Schools, colleges, and universities are a familiar and valuable market for HVAC contractors. These institutions typically combine a large amount of square footage with a high percentage of building ownership, which often means a willingness to invest for the long term.
A number of disruptors in the retail market and an active regulatory environment present obstacles for HVAC and refrigeration systems’ designers in foodservice operations, supermarkets, and cold storage facilities.
A friend of mine runs the mechanical systems group at a data center. It’s a decent job and he likes it most of the time. But, like many people, he sometimes wonders if there might be a little greener grass or new horizons to be found elsewhere. So when a local school district let it be known they were looking for an experienced HVAC guy to take care of the systems at their brand-new combined high school/middle school, he looked into it. And the interview experience was eye-opening.
Refrigeration contractors are all too familiar with people problems: the technician shortage, the challenges of retaining skilled workers and of attracting millennials to the refrigeration industry, and the day-to-day task of maintaining a good company culture and motivating employees. If it’s any consolation, you are not alone.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a subject area where so many of the strategic questions are being sorted out in the field,” said Robert Cavey, a partner with Praxis Inc., in kicking off Danfoss’ 30th EnVisioneering Symposium, Refrigerants2Sustainability, which was held Sept. 27 in Orlando, Florida.
Sustainability tends to conjure up images of green buildings contributing to a healthier global environment, and that is certainly one aspect of it. But we all know that money talks, and building owners and managers are going to justifiably expect to see a solid returns on their investments (ROIs) in sustainable building measures.
It’s impossible to take stock of the thousands of sustainability measures being incorporated into commercial buildings today — the market and technologies appear to have nothing but unlimited opportunities for growth ahead.
When it comes time to replace an HVAC system, I understand that most people just want a simple answer. For one thing, a new furnace and air conditioner is a big investment. In addition, it’s not something people buy often, so not many people are familiar with the product s or the process.