Over 300 professionals from the Middle East’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) industry gathered in Dubai to plan out the sector’s path to sustainability with global experts outlining how technological disruption can aid the region’s energy and water conservation drive.
The one-day think tank – ‘Shaping the Future of the HVAC Industry’ – was jointly organised at the Address Marina hotel by four of the biggest HVAC players who came together to tackle underlying gaps and address local market demands and pain points.
They are: actuator and valve technology pioneer Belimo; Danish water and climate business leader, Grundfos; high-performance insulation experts Kingspan; and the water-bearing building systems and technology provider Reflex.
“The industry is ready to innovate and take up a role in assisting the region’s drive towards sustainability with energy savings and improved efficiency to deliver better buildings to live and work in,” said Hassan Younes, President of The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) Falcon Chapter who moderated the event.
Adding to need for such a platform, Colin Bridges Business Development Director at Belimo said, “With fast growing urbanisation, finite natural resources and increasing global warming, it is clear that buildings are going to have to become smarter in every way. This will mean harvesting 'real time' data and its' autonomous use by building management systems to continuously maintain efficiencies. This means doing things differently, not tomorrow, but today.”
All four of the organising parties asserted that the adoption of new digitally-driven technologies was key to ensuring sustainability and a minimal environmental impact in the region where 80 per cent of energy is consumed by buildings, and almost a third of this is down to HVAC systems.
“It is vital that we move the market towards the adoption of innovative and energy saving water solutions in HVAC. Digitalisation is opening new opportunities to optimize systems and integrate different components, allowing them to operate in better synergy,” said Ronak Monga, Segment Development Manager for Building Services at Grundfos Gulf, Levant & Pakistan.
Live digitalised demo stations and working innovative solutions were up on display for attendees to interact and engage with. The think tank partners say intelligent digitisation is changing the face of the industry with integrated technology delivering optimal performance, enhanced energy efficiency, and ultimate reliability leading to lower power consumption, less system noise and overall improved environmental comfort.
“The HVAC industry, particularly the ductwork market, has traditionally been reluctant to change. It is time to embrace new types of materials that help save energy in buildings. This starts by honing of skills & training of HVAC contractors on the new technology, whilst updating specifications and introducing the best performing systems” said Paul Barnard, Head of HVAC for Kingspan Middle East
The four partners say this first sustainability gathering should spur momentum for fast tracking innovation and collaboration to tackle crucial energy conservation challenges.
Without action to address energy efficiency, energy demand for space cooling will more than triple by 2050 – consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today.
“To maximize operational efficiency, it is critical to consider all HVAC system components. System water, one of the most important components is usually underestimated. The water quality has an enormous influence on the efficiency of the HVAC systems. Modern control and measurement technology help us guarantee the maximum functionality, at minimal energy losses.” Moustapha Fahmy, Regional Sales Director IMEA at Reflex.