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Building Construction, Environment

Close the door on El Nino’s costly HVAC liabilities this sweltering summer

Boon Edam Australia 5 mins read
The highest temperature ever recorded in Australia is 50.7 u00b0C (123.3 u00b0F), which was recorded on 2 January 1960 at Oodnadatta, South Australia, and 13 January 2022 at Onslow, Western Australia.

Weather patterns forecast this summer mean HVAC systems in Australia’s million-plus commercial buildings will need to work harder than ever as El Nino bites, producing higher energy bills and greater emissions.


December to February maximum and minimum temperatures are at least 2.5 times more likely than normal to be unusually high for much of Australia, says the Bureau of Meteorology.


“Given that all Australian State capitals already have many days exceeding 35-40 degrees, the Australian Standard* for offices and factories of 21-24 deg C is going to be under some large pressure,” says energy-saving revolving door advocate Michael Fisher. (*AS1837- 1976 Code of Practice.)


“Given that commercial buildings are responsible for about 24 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption, the pressure is going to be on to maximise efficiencies while minimising emissions from hard-working air conditioning plant,” says Fisher, who is Managing Director of Boon Edam Australia, part of the global group specialising in architectural revolving doors and security entrances.


Keeping commercial energy bills down


Building owners and managers particularly prone to higher energy bills, closer emission scrutiny, and health duty of care issues this summer include:


  • Data centres and financial computing centres, which already draw large amounts of energy overall and face calls to reduce emissions
  • Public and private office buildings where employers have a duty of care to maintain healthy work environments
  • Health centres, which have a particular responsibility to maintain even temperatures for patients and the aged and infirm
  • Hotels and retail centres concerned about guest and customer comfort. Australia has more than 1,600 shopping centres of more than 1,000 sq m, and about 6,000 hotels and similar establishments
  • Industrial workplaces, which have a duty of care for worker conditions, and also to maintain hygienic temperatures around delicate processes and perishable goods, including food and beverages
  • Australia’s 10,000 primary, secondary, TAFE, and universities colleges, which accommodate more than 5.6 million students and academic staff, (including more than 4 million primary and secondary students, and about 1.5 million at higher education facilities).


“Many of our stock of a million-plus non-residential buildings are upgrading their HVAC systems to the best modern standards, while architects, builders, and managers generally are paying far greater attention to producing ‘tight’ buildings that don’t leak expensively conditioned air and place greater load on plant,” says Fisher.


“Many also are highly aware of the amount of HVAC air that is dumped out onto the footpath every time a sliding or conventional door is used – which is nearly all the time in busy government and private buildings, particularly service and transport centres.


“We don’t pretend for a moment that revolving doors are a total answer to energy sustainability objectives – that is a multi-faceted issue -- but we do believe that some buildings have a sustainability blind spot when it comes to the obvious benefits of revolving door entrances, with their ‘always open, always closed’ functionality.


“One of the difficulties in the past has been actually measuring the doors’ impact on sustainability, and obtaining practical ROI information as the cost of energy continually goes up, and the ROI continually tracks down.”


Measuring energy savings


The Boon Edam Group – which operates in 27 countries globally with its entrances in many Fortune 500 corporate HQs – has set out to provide architects, builders, and managers with a reliable estimation tool to quantify the gains.


The 150-year-old global architectural revolving door leader partnered with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) (ranked in the top 10 engineering and technology best universities in the world by the globally respected QS rankings) to arrive at a scientifically validated software that is available in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.


“The software’s science-based approach gives specifiers the chance to demonstrate to their clients what many of them have known for years: Revolving doors offer permanent gains in energy efficiency across the spectrum of commercial building types, both existing structures and new buildings seeking NABERS or National Electricity Market (NEM) measurable sustainability credentials,” says Fisher.


A first use of the software was applied to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane building models. It shows the payback period for installing a revolving door, instead of a less energy-efficient sliding door, is shrinking rapidly as energy prices here accelerate quickly. At energy prices prevailing this year – which are due to rise again early in 2024 – Melbourne has the quickest payback time of four years, with Brisbane next at 4.9 years and Sydney at 5.7 years and shrinking.


Fisher says that for building specifiers seeking to achieve green performance ratings, it can no longer be a question of ‘What is the cheapest door up front?’, but rather ‘How can we create a sustainable, secure, and comfortable environment that meets national and global standards of sustainability and returns benefits starting immediately and extending over decades?


“We believe it is ever-more apparent that revolving doors’ performance is too good to ignore,” says Fisher, whose company makes the software and its facilitator available to architects, builders and managers who want to see how their buildings stack up.


How the software works


The energy calculation software quantifies the benefits of revolving doors compared to sliding doors when considering energy savings and prevention of draught. Designers, builders, or facility managers and other building professionals are provided with a format into which to enter specific data for their facility, which is then processed in partnership with the new Boon Edam propriety software, which calculates and reports on data including the following:


  • Energy savings in kWh per month throughout the year when a revolving door is installed instead of a sliding door
  • Payback time of a revolving door compared to an automatic sliding door
  • The area of the floor behind both door types, where according to DIN standards, serious discomfort from draught can be expected


The program uses information regarding:


  • Facility specific entrance usage
  • Local energy costs
  • Size and type of building
  • Weather data from globally validated sources
  • The number of people that can enter per sliding door opening
  • The number of people that can enter per revolving door revolution


Revolving doors

  • Reduce energy bills and pay for themselves
  • Counter stack pressure effects (in tall buildings)
  • Exclude dust, smoke, airborne irritants, and noise
  • Reclaim comfortable square meterage, right where it counts
  • Support bi-directional traffic
  • Use only a small amount of space
  • Elevate the brand and create a great first impression
  • Last for decades (with relatively inexpensive scheduled maintenance)


About us:

With work environments becoming increasingly global and dynamic, smart, safe entry has become the centre of activity in and around many buildings. Royal Boon Edam is a global market leader in reliable entry solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, with 150 years of experience in engineering quality, we have gained extensive expertise in managing the transit of people through office buildings, airports, healthcare facilities, hotels, and many other types of buildings. We are focussed on providing an optimal, sustainable experience for our clients and their clients. By working together with you, our client, we help determine the exact requirements for the entry point in and around your building.

Please take a look at our range of revolving doors, security doors & portals, speed gates, tripod turnstiles, access gates and full height turnstiles to ensure the security of your entry and perimeter.

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Contact details:

Jack Mallen-Cooper
PR Consultant
Whyte Public Relations
(02) 9901 4306


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