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December 28, 2016

2016: A Year for Bigger and Better Things in HVAC

The end of the year is always a time of reflection, and 2016 has been quite a year, for HVAC, for the construction industry and for the world. In this blog post, we highlight events that impacted the HVAC industry with an emphasis on developments that mean more innovation, more relevance and more work.

World Events & HVAC

What is the most talked-about news? The weather, of course. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but so far this has been one of the hottest years on record. If this month’s temperatures match those of December 2015, then 2016 will be the single hottest year on record. That means a lot of things for HVAC.

Rising global temperatures mean that HVAC will be in demand. You can expect to install air conditioning in regions that have traditionally not required machine cooling. Global temperature increase is also accompanied by higher incidents of extreme weather. This means HVAC systems will be pushed to their maximum limits, and many will require upgrades.

Higher temperatures contribute to the growing body of evidence for global warming, and with the ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2016, climate change has been a big topic. The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that represents a commitment to reduce greenhouse gasses. Since HVAC consumes the bulk of a building’s energy, it will be attracting the world’s attention, and energy efficient HVAC innovation will take center stage.

Green is Good

Early in 2016, we learned that green building is not only good for the environment, it’s good for the economy too. A study released by the Canadian Green Building Council reported that in 2014, job creation from green building projects exceeded the number of jobs created by the oil & gas, mining and forestry industries combined.

Indoor air quality was an important issue in 2016 as well. Mainstream media headlines in the UK covering the importance of ventilation to household air quality. It will surprise no one that this news is accompanied by a prediction that the ventilation fan market is expected to reach $2.4billion by 2023.

2016 HVAC Events

There were exciting certification developments in the U.S. in 2016. BREEAM certification was introduced. BREEAM offers new certification options for buildings that are already standing as most programs only address new builds. This has huge potential for HVAC retrofits for higher BREEAM ratings.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a new program called Energy Star Verified HVAC Installation. This is the first ever program that places emphasis on the installation rather than just the equipment rating. The quality of duct sealing, and installation best practices, such as proper duct termination are rated through this program.

The Building Industry in 2016

Modular buildings are gaining momentum. In fact, modular buildings were covered at a Construction Innovation Bootcamp this fall. The bootcamp, the first of its kind in Canada, also explored how drones can be used in the construction industry.

Wood has been a popular building material this year. The largest contemporary wood construction building in the U.S. opened this year in Minneapolis. The seven-story, 220,000 square foot building is primarily made from timber killed by the mountain pine beetle in the Pacific Northwest. The tallest wood building in the world was under construction at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It will be finished early 2017.  If you find yourself working on a wood structure, make sure to select vents and fittings that will protect the building’s rainscreen.

We’re excited to see how the developments of 2016 will play out over the next year. One thing is certain, we’ve got you covered for all your venting needs for many years to come!

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