The continuous growth of heavy construction activity and the development of green buildings and smart cities in the GCC have spurred on the region’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning market. With events like the FIFA World Cup 2022 and EXPO 2020 just around the corner, the demand for HVAC technologies is poised for significant growth.
I think the key catalysts of this growth are investment plans from real estate groups and government entities which will also entail an array of tourism projects and new infrastructure to match. These are excelling the growth of the HVAC market in GCC countries, as the sale of HVAC equipment comes hand in hand with the construction industry.
I am noticing the use of new innovative technologies in the HVAC industry increasing substantially; Ecology units used mainly in kitchens and odor prominent areas are an example where we have seen huge growth potential. The evaporative cooling technique is also growing in popularity. Different to traditional air conditioning systems, which work on a vapor-compression technique, evaporating cooling works on the concept of water’s large enthalpy of vaporisation. These would be used in schools, bus stops, factories, sports grounds and other large open spaces.
Why is there a growing use of technology in the GCC? Firstly I feel there is an increasing awareness of the effectiveness of cooling systems, the rising electricity costs and the low energy consumption of air-conditioning systems. Then we have to be aware of the health and safety in workplaces with a substantial emphasis on the necessity of comfortable conditions in hot construction and industrial environments. All of these factors have led to the increased use of advanced technologies in the GCC.
Upgrading to super-efficient HVAC equipment can cut heating and cooling costs by 30-50%.
When health, safety and energy efficiency came into play so did a number of HVAC related regulation bodies; LEED Certification, GCC Standardization Council and Arab Energy Efficiency Building Regulations. As a result, HVAC manufacturers and their respective suppliers need to assure their latest offerings adhere to energy efficiency standards set down by regional policy makers.
Now I am witnessing companies investing in research, development and new product designs to obtain better energy ratings, lower emissions and decreased utility bills. This is sparking a robust growth in the HVAC industry future in response to increasing demand.
Is it going to work? One example I saw of this technology advancement was in Siemens Middle East recent work in Wafi Mall where their new Demand Flow solution achieved 30% saving on utility costs in its first year, with a guaranteed payback period of two and a half years.
Current reports are showing that the global HVAC market will continue to show substantial growth right up to 2022. In my opinion the aim of HVAC companies should be to now push forward on the technology-oriented, diversified development, with a focus on energy-efficiency if they want to dominate the global air-conditioning scene.
Although the HVAC market will continue to grow in the GCC through the constant robust construction sector, I will be very interested to see whether or not the increasing shift towards energy and environmental design certifications will encourage the adoption of better HVAC design standards.
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