The HVAC and FM industry and why you need to stay up to date
The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Facilities Management (FM) market is a massive global enterprise. The UK market alone is set to grow from a value of £55.6 billion to £60.4 billion by 2028. It’s a rapidly changing industry with increasing numbers of players, including from outside the UK, as our HVAC and FM market represents an ever-growing temptation for foreign investment. With a roster of new trends and changes on the horizon for 2024, it’s important to stay up to date to avoid falling behind.
Advances in energy efficiency
The HVAC and FM industry is undergoing huge changes in the face of increasing demands for improved energy efficiency. Ever smarter systems such as Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, smart thermostats, Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) systems, and geothermal heating and cooling systems all enable more efficient use of energy by reducing the amount of heat needed in the first place and by ensuring heat and energy are only used where needed.
This, coupled with new advanced HVAC filtration and UVGI systems, is helping to reduce operational costs for building managers as well as improve conditions for building occupants.
Collectively, new technologies in HVAC and FM are also helping to reduce the environmental impact of buildings as many operators look to advance to net zero buildings.
Smart building technologies (IoT)
Newer, smarter technologies are transforming the way buildings are managed at an impressive pace. Known as the Internet of Things (IoT), networks of interconnected devices, able to communicate via sensors and make simple autonomous decisions, are helping streamline the building management process by increasing efficiencies and cutting costs.
For example, through sensors and beacons, these IoT systems can learn to predict potentially costly or dangerous maintenance issues and, in many cases, resolve the issue without the need for human intervention.
Sustainable practices in HVAC and FM
As the world faces a growing environmental crisis, the need for all industries to mitigate their impact on our planet is growing all the time, and not taking the time to properly invest in environmental protections is not only somewhat self-defeating, but it can also damage a firm’s reputation if they’re seen to be causing damage.
By adopting the latest innovations in HVAC and FM technologies, it’s possible to drastically reduce a building’s environmental footprint. This was proved by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as it sought to reduce its carbon footprint as part of its ‘25 Year Environment Plan’.
With the adoption of improved HVAC technology alongside other measures, the Department was able to reduce its carbon footprint by 59% between 2009/10 and 2022.
HVAC and FM health and wellness considerations
Especially post-COVID, there’s increasing focus on indoor air quality and how effective HVAC and FM systems can help improve conditions for building occupants.
Advancements in HVAC filtration and innovations such as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) are helping to improve the air we breathe indoors, by removing fine particulates and airborne microbes that might be detrimental to public health.
Effective HVAC systems also help regulate air flow indoors. It’s been shown that in as little as 45 minutes, three people sat in a meeting room can generate enough CO2 to affect their own cognitive abilities, but effective air circulation can help prevent this.
Using data and predictive maintenance
By using data gathered from sensors in HVAC systems, it’s possible for AI to generate predictive maintenance schedules and anticipate system faults before they occur or while they are still minor.
This helps reduce maintenance costs as faults can sometimes even be resolved by the AI itself, and when human intervention is required it’s much less extensive and time-consuming than it would otherwise have been, and downtime is drastically reduced.
2024 regulatory changes in the HVAC and FM industry
The HVAC and FM industry is subject to ongoing regulatory changes, and 2024 is set to see a number of crucial new alterations.
The continuing rollout of smart meters to domestic and small business customers is nearing its mandatory deadline of 2025, and energy suppliers are required to continue to take all reasonable steps to ensure their increased usage. Smart meters are changing the way we manage energy usage in the UK and will continue to have implications for the HVAC and FM industry.
The rollout of heat pumps was delayed by almost a decade earlier this year, but they are still required to be installed in most properties by 2035.
Major changes to the UK’s building compliance and controls regime will have an impact as early as April 2024. Overseen by a new Building Safety Regulator, these new safety standards will require new buildings to have demonstrable compliance with safety standards in work undertaken, including on systems such as HVAC.
They will also require the entire construction sector, including engineers and contractors, to demonstrate competence in their work, and building control specialists will have to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator by April 2024.
HVAC and FM market growth and investment opportunities
With the UK HVAC and FM market set to grow from £55.6 billion to £60.4 billion, and the global market anticipated to be worth $328.26 billion by 2030, growth is expected to be significant for years to come.
This creates huge investment opportunities. The UK market in particular is viewed as one of the most mature and well-established HVAC and FM markets in the world and is seeing increasing investment from foreign firms as a result.
Staying up to date is key
The HVAC and FM market is set to see major leaps forward in 2024, including the continuing advancement of smart technologies to improve efficiencies, increased efforts to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, and innovations in improving indoor air quality to manage air pollution and airborne microbes.
In order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.
Make sure your HVAC and FM workforce is the best they can be and you’re working with the best talent the industry has to offer by getting in touch with HVAC Recruitment today. We have more than 20 years of experience sourcing knowledgeable candidates for the HVAC Maintenance and Facilities Management sectors.