Energy consumption from vertical transportation such as elevators and escalators could be cut up to 75% with the use of existing technology, according to a new report. While vertical transportation is not reportable under LEED, being considered part of unregulated "process loads", the new study also lays out the groundwork to create a standardized reporting system for the efficiency of elevators.
Advancing Elevator Energy Efficiency, published by the ACEEE and supported by UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a manufacturer of elevator systems, shows that while elevators and escalators only account for 2-5% of the energy usage of most buildings, this can rise dramatically to 50% during peak operational times. Additionally, the lack of standardized elevator performance metrics can leave facilities professionals in the dark about the best choice for their building. The study looks to provide common standards for measuring elevator efficiency, with the hope that they could lead to a rating system similar to ENERGY STAR. The process would be standardized to give utilities and government agencies the opportunity to offer rebates and incentives for choosing efficient options.
The study’s authors point to several energy-efficient technologies that could be a part of the new process, such as reducing standby power draw by turning off lights and cab ventilation systems during off-hours andnew technologies like coated steel belts to replace cable ropes. Advanced dispatching software could also reduce occupant wait time while reducing energy use by up to 50% compared to traditional systems.