Commercial Buildings

A beautiful new upscale commercial building shopping center with no tenants.

Although commercial and institutional buildings vary greatly from one to another in size, use, and type of construction, there are general recommendations for creating energy-efficient commercial buildings in a hot and humid climate.

Top 10 Checklist for Creating Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings

Top 10 iconFSEC/UCF researchers have extensive experience working with commercial buildings and have developed a checklist of the TOP 10 priorities for energy efficiency:

  1. Create a high performance envelope
  2. Optimize lighting systems
  3. Control ventilation
  4. Manage humidity in an energy-efficient manner
  5. Install high efficiency AC systems
  6. Reduce fan and pump energy use
  7. Manage building and HVAC system air flows
  8. Optimize the scheduling of energy-consuming systems
  9. Perform commissioning and recommissioning
  10. Analyze building energy use

Learn more about each of the Top 10 items.

Suggested Publications


Commercial building modern restaurant interior photoRestaurants face a unique challenge when it comes to creating a comfortable environment for both their diners and their kitchen staff. Our research can help to make your restaurant more comfortable for everyone involved and save you money on your utility bills.

Learn More: Restaurants

Schools and Retail Stores

Portable classroom with solar electric panels on shingle roof with three students walking in front of while one student walks in opposite direction.Relocatable Classrooms: Portables or “relocatable” classrooms have been used for years to accommodate growing school populations, especially in the Southeastern United States. There are large numbers of these units in service and many of them need significant improvements or replacement. This report discusses the big impact “temporary” classrooms can have on the energy footprint of a school.

window with water drops closeup, frame inside, selective focusRelative Humidity: During periods when air conditioning is needed, ideal indoor conditions in school buildings are about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative humidity (RH). This report discusses energy-efficient strategies designed to control relative humidity in schools.

A 24 ft x 48 ft frame builidng with different roofing systems; man squatted down nest to white metal roof section; photo.Roof Finish: Architects and designers have long known that light-colored building roofs can reduce cooling needs. Experiments in existing residences have shown that a white reflective roof can reduce cooling requirements by an average of 20%. The following studies look at a private elementary school building in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and seven retail shops in a strip mall in Cocoa, Florida.