The ACR Journal (formerly ACR Today) - the journal for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Professionals
Mitsubishi Electric has renewed its partnership with Special Olympics GB for a further two years with both organisations working to help transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sport.
Special Olympics GB is a non-profit organisation and the largest provider of year-round, sports coaching and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics GB currently has more than 120 all ability, inclusive sports clubs covering 28 sports across England, Scotland and Wales providing approximately 27,000 regular hour-long sporting sessions per year, all delivered by a team of more than 4,000 volunteers.
An official partner since 2018, Mitsubishi Electric has been active in supporting a wide variety of events, from last year’s Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and the 40th Anniversary Games in Stirling in August 2018, to the smaller individual regional events with employees actively encouraged to volunteer.
Moving forward, the partnership will focus on delivering a range of joint initiatives which underpin, promote and reiterate the values and objectives of both organisations. From Unified sport events – both virtual and physical – to providing platforms for our athlete’s stories to be shared, increased interaction and engagement with our Special Olympics GB Athlete Leadership Team and a variety of volunteering opportunities being offered, we will work together to deliver maximum engagement and purpose for both organisations.
Michelle Carney, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: “We are absolutely delighted Mitsubishi Electric has decided to continue its relationship with Special Olympics GB. Mitsubishi Electric has a strong employee engagement agenda and with the many opportunities – both physical and virtual – Special Olympics GB can offer, the relationship works incredibly well for both sides.
"We have seen first-hand the impact Mitsubishi Electric colleagues and their volunteering work has on our events and our athletes and it can only be described as joyful for everyone involved. We often talk about the transformational effect of Special Olympics GB on our athletes but once organisations and volunteers meet and listen to our athletes, it transforms their lives too. We are very aware of the world we are living in and the many issues businesses are facing at the moment, and we are hugely grateful for the ongoing support from Mitsubishi Electric.”
Deane Flint, UK & Ireland Branch President of Mitsubishi Electric, said: “We are delighted to continue supporting the incredible work that Special Olympics GB does, giving these amazing athletes the recognition they deserve. In these challenging times it is more important than ever that everyone is given the chance to shine and realise their full potential, and we look forward to finding more opportunities for our staff to join in with the brilliant work this amazing body achieves.”
Article Courtesy of ACR Journal www.acrjournal.uk/news/mitsubishi-electric-extends-backing-for-special-olympics-gb/
The ACR Journal (formerly ACR Today) - the journal for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Professionals
Ventilation specialist Elta has warned that improving indoor air quality (IAQ) must be an immediate priority, to restore faith in the safety of public buildings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the focus of the air we breathe, meaning indoor spaces viewed with more scepticism than ever before. In a recent whitepaper, the UK government has established that poorly ventilated areas carry a greater risk of virus transmission, even suggesting that ‘longer-term consideration of infectious disease transmission needs to be embedded into building ventilation regulations'
To ensure the safe return to communal buildings such as offices and shopping centres, there must be a greater emphasis on providing clean indoor air. Alongside meeting current building regulations, there also needs to be an effort to futureproof buildings against tighter legislation in the years to come.
David Millward, Group Product Manager at Elta Group BESA associate member, comments: “As we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, IAQ must be at the forefront of the effort to rebuild trust in public buildings. We have to assure people that the air inside our structures is safe, and the most effective way to do this is to ensure ventilation systems are up to scratch.
“This requires specification beyond minimal levels of compliance, opting for systems which are designed with future legislation in mind. There must also be an awareness that if a building changes, whether that’s the physical layout or in terms of its purpose and occupancy levels, required ventilation rates adjust accordingly.”
Alongside improving ventilation systems themselves, there is a communication element to restoring faith in public spaces. Building occupants need to be assured that the air they are breathing is sufficiently clean and safe. One of the suggested ways of achieving is through a traffic light system on building fronts, displaying the IAQ much like the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme does for foodservice premises. This would provide an at-a-glance reassurance that the air within a structure is effectively ventilated.
David continues: “It’s all about making the invisible, visible. One of the biggest challenges facing our industry is the increased public scrutiny on the quality of indoor air, but this also represents an opportunity. The link between IAQ and a range of health issues is well established, so to be able to position it as a key factor in the health and safety of a building is something that should be welcomed.
