Posted on February 5, 2015
A record-setting 62,000 people attended the 2015 AHR Expo that wrapped up last week in Chicago. With huge crowds from all over the world and 11 acres of exhibition space, the Expo is a small city that truly earns its reputation for being the premiere HVACR event on the calendar.
Here is a look at the topics on attendees’ minds at AHR that we see fueling the industry for the next 12 months.
Innovation drives energy efficiency
The buzz at our booth and around the show floor this year was all about innovation and how it is helping the industry be more energy efficient. Products like the TA Series 7CP Compact Pressure Independent Balancing and Control Valve are leading the way to give engineers and operators full control of hydronic heating and cooling valve systems. As Jamie Dudley, Victaulic Hydronic Balancing Specialist, discussed with attendees, flow control and advanced diagnostic capabilities offer unsurpassed advantages for customers to make their valve systems operate at peak efficiency. If you couldn’t make it to Chicago this year, we captured Jamie talking about the valve live from the expo hall.
New construction expected to propel growth
We also came away from the show excited by the optimism felt throughout the industry. That feeling is borne out in the ASHRAE Journal survey done in conjunction with the AHR Expo every year.
Respondents see new construction as the area with the most growth potential, a sign that points to more businesses being willing and able to expand as the economy grows. This is in contrast to recent years where growth was expected to come more from retrofits, renovations and replacements. These areas will still see growth, but most industry insiders see new construction leading the way.
Energy and efficiency remain key issues at the forefront of the industry, something we hear from customers at AHR each year and on projects of every size and scope. The ASHRAE Journal survey bears that out as well: Two-thirds of respondents ranked energy efficiency as very important to their customers, nearly matching the importance of first costs. Respondents are also seeing more companies being willing to take on energy savings projects as capital becomes more available due to the improving economy.
One of the special features at this year’s AHR Expo was a Software Center showcasing the benefits available to projects from advanced system design tools. Victaulic has been at the forefront providing customers with content and services that work with Revit – a leading system design software tool – to efficiently create complex pipe routing systems. The Construction Piping Services we presented at our booth are integrated with our engineering experience to provide software and BIM Coordination expertise for HVACR projects of every size. As cloud connectivity and communication between building systems and operators start to play a larger role in the industry, the possibilities for improvement from the design phase through operation are almost limitless.
Automation and cloud integration
Coinciding with software is the trend toward automation and control. Automating a building’s systems gives operators more control over climate systems and other elements that account for a large share of a building’s energy usage. Attendees at our booth were interested in learning how Victaulic hydronic balancing solutions integrate with their automation systems for increased efficiency. Based on our conversations and topics surrounding the Expo, expect cloud-based options to be an emerging trend for monitoring and automation in the near future as well.
Being part of a record-setting event full of optimism breathes extra life into the excitement of a new year. We appreciate everyone who stopped by our booth during the 2015 AHR Expo. Sharing information and insights with each other is what keeps the HVACR industry moving forward and one of the main reasons we love attending the show every year. We wish everyone a successful 2015 and we’re already looking forward to AHR Expo 2016 in sunny Orlando.