As we’ve officially reached the one-month countdown to the 2017 AHR Expo, we at International Exposition Company are very excited to be on the verge of presenting the largest Show in our 88-year history.
With approximately 80% of exhibitors indicating they will be displaying new or enhanced products, systems and technologies, the 2017 AHR Expo floor is slated to address a myriad of interests from every facet of the industry. Exhibitor innovations will also reflect a wealth of HVACR industry trends, and most notably those associated with burgeoning growth across both the residential and commercial construction markets.
Green Building as a standard of design is one such trend, as reflected in new ultra-efficient equipment, monitoring and sensing tools, and building information modeling methods that help achieve notable energy savings and ensure reliable, efficient long-term mechanical system operation.
Additionally, a rapidly returning residential construction market is being addressed across numerous 2017 AHR Expo exhibitors via their introduction of heating, cooling and ventilation products specifically designed for residential applications and user-friendly homeowner operation.
With a strong focus on remodeling and renovation in the coming year, new product and system solutions designed specifically for installation in smaller and/or logistically challenging existing spaces will be seen throughout the 2017 Show floor. Also, the upcoming year’s trend of increasing pre-fab/offsite construction methods will be reflected in the display of AHR Expo exhibitors’ new or enhanced modular equipment, with multiple installation configurations and more compact footprints.
Of further interest, the HVACR industry’s growing concern around skilled labor shortages will be addressed by several new tools and other resources that streamline mechanical system installations and repairs.
Drilling down into the various HVACR industry product segments, there are a number of additionally evident industry trends surfacing for 2017 at the equipment and technology level.
Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration
Demand for even greater energy efficiency from air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment is a consistent trend that carries forth into 2017, especially with continued growth in the commercial construction market. Flexible, modular and ductless cooling solutions, including those with smaller footprints and ideal for retrofit and general residential applications, also remain in high demand.
Building Automation & Control
As data acquisition, and the crucially related controls that collect it, has remained strong as a means for most efficiently employing building automation and information system data, innovation has continued to follow. Software and control system developers have remained hard at work over the past year in further elevating the power of building automation, and will bring an impressive array of technologies to the market, and the AHR Expo show floor, in 2017.
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
With the rebounding construction industry, a matured understanding and approach to the green building movement has been cultivated. Now a common initiative, building products and practices offering energy efficient and sustainable benefits have become widely applied, with above and beyond solutions falling into new categories of ultra efficiency and disruptive technology.
Since its inception, AHR Expo has served as a platform for launching the latest in heating equipment innovations, and this product category remains one of the most active for technological development yet today. From firetube condensing boilers with ultra-compact footprints, to WiFi-enabled thermostats specifically designed for radiant floor heating applications, heating solutions that address precise and particular requirements will be displayed at the 2017 Show in Las Vegas.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
The role of indoor air quality within the greater building schematic has continued to strengthen, as awareness of its importance in promoting comfortable and healthy indoor spaces has grown in parallel. The North American HVACR industry is being looked to as a leader in promoting further IAQ innovation, especially while demand for new technologies only continues to increase. Some of the latest IAQ solutions — addressing issues from air particulate management, to emissions detection, to fresh air intake and general air exchange –will be seen for the first time at the 2017 AHR Expo.
Instruments & Controls
Instrumentation and related controls remain key to the success of in-field mechanical systems personnel — from ensuring reliable long-term equipment operation, to monitoring and troubleshooting equipment functions. Whether integrated within a larger product or system, or used independently, HVACR instruments and controls are now relied upon in greater and more crucial ways, particularly as mechanical equipment becomes more technically sophisticated.
The development of plumbing products and systems, which are foundational to the built environment, has remained important as related products and systems, industry codes and standards, and general construction methods become ever more complex. New solutions spanning the gamut from valve and pumping systems, to piping and fittings will be found throughout the 2017 Show floor.
Software has become a part of nearly every facet of the HVACR landscape, enabling functions related to mechanical equipment and system design, setup, performance and troubleshooting. As construction activity remains on the rise, software’s role has become even more important in providing tools that optimize business management, and bridge the gap of sophistication between mechanical equipment and those that install and service it.
Tools & Contractor Suppliers
Facing greater demand for their labor as construction activity becomes more robust, mechanical contractors are seeking tools and supplies that can streamline functions and deliver genuine on-the-job time savings. Just one of many examples of the specialized solutions to be seen on the 2017 AHR Expo floor includes an intelligent roll grooving tool for 4- to 60-in. (100 to 1500mm) Schedule 10 to 40 carbon steel pipe that can reference groove and pipe spec material test reports and measures four critical dimensions to ensure grooves are within spec.
Ventilation remains a popular focus among HVACR manufacturers, particularly in respect to the IAQ movement and widespread efforts to improve indoor comfort and health. With IAQ mandates now part of evolving building codes and standards, innovative ventilation products and systems that meet these parameters are being developed at a rapid pace. Products that provide ease of installation, particularly in retrofit and limited-space applications, as well as those that offer elevated levels of energy efficiency, are being seen as cutting-edge ventilation developments for 2017.
Overall, we are thrilled that, after the better part of a century, AHR Expo remains a primary launch pad for HVACR innovations that address the industry’s driving trends. We look forward to bringing the very latest and greatest to the Show floor next month in Las Vegas.
For additional information or to register for the 2017 AHR Expo, January 30 to February 1 in Las Vegas, visit ahrexpo.com.