Commercial HVAC Applications: Navigating Through a Period of Change

Commercial HVAC Applications: Navigating Through a Period of Change

A recent survey from Consulting and Specifying Engineering revealed several insights on challenges that building design engineers and facility managers face.

Notably, 43 percent of survey respondents indicated that changing codes and standards is a critical challenge or issue affecting the future of HVAC systems. On top of this, 54 percent stated that the biggest change observed in the past 12 to 18 months is related to energy efficiency and the implications to HVAC system application. System interoperability and inadequate budgets were other critical challenges affecting the future of building automation.

Given these insights from the survey, and my perspective from working with system manufacturers and other channel players such as contractors and end users, I would like to offer some additional thoughts:

  • The best way to navigate uncertainty is to get smart on AHSRAE 90.1 standards, which cover many commercial applications such as chillers, rooftops and split system applications. There may even be other standards that apply for the market segments you serve, such as Title 24 in California.
  • Energy efficiency continues to be a hot topic in our industry, as evidenced by significant moves such as the Department of Energy’s adoption of the IEER (Integrated Energy Efficiency Rating) portion of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 as the national minimum for 6 to 63T rooftops. This goes into effect January 1, 2018.
  • The market space for connectivity and integration solutions is vast as both new businesses and existing industry players look to address the interoperability challenges faced by standalone systems installed in commercial buildings (HVAC, lighting, water heating, etc.). Going forward, I expect more holistic building designs for both new construction and retrofits into existing infrastructure.

Some other resources that provide more insight on these topics and more:

View the Infographic: 10 Things You Need to Know About the Changing Commercial Air Conditioning Market
Watch the webinar: “Getting Comfortable With Designer Air”
Learn how you can be: “Regulation Ready

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