23 March 2016

BSRIA launches white paper

For more information on corporate business opportunities in the North American market, contact: Raphael Chalogany, business development manager, North America, BSRIA, Worldwide Market Intelligence.

BSRIA has published a white paper entitled ‘Retrofit & Refurbishment & the Growth of Connected HVAC Technology’.


It was written by Jeremy Towler, senior manager – Energy and Smart Technologies, BSRIA Worldwide Market Intelligence


Small to medium sized buildings make up the vast majority of buildings and account for a large proportion of the floor space. Many existing buildings, both commercial and residential, are inadequately insulated, use outdated, inefficient HVAC technologies and have poorly functioning control systems – or none at all. Others have never been re-commissioned for drift from design parameters or changed building use. BSRIA says this poses a pressing renovation need but also a host of new business opportunities.


The white paper addresses a number of key issues. The challenges to the effective retrofit of buildings rest not just on technology but also on finance, levels of skill and understanding, and the psychology and behaviour of building owners and users, and on the social and legislative environment in which they exist.

Those companies who are active in the retrofit market need to take account of all of these if they are to offer services that will prove attractive to the client, profitable for them, and beneficial to the environment.

Some of the requirements, such as the need for improved understanding and qualifications, go beyond the reach of the individual supplier, and will require a degree of cooperation with other industry players, and potentially with public authorities to achieve these goals.


Responding to this, BSRIA held its fourth executive Diamond Group discussion in a year. Using the AHR exhibition 2016 as the venue, the event was by invitation only and involved 34 senior personnel from major players in the industry.


The majority of participants were from North America and so many of the findings have a North American slant or bias even when they discuss issues of international relevance.


Julia Evans, chief executive, BSRIA, said: “In North America there tends to be a more ruthless attitude towards older buildings than in Europe, unless they are protected. Hence, rather than refurbish buildings, it is quite common practice to demolish old premises and build new on the same site.


“The first and most important criterion is user comfort, closely followed by productivity. When building users begin to complain about the level of comfort the building owner is prompted to refurbish. However, although users may complain about discomfort, they typically do not want to pay for the refurbishment. In contrast, the building owner will rarely choose to refurbish the building before any deterioration starts costing him or her money. Interestingly, it was the demand for an enhanced level of comfort that was emphasised as the principal driver for refurbishment, rather than the energy bill, though more energy efficient solutions are sought.”


She continued: “For the owner or developer, the key objective is to make the building saleable or rentable. Providing effective HVAC is a principal concern and customers want easy, hassle-free and risk-free solutions.”


For more information on corporate business opportunities in the North American market, contact: Raphael Chalogany, business development manager, North America, BSRIA, Worldwide Market Intelligence.


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