REHVA Journal – February 2012
last few years, European legislation related to energy and environmental issues
has increased drastically. For example, the number of annually published
regulations related to environment is now about three times higher than twenty
years ago. This growing trend will continue at least in the near future, and
some forecasts indicate that in 2050 we will have ten times more published new
EU regulations than in 1990.
this legislation is, directly or indirectly, related to building services and
HVAC systems and products. This all means that HVAC professionals must be aware
about the new regulations. This is huge “headache” mainly to manufacturers of
products, because much of the legislation is targeted to products, or to
components and substances in these products. But awareness is also necessary
among other stakeholders: system designers, teachers, professional building
owners, scientists – actually we all need to get more familiar with the new
legislation is a big challenge also to REHVA, who has a very important role to
inform HVAC professionals about all new issues affecting our profession and
industry. In this mission, REHVA has prepared webpages
on EU regulations. These webpages were a result of
the initiative from our supporters and opened in May 2011.
can be found at http://www.rehva.eu/en/eu-regulations – more about the pages
can be found in my article further in this issue.
focus of this issue is in air-conditioning systems and products. In different
parts of Europe, “air conditioning” can mean many different things. In the
EPBD, “air conditioning system” means a
combination of the components required to provide a form of indoor air
treatment, by which temperature is controlled or can be lowered. This
definition is interesting and leaves much space for different interpretations.
But we must keep in mind that no definition can describe air conditioning so
that all system variations in Europe are covered. In cold climates, “air
conditioning systems” typically are centralized and include typically
ventilation, cooling and also heating. Most systems in Central or South Europe
are totally different. And the variety of systems for controlled indoor air is
growing all the time.
content of this issue is not restricted to certain types of systems or
products, so also contributions looking “out of scope” can also be justified.
At least one common feature can be found: the aim towards more energy-efficient
technologies, without adverse effects on quality and safety of our indoor
environment. Air conditioning should also be studied in a broader perspective:
we may talk about products, but our customers – end users – are not really
interested in products as they are, but what can be achieved by using these
products in buildings and HVAC systems: health, well-being, safety – in other
words, quality of life.