Everyone involved with IAQ knows about the 1970s, when excess energy use became Public Enemy No. 1 for commercial building designers. Saving energy was the critical goal: Air leaks were being hunted like wild animals, and windows and doors were sealed so tightly that not a breath of conditioned air could seep out.
All signs point to sustainability, safety and BIM technology when it comes to future success in the HVAC industry. But where do you begin? And most importantly, how do you keep building on what you’re already doing? Steve Jones — director of industry insights and research for Dodge Data & Analytics and keynote speaker at this year’s AEC BuildTech (April 30-May 2) — shows you the way forward to the future.
Judging by the emphasis in the AHR booth, Panasonic is working to differentiate itself by putting considerable emphasis on health and IAQ. Even though it is not scheduled to reach the U.S. market until early 2020, the offering getting the most attention this year was nanoe™X.
It wasn’t too long ago that the only time people thought about the air they were breathing was when they wanted to light up their next cigarette, which they could do anywhere — in hospitals, on planes, at the grocery store. IAQ wasn’t even a thing. But that was then, and this is now.
While IAQ has received more homeowner attention over the past few years, many contractors are still not offering those products during their sales pitches. They might be missing a golden opportunity because, according to Aprilaire, those that do are reaping the benefits.
The tech who showed up to the house was probably just as surprised as I was that my dad was getting the ducts cleaned. But he saw this appointment as an opportunity, not a waste of time. He talked to my dad, found things out about him and the house. Because he spent just a few minutes with my dad, he was able to add on additional products and services. That tech turned a $375 duct cleaning job into a $1,500 IAQ solution job.
Ventilation systems designed for office buildings may recirculate most of the air and only supply a small percentage of fresh air, but architectural and building codes require that laboratory rooms and vivaria use only fresh outside air for ventilation. This design difference explains why laboratories require so much more energy to operate.