How to Heat and Cool Flex Space Without Breaking the Bank
Over the past few years, there has been an increased demand for companies to streamline their operations. Because of this, “flex space” has become a reality for many businesses, allowing for simplified operations and greater versatility.
What is Flex Space?
Simply put, flex space refers to a building, typically one-story, which has both office space and warehouse space. While the office space is usually more typical, with 9-foot ceilings and standard layouts, the warehouse varies; most often, there are ceilings around 14-16 feet tall, a warehouse door, and a loading dock.
Flex space is utilized by a variety of businesses; retailers, brewers, makers, and automotive shops are a few of the most common occupants.
Advantages of Flex Space
Particularly as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are looking to shift from full commercial office spaces to an office/warehouse hybrid in order to cut costs and simplify.
Flex space allows for a centralized operating hub. Take a tire shop for example. One portion of the building can be dedicated to customer-facing operations, such as employee offices, a waiting area, or a checkout; the warehouse space, on the other hand, allows the shop to keep its inventory and services onsite under the same roof.
Commercial HVAC Challenges with Flex Space
Though flex space provides convenience and centralized logistics, it also comes with some major challenges, especially for organizations who are migrating from a large commercial space to this hybrid model. Flex Space requires different HVAC needs than your previous commercial space, and often you may find you’re overcompensating once you move to an industrial facility.
Here’s what you need to know about the HVAC needs of Flex Space.
As you can imagine, the HVAC needs for an office space versus a warehouse vary significantly. With any warehouse, extreme cold or extreme heat can drastically affect comfort and productivity for employees.
Further, with a constantly opening and closing warehouse door, without the proper commercial HVAC design, your warehouse temperature becomes subject to the weather. Windows, cracks, and other leak points can also impact your indoor warehouse temperature.
Air flow issues are a common culprit behind “sick building syndrome”, a real term used to describe a situation when a building’s occupants experience health and/or comfort-related side effects that appear to coincide with the time spent in the building. According to research by Sumedha M. Joshi, sick building syndrome leads to absences and “causes a decrease in productivity of the workers.”
So why does air flow matter? Even the most powerful commercial HVAC systems can’t combat settled air in a large warehouse space, making the air stale, and furthering the temperature control issues.
Higher Energy Costs
Heating and cooling a warehouse doesn’t come cheap. Tall ceilings, vast open space, opening and closing garage doors, ventilation quality, and drafts can all significantly impact your monthly energy bill.
How to Efficiently Heat and Cool Flex Space
Just because there are a number of HVAC challenges that can come along with heating and cooling flex space doesn’t mean it’s not possible to do it in an efficient, bottom-line-friendly way.
Here are a few ways we manage flex space for our clients:
Demand Control Ventilation
Demand control ventilation analyzes the demand for ventilation in a building through the use of sensors that are sensitive to CO2 levels. When it senses an increase in CO2 in the building, the system will increase the number of air changes until it lands at the correct rate for maximum building comfort.
Smart Building Controls
Smart thermostats are the future of commercial HVAC; with smart building controls, a simple automation simplifies the way you control multiple systems under the same roof. You can even control features like your lights and window shades to help keep consistent temperatures. Smart building controls not only increase your energy efficiency and help reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but your employees will be more comfortable and productive in their environment.
Regular HVAC Maintenance
Along with an expertly designed commercial HVAC system in your building, it’s equally as important to have a proactive maintenance plan in place to ensure your system is working efficiently around the clock.
When you choose Air Stream as your HVAC partner, you benefit from:
- Your own customized, cost-effective HVAC maintenance program
- Lowest cost-per-value
- More efficient operations
- Real-time communications
- 24/7 service year-round
- The latest HVAC technology
- A dedicated service team with expert knowledge of flex space HVAC design
Efficient HVAC Ventilation for Your Flex Space is Just a Phone Call Away!
Not all flex spaces are the same, meaning their commercial HVAC systems shouldn’t be, either. With an expert HVAC design, though, you can reap all the benefits of both flex space and an efficient heating and cooling system.
For more information, call (516) 747-4700.