How can HVAC systems help contribute to the overall green rating of a building?

Johan Samuelsson, VP, Middle East and Africa, Trane, on how HVAC systems are embracing green concepts

Johan Samuelsson, vice president, Middle East and Africa, Trane, about how HVAC systems are embracing green concepts to help improve efficiency ratings for buildings.

How can HVAC systems help contribute to the overall green rating of a building?

One third of the energy use in buildings comes from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. When building owners use less power, they reduce the number of emissions released by power plants, including the amount of CO2 that goes into the atmosphere – thus creating greenhouse gas emissions.

When building owners save energy, those energy savings can be directly calculated to saving greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to the overall green rating of a building.

How can HVAC systems be incorporated into the design and engineering of a building to ensure maximum efficiency and low emissions?

Having an efficient system design plays a critical role in a building’s environmental impact. It’s critical to take a whole-systems approach to building design and construction. This method puts you in a much better position to help building owners and managers achieve their goals.

Depending on the building requirements, HVAC systems can be incorporated to minimise environmental impact and maximise building performance.

How can building management systems combine with HVAC systems to create systems that are responsive, intuitive and efficient? What is some of the latest R&D being done in the field?

There is a direct link between saving energy from HVAC and other building systems. It is imperative to keep a building running at optimal performance and to choose sustainability experts who can transform your buildings’ environments with digitally driven solutions. A range of upgrade solutions should be available to give building owners the precise, measurable, digital control to analyse, optimise or modernise systems based on business priorities.

The industry is working through its national associations to engage non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments around the world to ensure that the Montreal Protocol is used to transition away from high-GWP refrigerants in a way that is technically feasible and allows for service. The most recent and most effective industry development is introduction of the bipartisan bill, American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2018, implemented on February 15, 2018 to advance next-generation technologies as alternatives to HFCs.

Can you discuss the region’s shift from HCFCs to HFOs?

With growing concerns about the impact on the environment and climate change, pressure has been mounting for years to reduce the use of high-GWP refrigerants across many applications and industries.

In designing building systems with lower-GWP refrigerants, it’s a matter of trade-offs in finding options that are environmentally responsible, can be used safely and that deliver the performance and efficiency that building owners and managers require. It is important to take a balanced approach considering environmental impacts, safety and efficiency.

What is in the R&D pipeline for Trane, and what sort of impact do you anticipate these products having?

For more than 100 years, Trane has been innovating at a pace beyond that of the rest of the industry, with research, testing and innovation at the heart of everything that we do. For example, our state-of-the-art HVAC Research and Development Testing Facility in Epinal, France enables us to verify the performance of our comprehensive equipment portfolio. It serves as a validation centre for new product development, enabling the simulation of all operating conditions encountered during the life of HVAC) equipment.

Further, as part of our global Climate Commitment, we’ve pledged to invest $500 million in product-related research and development over the next five years to fund the long-term reduction of GHG emissions.

To date, our climate commitment has supported the avoidance of approximately 6.7 million metric tons of CO2 globally, which is the equivalent of avoiding annual CO2 emissions from energy used in more than 700,000 homes. By 2030, we expect to have reduced our carbon footprint by 50 million metric tons.

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