The HVAC industry is changing rapidly to meet the various building code requirements for energy efficiency and the demand for more sustainable products. As a commercial HVAC contractor, you are likely being asked to get more and more involved in the overall management of the commercial building operation. Your expert input is required, in order to assist the manager and owner in maximizing their HVAC system’s efficiency and its contribution to a sustainable environment, as well as increasing the facility’s profitability.
Here are some things to consider when working with your commercial HVAC customers to ensure that you are bringing them valuable knowledge to assist with solving their building operations’ energy challenges:
- Think Smart – Owners/managers are looking for “smart-building” solutions and they expect their HVAC contractor to bring those solutions to the table. These building owners/managers recognize the return on investment that is available from energy management systems (EMS) and connected sensors that allow facility owners and operators to capture more data about energy consumption and building performance. These solutions are not “novel” ideas anymore, so commercial contractors should make sure they are providing the right EMS for their commercial owner to ensure the best building performance.
- Net zero – With the various building materials, construction techniques and higher efficiency products available, reaching a net-zero building status is now becoming more common, as the industry moves past LEED® and ENERGY STAR® certifications. In competitive commercial markets, commercial builders are presenting their buildings as Net Zero energy designs as a means of differentiation. Make sure you are knowledgeable about all the ways the HVAC system can be designed and maintained to assist the building in reaching its Net Zero goals.
- Integration – HVAC has become the nexus of HVAC building integration and the commercial HVAC contractor should take a lead role in ensuring that HVAC is at the forefront of how disparate building systems work together to maximize energy efficiency for the building. The single integrated system increases convenience for building owners, and occupants to monitor energy usage and collect data for smarter business decisions. There are a variety of Energy Management Systems and they all have their proprietary solutions for integration. You should familiarize yourself with some of the most popular systems to ensure that you can work within the system the architect/contractor will be using.
- High-efficiency HVAC – Building owners/managers are looking for the most high-efficient HVAC systems to ensure that they are maximizing their buildings efficient use of energy. Since HVAC systems typically account for 40 – 60% of the energy used, it is important to be aware of the various products and systems available for the building’s application. Carrier Enterprise carries a wide portfolio of high-efficiency HVAC products for both residential and commercial buildings, and can help you select the best one for your next commercial project.
- Daylighting – More architects and designers are relying on natural light to avoid the cost of lighting fixtures and reduce electricity costs. Although this is a great way to reduce direct expense for energy, the addition of additional windows, skylights and light tubes also increases the heat being allowed into the building, which increases the demand on the HVAC system. Commercial HVAC contractors should work closely with the architect, contractor and building owner to ensure that the HVAC system is properly sized and integrated into these types of buildings.