, daily user surveys measured the user’s experience of comfort. This way we have determined what the comfort experience of these innovative workplaces is in different circumstances. Subsequently, the survey results with and without Comfort Workstations were compared again.