“The last 12 months have brought air quality to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and it is clear that attitudes have fundamentally shifted. Without certainty, apprehension around the safety of public spaces will persist. As we hope to return to some sense of normality, we have to ensure IAQ is a top priority.”
For more information on Elta Group, visit: https://eltagroup.com/
Article courtesy of the ACR Journal www.acrjournal.uk/features/indoor-air-quality-key-to-restoring-faith-in-public-buildings/
HVAC, CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE
Originally published by Mitsubishi Electric, AACS Ltd are a Mitsubishi Electric Accredited Installer
Effective ventilation should be the starting point when looking to improve IAQ. Whether by natural or mechanical means, ventilation should remove stale and humid air whilst circulating fresh air from outside of the office.
Although opening windows is one way of achieving this, it is also uncontrollable and often leads to thermal discomfort. As reducing COVID-19 transmission is central to making offices fit for return, controlled ventilation which provides a constant supply of fresh air is a must.
Mechanical Ventilation is intended to provide the required steady stream of fresh air, ensuring all employees benefit from the removal of stale air, rather than those lucky enough to be sitting by an open window.
There are, however, recommendations from REVHA (The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations) on how to operate mechanical ventilation systems to prevent spreading COVID-19. REVHA recommends that systems should not be switched off and should instead operate at a lower speed when the building is not in use. When employees can again return to the office, ventilation should operate at a nominal speed at least 2 hours before the building opens, and switch to a lower speed 2 hours after the building has closed. Central recirculation is not recommended due to the risk of recirculating contaminated air.
Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems are able to deliver the required ventilation but do so in an energy efficient way, so that the energy used to heat the indoor air, isn’t just ‘thrown away’ when the fresh air is brought in. They can capture up to 80% of the heat energy from the outgoing air to bring the incoming air nearer to the desired temperature, meaning less energy is required to bring the fresh air to room temperature.
the HSE has stated that the risk of spreading Coronavirus via air conditioning is extremely low
Many modern air conditioning systems come fitted with powerful filtration which can filter out harmful airborne pollutants and pathogens. Not only will this improve the health of hay fever and asthma sufferers by removing allergens such as dust and pollen, but it will also minimise the risk of Sick Building Syndrome.
The more obvious benefit of air conditioning is the ability to remove humid air by providing a constant, cool temperature which boosts productivity and alertness.
Importantly, the HSE has stated that the risk of spreading Coronavirus via air conditioning is extremely low as long as there is an adequate supply of fresh air and ventilation.
there is arguably no better time to tackle the problem of poor IAQ inside our offices.
HEPA and Activated Carbon Air Filters
Air filters prevent certain particles and molecules from remaining in the air we breathe. HEPA filters, in particular, are excellent in protecting our health. By capturing dust and allergen particles as well as some VOCs, air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can improve IAQ drastically.
However, there are many gaseous substances that HEPA filters cannot touch. In these cases, carbon activated air purifiers should be considered. Activated carbon air purifiers work by trapping harmful molecules on a bed of activated charcoal, eliminating them from the air.
These systems are extremely effective in filtering out numerous VOCs including gases given off by cleaning products, drying paint and cigarette smoke. It's important to note that carbon activated filters require replacing once they become saturated with pollutants.
Air Quality Monitoring
How do we know the quality of our indoor air unless we are continuously monitoring it?
To ensure our office HVAC systems are optimised, we need access to accurate information, such as the local temperature and humidity and levels of CO2 and pollutants.
From here we can adjust our buildings accordingly.
COVID-19 has forced us to take a better look at our indoor environments, and whether or not they're good for our health.
As we continue to work from home, there is arguably no better time to tackle the problem of poor IAQ inside our offices.
Because pandemic or not, protecting employees from harmful pollutants and airborne viruses whilst at work should be a given, and ensuring new or existing HVAC systems are optimised for long-term health is not only a good place to start, but is also necessary.
Read the original article here
Business Development Manager @ AACS Limited
Whichever way you look at it, 2020 didn't really go to plan for anyone did it! Unless you manufacture PPE or Hand Sanitiser, it probably wasn't the best year. Onwards and upwards I always say... 2021 is shaping up to be the year of rebuilding, the year of promise, the year we get back on track!
