Industry insights: key issues and challenges for HVAC engineers today
Communication is key for the HVAC engineer
Elizabeth is a consultant at IClimate AB, a small Swedish company that designs ventilation, heating, cooling and sanitation for both small and large projects. Her background as an HVAC engineer makes her the right person to advise on and draw HVAC solutions for various buildings, ranging from schools or apartment buildings to commercial development projects. In her role as consultant Elizabeth attaches great importance to good contacts with suppliers and open communication with other stakeholders in the HVAC industry such as architects, wholesalers, installers, etc.
“Having direct, personal communication with a supplier is important for me. It doesn’t only add a human touch to the job but also ensures that I can work efficiently and always find the best solutions for my projects. But good communication shouldn’t stop there, it’s also important with the other parties involved. Open communication lines bring us all together and make the work so much easier for everyone. No guessing or maybes, a simple phone call and the answers to the right questions can do wonders to deliver good work.”
Easy-to-design HVAC solutions
When talking to Elizabeth it also becomes clear just how important easy access to the right information and tools is. “As a consultant I work with billable hours so I want my work to be as efficient as possible. Besides, it’s not just me who’s working on a project. People are counting on me to finish my work within a specific time limit so the project isn’t delayed. Easy access to, for example, calculation tools or BIM objects in MagiCAD is therefore very important for me.”
At Purmo we are very much aware of this issue. That’s why we offer support with a wide range of tools and services that make every day easier. A good example that Elizabeth cites is the availability of common file formats for inclusion in BIM (Building Information Modelling) and the exchange between CAD applications. “It’s important for me that a product is available in MagiCAD in the most common formats. Then I know exactly how it looks and get all the right measurements. The technical information behind the product also helps me to see, for example, how much space a radiator takes or whether it isn’t too close to the window.”
An HVAC engineer’s challenges
Being able to work smarter and as efficiently as possible is just one aspect of the job. Naturally, other factors come into play as well that add to the complexity of any HVAC professional’s daily activities. Elizabeth comments: “Most of the challenges I deal with are about solving HVAC problems. Especially during renovation projects, problems pop up more easily and those are the challenges that I like. New build projects are more straightforward. You draw what you need and how you want it to look. You can also adapt more easily and take into account the work of colleagues who are planning for example the ventilation pipes or electrical wiring. But it’s also about doing your job as good as possible, making sure that everyone is happy and that you stay within budget. So lots to take into account.”
I think it’s easier and much more efficient to use the same supplier for the entire system. It’s also more cost-efficient and the end result simply looks better when all components are perfectly aligned.
Total system solutions
As a busy HVAC consultant Elizabeth also experiences first-hand the advantages of total system solutions. “Many of our clients already specify the products they wants. But when I’m given the freedom of choice to select another similar product, I think it’s easier and much more efficient to use the same supplier for the entire system. It’s also more cost-efficient and the end result simply looks better when all components are perfectly aligned.” At Purmo we have the same vision and believe that complete system solutions offer better integration possibilities as well as multiple performance optimisation benefits, which in turn help to reduce energy consumption and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Everyday sustainability efforts
Sweden is at the front of the line when it comes to sustainability and also at IClimate it certainly plays a part. “We mainly use Swedish products that we know meet all EU requirements. This ensures a short and sustainable supply chain. Buildings account for a large part of our energy consumption so we all need to do our bit in the way that we can. Moreover, when we do renovation projects, we try to reuse and recycle as much as possible to minimise waste volumes.”
Purmo provides the complete package
At the end of our call, when we ask Elizabeth what she likes most about working with our products, she refers to the combination of high-quality products with the availability of user-friendly tools and reliable services. “Purmo products were actually the ones that we learned in school. For me these were the first example of a good product with a good reputation. Additionally there is the practical calculation tool on the Purmo website that leads you to the best fitting radiator for your project in no time. It’s easy to use and saves a lot of time and effort in our day-to-day job.”