This past week I was able to participate in the GreenBuild conference in Toronto. This was my first opportunity to attend and I have come away with a few impressions.
First, I was surprised at the sheer size of the exhibit area. The Metro Toronto exhibit hall is quite large and split into two sections spanning the CN Rail lines in downtown Toronto. Both sections were completely full with exhibits for everything from flooring to roofing and everything in between. All exhibitors promoted the "green" or "sustainable" aspects of their products...even if those aspects might not have been obvious on first or even second thought. In addition to the three Mestek HVAC product booths the exhibit area included product displays from most of the major north American HVAC manufacturers.
The HVAC equipment companies, as well as many of the lighting and appliance companies, shared one common thread. That is the emphasis on the "man-machine interface"...how the user interacts with the equipment for control or information. Touch screen displays were everywhere providing access to virtual control points and providing occupant feedback on temperatures and, most importantly, energy utilization. The degree of sophistication of the displays varied but the message was the same...in order to conserve energy people must have some sense of how much they are using. It goes back to the old saying that "you can't manage what you can't measure". The use of energy metrics have been proven to change occupant behavior and the HVAC industry is stepping up to help with that effort.
Mestex started our efforts in that regard several years ago with our Adaptaire DDC control system and we currently provide basic control and trending information via the Internet. More developments are underway to further enhance the user feedback and help focus their attention on conservation of our energy resources.
Mestex has been providing this open protocol system for almost 10 years and has successfully integrated with virtually every other major control protocol on the market. This has allowed building owners to gain visibility into the various Mestex brand products through their own building automation system in order to provide a richer set of points for monitoring and control.