Some 300 professionals from the Middle East’s HVAC industry assembled in Dubai to plot the sector’s path to sustainability, with global experts outlining how technological disruption can aid the region’s energy and water conservation drive.
The ‘Shaping the Future of the HVAC Industry’ one-day think tank was jointly hosted at the Address Marina hotel by Belimo, Grundfos, Kingspan, and 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 & 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 organising parties asserted that the adoption of new digitally-driven technologies was key to ensuring sustainability and a minimal environmental impact in a region where 80% of energy is consumed by buildings, almost a third of which 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,” added Ronak Monga, segment development manager for building services at Grundfos Gulf, Levant & Pakistan.
“Digitalisation is opening new opportunities to optimize systems and integrate different components, allowing them to operate in better synergy.”
Think tank partners were in unison that 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,” said Paul Barnard, head of HVAC for Kingspan Middle East.
“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.”
In a statement released post-event, organisers predicted that without action to address energy efficiency, demand for space cooling in the Middle East will more than triple by 2050 – consuming as much electricity as all of China and India do today.
“To maximize operational efficiency, it is critical to consider all HVAC system components,” said Moustapha Fahmy, regional sales director IMEA at Reflex.
“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.”