Industry calls for centralised body for legislation and new regulations

Published:  09 June, 2015

Tony Gittings argues that the industry is in dire need of a central body or council to co-ordinate the burgeoning weight of new and pending standards, legislation and codes of practice. This includes emerging support technologies such as BiM, which he said needs clear and concise communication to the marketplace.

Within the next 10 years the HVAC industry could change out of all recognition as we face an unprecedented set of challenges here in the UK and Europe

The industry is facing the relentless drive to ever greater energy efficiency and lower emissions – all in line with the UK’s legally binding carbon reduction target of 80% CO2 (on 1990 levels) by 2050.

The UK government and European commission’s growing agenda for the enablement of the ‘greening’ of industry has resulted in the emergence of new Building Regulations and incentive schemes such as RHI and the commercial green deal.

Also part of this is the introduction of new technologies, such as BiM, designed to unlock more efficient ways of working at all stages of the project life-cycle. The implementation of Energy labelling to energy related products across the HVAC industry is also currently underway.    

The UK and northern European markets are among some of the most heavily legislated in the world when it comes to the HVAC industry.

There is such a blizzard of mandatory information that it is a job in itself to keep up with it all – and all in addition to maintaining and servicing existing customers and, winning new contracts.

There is a pressing need, I believe, for complete and transparent harmonisation of key product parameters and measurements to ensure simple and accurate communication.

This need can be answered in the form of a centralised body – or council of existing bodies and organisations - which can co-ordinate all the information surrounding industry topics that are of such major importance. The body or council should represent the information needs of the contractor, consultant, end-user, and property owner and manager.

Manufacturing corporations can also make a difference, bearing in mind that the marketplace needs ready-to-go products that obviously meet and exceed all existing legislation as well as pending legislation and new practises.

This is where innovation is critical and manufacturers should truly commit to the research and development of new products and methods to make installation quicker and easier, and product performance better and more efficient.

We cannot continue trying to wring the last vestige of life from modes of seriously outdated provisions of water heating in the commercial and residential arenas, not in today’s mercurial marketplace.

I believe that the industry needs a single body for all the information needs. We would be readily prepared to financially support such an initiative.

Tony Gittings is managing director of water heating product manufacturer Rinnai

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