By Four Star Mechanical Solutions Staff

A re-imagining of work spaces has been underway in commercial settings, and we are beginning to see more collaborative areas, where natural sources of light and green building strategies will reign, carefully monitored by Internet of Things devices. Building renewal also has caught on so that yesterday’s storage warehouse is today’s special event mecca; and the open space of the data center can morph into the team-building bull pen. There is the same available space in many circumstances, but different uses and configurations for energy efficiency which allows for a restructuring of resources. And, how we process and live in the physical work environment can influence stress in and out of daily activities, as well as sleep patterns. This moves us into the question of energy use and what is a reasonable budget spend for mental and physical health issues? Companies have begun to really look— seeing accumulating data from utility usage, energy efficiency, and GHG emissions.

Consider these top green trends emerging full force in 2018 because now everything is interconnected in the Internet of Things.  ProudGreenbuilding.com reports that energy efficiency, predictive maintenance, air quality measurement, the use of thermal imaging, detection of ultra-sonic noises, and even real time data accessibility play a new role in the HVAC industry.

What we have learned industry-wide is that climate resilient building requirements are rising. And, the internet of things will play a role in having smarter hours of the day. Everything from temperature control to the monitoring of traditional home automation components are now being seen in industry for temperature regulation, security, safety, and knowing who is on premise, and engaged in what work. The measurement of outcomes and best practices for sustainability can be seen in building certification requirements from LEED to GBCI.

Intelligent building management systems are now able to be remotely managed from across the globe. Moreover, the indoor as well as outdoor environment is sensed at all times to signal the baseline of commercial automation, which now includes ventilation, lighting, fire and security purposes. Even construction management has gotten in on this rolling approach to everyday maintenance.

You can expect to see more of the following:

  • Tagging and tracking of materials
  • IoT alerts
  • Safety RFID sensors
  • Consideration of weather forecasts for real-time monitoring
  • Actuators for HVAC controls
  • Airflow panels
  • Chilled beam installations that monitor humidity and adjust temperature

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) states in its 2017 National Climate Assessment that there was evidence to support the theory that human activities are the biggest influencer in climate change. And, many corporations have taken note of this.

Research investment remains important in emerging low-carbon technologies and in the development of higher efficiency HVACR products. Optimism among HVACR manufacturers worldwide about economic conditions and the outlook for their own businesses has soared to record highs, according to the latest AHR Expo and ASHRAE Journal Annual Economic Outlook Survey, with 89 percent of responders forecasting excellent or good growth, up 15 percent from the already positive outlook in 2017.