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 Many existing buildings, both commercial and residential, are inadequately insulated, use outdated, inefficient HVAC technologies and have poorly functioning control systems – or none at all.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. This poses a pressing renovation need but also a host of new business opportunities.
Key issues addressed in the White Paper include:
• 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 it may be assumed that the findings presented in the next chapter, have a North American slant or bias even when they discuss issues of international relevance. Each group was asked to address the two key questions below: it is important to stress that the conclusions expressed in this document represent those of the five groups and not necessarily the views of BSRIA. It was written by Jeremy Towler, senior manager – Energy and Smart Technologies, BSRIA Worldwide Market Intelligence.
Julia Evans (inset), 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…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.
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.