With the new year starting, we thought about what might lie ahead for industries utilising BMS & HVACR applications. We made a few predictions based on recent developments and future expectation. Read on and find out more about what could happen in 2020.
1. Sustainability & energy efficiency will continue to be important drivers in building management
In 2019, we witnessed an increase in public interest in sustainability, global warming and ways to prevent the worst effects of climate change. In the UK, it has reached an all-time record high. Some governments have already followed suit, setting net-zero targets and increasingly adopting climate change actions in their party manifesto. Industry bodies have put forward standards to help reduce their industry’s impact on climate change. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have established their Standard 189.1 which provides stringent green-building parameters to achieve the most sustainable buildings possible. We don’t see the trend slowing down and predict that in 2020 BMS applications that increase the sustainability of buildings will be in demand.
2. Regulatory compliance in the foodservice industry to ensure food safety will receive public attention
Over the past year, healthy foods have become increasingly popular and the trend is expected to continue in 2020. With consumers focussing more on health, we are forecasting that food safety will be more on their minds as well. It will be in the interest of foodservice businesses to avoid negative headlines regarding their food safety practices. Keeping in mind the devasting effects food safety scandals can have on the brand and revenue, ensuring regulatory compliance such as temperature regulation and data storage could become increasingly important in 2020.
3. Food retailers will increasingly switch to natural refrigerants
Starting on 01 January 2020, the widely-used refrigerant R404A will become restricted in Europe. In new equipment it will be illegal to use and in old equipment it will be greatly reduced due to its high global warming potential (GWP). Based on these changes as well as public pressure for sustainability, we’re predicting that in 2020 businesses in food retail will increasingly choose natural refrigerants. It will help organisations decrease their environmental footprint and achieve sustainability goals.
4. Energy-efficient BMS applications will be essential in the indoor farming industry
Indoor farming is increasing in popularity as it is seen as an answer to supply food to an ever-growing world population. However, businesses in this market are operating on tight profit margins at the moment and are affected by energy cost. For the coming year it will therefore be important to optimise BMS strategies and energy consumption to ensure revenues will increase.
5. Temperature regulation in the cold chain will become even more important to aid sustainability goals and prevent waste
Ensuring optimised temperature regulation in the supermarket cold chain will be essential in 2020 to reduce food waste, saving operating costs and increasing sustainability. It has been estimated that by 2030 food loss will rise by a third to 2.1bn tonnes unless urgent action is taken. Apart from having a negative impact on the environment, it also means a loss of revenue for food retailers in a very competitive market. In order to ensure that food is delivered safely to supermarkets, companies in the cold chain will put more emphasis on temperature regulation.
6. Fibre connectivity will increase in importance in the buildings controls industry
Full-fibre broadband connections for private homes are gaining ground in the UK with the 10% mark surpassed just in November 2019. In 2020, we think that fibre connectivity will also become more important in the building controls industry. Not just its speed but also its resilience to electrical noise and reliable connectivity provide important benefits which is why fibre technology will become more popular in the commercial buildings sector.
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