This applies to the HVAC Industry too, today we will be identifying the upcoming trends that are set to shape the next 12 months of our industry in 2021, providing we don't get another global lockdown that is.
As an industry, HVAC has always been about heating and cooling, I know that sounds obvious, a simple change that people can feel almost immediately. However, with Coronavirus and the rise of COVID-19, the focus has shifted so that we aren't just focusing on people's comfort, we are also looking at their health and wellbeing, with air quality coming to the forefront and being an interesting talking point for manufacturers around the globe.
Whether it be an app that allows you to connect your phone to your indoor unit and measure the quality of the air or an independent consultant that comes to measure your 'Air Health' it is an important area that will be highlighted going forward and could be one of the main reasons you invest in a system for your company or even your home, it could even be the reason you finally get that service.
The technology available today allows for a smarter and move innovative way to exist with your HVAC system.
Green Technology and Smart Homes
The environment stood centre stage when the world shut down, however in recent months with COVID-19 reportedly coming back for a second wave, political campaigns raging and basic human rights being debated every day. It is easy to forget we are still responsible for our little rock floating in space, in 2021 it will be no different, it won't go away.
New, green, environmentally conscious technology is sure to grow yet faster in 2020. This could mean heating being fuelled by electricity or hydrogen, or myriad smart inventions to provide cleaner solutions. Innovation in the HVAC sector has the chance to be at the vanguard of change. With growth in the green sector, the market for HVAC will have a big part to play in the rise of sustainable energy.
Smarter ways of thinking are complimented by the Smart Homes we live in. From an app on your phone allowing you to turn the lights on, cook a chicken and set the temperature in your home at the click of a button, smart homes are paving the way to a more intelligent and environmentally friendly society. Nest & Hive Thermostats bring another level of usability to the market that is likely to increase the appeal to make your home smart in 2021, if even just for the novelty factor at first, people will start to realise that these things we thought were pipe dreams 20 years ago will become a necessity we cannot be without.
Daikin Control Systems allow you to be in control of your HVAC at all times, with App access to up to 50 units at any one time, home owners and Facility Managers alike will rejoice in the holy grail of HVAC technology. The ability to change the temperature and settings room by room, time scheduling to make the systems work around you , energy usage to monitor consumption and see where you can save and the ability for the system to learn how you live and work.
The future is now, long gone of the days where an air conditioning unit would be the talking point of the office, mostly for the wrong reasons, the technology available today allows for a smarter and move innovative way to exist with your HVAC system.
A New Breed
With new technology, comes new training. Global demands for HVAC equipment are expected to increase by 6% annually through 2021. The growth of the HVAC market brings with it extra demand for skills across a company.
The baby boom generation are entering retirement and the millennial generation may be much less likely to enter a skilled trade. Companies are therefore looking at the way they recruit and train staff, investing more in employee training and skills programs as they adapt to change.
AACS Limited work with a local North East education provider, Northumberland College, to find the best local talent through a vocational way of learning, we have to adapt and bring the next generation of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineers into the game.
VR and AR Technologies
Designing a new system can often be a complex job, with everything only ever existing in a 2D world until you get to site, however AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) is changing the way design engineers plan and demo the latest systems in different spaces.
VR is often described as Immersive Technology, once you don your goggles you are sucked into a virtual world and can move around within that world. AR works slightly different, adding digital elements into a live view, usually incorporating the camera functionality in a smart phone or tablet.
Instead of a design purely being 2D, HVAC Design Engineers can visualise anything from the smallest component to a full system with the help of rendering technology in a simulated space using the latest CAD software.
This brave new world for HVAC can also help with training and maintenance, allowing Service Engineers to fix a problem in the safety of a workshop before they get to site, many of the AR apps allow for a built in manual which will in turn help the Engineer learn as they go.
Immersive technology is changing the way the industry designs, sells and services the products by adding an exciting new tool for those working in this fast-moving and dynamic industry,
An Exciting Time
Nothing is certain in this day and age, with trends changing faster than the temperature in an office, however the HVAC industry continues to strive and change for the better. With new technology and a consumer market with changing priorities, we are in a great place to see out the next 30 years as we have done since 1990.