The warehouse, the poor relation of renovation
The fluctuation of energy prices profoundly impact businesses and its repercussions are felt at all levels of the economy right up to the final consumer. Energy prices are becoming an incentive to rethink the entire chain of production and distribution of energy resources. In this process, warehouses and logistics platforms are directly affected by urgent renovations, which have been postponed for too long.
Industrial-scale infrastructures, the work they require is heavy: between 1 and 5 million euros for their energy renovation alone. And while the production plants have been, for several years now, entered into a virtuous approach to improving their energy performance, warehouses remain the poor relation of the collective journey.
However, if we take into account their energy consumption, estimated between 100 and 200 KWh/m² per year and which can go up to 500 and 1,000 KWh/m² per year for cold stores, the potential sources of savings are staggering.
Towards ever more incentive
The reduction of energy consumption dbecomes a major challenge between regulatory obligations and incentives to act.
Like all buildings over 1000m2, warehouses are subject to the Tertiary Decree, setting obligations to reduce consumption, but other specific texts are added and promote renovation actions. The example of refrigerated warehouses is quite telling in this sense. These large cold rooms, through which pass all the refrigerated products that will be found in our supermarkets, have major facilities dedicated to the production of cold. They use refrigerants, which have been closely regulated since the 1990s, given their polluting nature. The European F-Gas regulation frames and draws up the list of usable fluids with low greenhouse effect potential (GWP index).
Indirectly, this regulation leads operators of refrigerated warehouses to review their fleet of equipment and their cold production and distribution processes. By renewing their machine room, the objective is twofold: compliance with the F-Gas regulatory package and the achievement of energy savings.
Manage better, exploit better
Energy efficiency first comes from a correct sizing of facilities, allowing each machine to operate within its maximum performance range. In addition to improving the sizing of cold installations, it is possible to set up speed variation systems, floating HP/LP, to adjust to the real thermal needs of the warehouse throughout the year. Other solutions exist but require a higher CAPEX.
At the same time, it is necessary to take an interest in heat losses to improve the energy ratio of warehouses and to act on lighting, if this has not yet been done.
All of the building’s technical systems can also be controlled by a Technical Building Management. Mandatory for many buildings, BMS is a tool for better manage and operate your building and therefore complements potential improvement works.
ESCs: a tool for accelerating energy saving work that should not be overlooked
Energy Savings Certificates represent a powerful lever to activate. However, their profoundly technical-administrative nature does not facilitate their use by contracting authorities.
The whole challenge is then to bring together studies, advice, work to improve the energy performance of a site and their financing. Thanks to EWCs, warehouse owners can have their renovations largely financed.
However, as France has not, unlike Italy, made the issue of certificates conditional on obtaining proof of performance, it remains important to select a partner committing to an energy performance contract.
For the renovation of warehouses and logistics platforms, this is certainly the most pragmatic approach to take. It brings in its wake, beyond compliance with the texts in force, a real financial benefit and lays another stone in the CSR edifice of these structures.