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OVERVIEW - New Challenges for HVAC

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Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) installations have a huge impact on the energy efficiency and indoor climate of buildings.  In this overview article, we look at legislation, events, research projects and technology developments concerning HVAC systems. And to help you through it, REHVA has produced a handy dictionary, translating technical terms in 15 languages.

Here you can download the PDF version of this Overview article (see below under 'Additional documents').

Enjoy reading, and feel free to send a comment of your own!



Here are a few highlights, including new developments:

  • Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC): This Directive establishes a framework to develop regulations for many products used in buildings. A regulation exists for room air conditioners and fans. Regulations are under preparation for boilers, water heaters, heat pumps, local room heating appliances, etc. They cover ecodesign requirements but also requirements according to the Energy Labelling Directive (2010/30/EU).


Technological developments

HVAC technology is evolving not only to meet a lower energy demand while providing better indoor air quality, but also to address new issues (more renewable energy sources, higher primary energy efficiency), and new needs (hot water, heating, and cooling). Newer technologies discussed on BUILD UP include displacement ventilation, chilled beams, low temperature heating and high temperature cooling systems, and more. As demand grows for nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs), seasonal energy storage is under development. Several other interesting improvements, e.g. new sensors and controls, are underway. Planning and implementing energy savings at a district level is also key, as more solutions on optimising sustainable energy for urban neighbourhoods are envisaged for smart cities.



In BUILD UP, upcoming events worth a mention:

Past events can be browsed for downloads, such as the REHVA 2012 annual conference in Timisoara, (summing-up available), On the AIVC website, many conference proceedings can be found (e.g. International BUILDAIR-Symposiums and IBPSA Conferences).


Research projects

Intelligent Energy-Europe funds several interesting research projects in this area, such as SchoolVentCool. Information about all IEE projects can be found in the IEE database. Other notable research projects are Clear-up, funded via the 7th Framework Programme.

The International Energy Agency has also various programmes and projects dealing with HVAC:


Network organisations

There are a whole range of professional HVAC related associations. We like to mention BUILD UP Partners: CEETB, COGEN Europe, EGEC, EHI, EHPA, eu.bac, ESTIF, Euroheat & Power, INIVE eeig and TightVent Europe.

REHVA, the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (BUILD UP Partner) has member associations in Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Turkey and United Kingdom.


BUILD UP Communities

BUILD UP Communities are vibrant, with more than 40 communities forming around particular topics. Hot topics for HVAC are: Inspection of heating and air conditioning systems, Energy efficient ventilation for healthy buildings, Airtightness of buildings and ductwork, Micro CHP in buildings, and Ventilative cooling.