On November 28, Friends of the Baltic experts, Profine RUS (JSC) and a school ecoadviser conducted a thermal imaging observation at a public school. In 2010-2012, an energy audit was performed (or should have been performed) in all Russian schools by service companies, but often the results were not explained to the school administration, neither were they delivered to the technical staff and the overall school community, and thus failed to create the basis for the improvement of energy efficiency of the school building.
An energy audit that involves a school ecoadviser (a voluntary consultant who assists the implementation of environmental friendly solutions in a school) can help make the results known and understood among the school staff and find ways to improve the energy parameters of the school – from simple and cheap solutions to more complex and high-cost ones.
The survey was conducted with the use of a professional thermal imager, a device that reads the surface temperature in the infrared range. It allows one to see where a building’s «cold bridges» are located (where the cold enters and the heat leaves). Ventilation, windows, walls and exterior doors of the school were examined with the use of this device as well as spaces outside. The collected data will help to determine how energy efficient the existing external constructions of the school building (such as windows) are. The results of the energy audit will be processed, analyzed and presented at the ecoadvisers training of on December 14. At the training, the specialists of Profine RUS will make recommendations for the school on how to modernize its energy saving system.
It is possible to conduct an energy audit without using any professional equipment. Some causes of heat losses in building are obvious to the naked eye. For example, a cold inner surface of a wall in winter will reveal its poor insulation without any energy auditing. Voids around window frames, doors and places where panel blocks of buildings meet are sources of heat loss, and cold in such places can easily be felt. If you see icicles on the roof in the winter, it means that the heat is lost through a poorly or uninsulated roof of the building. There are many other small signs that may indicate inefficiencies in building heating.