A manufacturer who is well versed in the language of architects and the world of the expert planner and can focus on the interests of the other side, without scaling back a task, is on good solid ground. In the future, the winner will be the company who manages to take on both tasks and incorporate them into a complete, functional system.
The preconditions for this are particularly good in one regard: According to manufacturers, both architects and expert planners have become more flexible and more creative. The causes for this can be traced, on one hand, to increasing user requirements with regard to comfort and, on the other hand, to the necessity to implement further energy saving measures with the aim of using energy efficiently. The tendency to move away from conventional solutions and seek new approaches and options is growing. Decentralised façade ventilation, for example, is one result of this trend. It offers plenty of scope for architectural design. In this respect, emco offers products which are suitable for installation around window elements, between panel frames and for visible or concealed installation and which come in several variants. In terms of technical equipment, there is also a wide selection available with equipment ranging from manually adjustable devices for free ventilation through to versions with fans and heat exchangers for energy recovery. There is also a choice of dimensions, colours and surfaces.
Developments in air conditioning technology can also be clearly seen in the role of central air conditioning units: Until the late 1980s these were exclusively used to condition the feed air and remove the exhaust air, whereas today they generally only take care of the fresh air supply and pure basic conditioning of the feed air, both in renovations and new builds. The sensible cooling load is typically covered via decentralised components. This is due to the considerably higher need for comfort and the resulting requirements. In terms of the forthcoming European standardisation, comfort will be even more of a factor than it is today. A walk round the Expo Real, for example, shows the extent to which this idea has caught on among manufacturers. Manufacturers, who, at first sight have nothing to do with air conditioning technology, have started to get involved. Pure façade manufacturers are considering the needs of air conditioning technology and are producing corresponding, and often very sophisticated, offers. In the future, this will result in an increased merger of the interfaces between the tasks of warding off/drawing on the outside climate and influencing the indoor climate.
This development can also be seen in how the expert planner, for example, has started to focus on issues, in which he only had marginal involvement before, such as sound-insulated ventilation. We have the impression that a whole new generation of building services equipment planners and architects have redefined their roles. This creative development propels the entire branch and is driven forward by both planners and architects. At the same time, however, there is a blurring of boundaries when it comes to the roles of those involved in the build.
We are only at the start of this process of development in air conditioning technology, both in terms of function as well as in terms of energy evaluation and on-site use of the devices. Our thinking is still too compartmentalised. For pure cooling, chilled ceilings were an impressive step, but there are theoretically, completely new concepts waiting to be developed. It is time for all involved to start collaborating. Both planners and architects must be willing to approach each other, have open discussions with one another, in order to combine their strengths and develop useful, new concepts in the preliminary stages of projects.
Architects have always paid particular attention to energy-efficient concepts, such as solar energy recovery through large windows and saving of heat energy. At the same time, however, cooling requirements have sky-rocketed. Now is the time to develop complete solutions for the future, which combine intelligent cooling, heating and façade concepts.
A starting point for this is the building energy balance calculation. The old approach of only ever looking at the individual aspects, such as the low manufacture costs of a building with an energy expenditure that is far too high, is not an approach that works today. The price of fossil fuels will continue to rise. However, to only focus on solar energy today, would be equally as fatal, since there are already huge raw material shortages with silicon. We simply no longer have the time to wait around for new solutions, instead we need to start thinking about them today - and these need to involve much more creativity and significantly shorter decision and innovation cycles.
emcos product groups fit together in such a way that they are also able to provide advice on technical systems with new air conditioning concepts.
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