20 top Italian architectural and design agencies met at the Hotel Gallia in Milan, for a Hygienic Air Handling Unit seminar on the 23rd of November 2022. ECC was delighted to organise this event, with the support of Jacques Gandini and his team at Studio Gandini.
Jacques opened the event to the 34 strong audience of consultants, designers and architects, by giving an introduction to hygienic AHUs and covering market data. ECC’s Dr Ali Nour Eddine explained the Eurovent Certified Performance hygienic AHU programme, while the team from SAIVER provided a case study and feedback on the certification process. Next was an open Q&A session, with the half-day seminar coming to a close with dinner and drinks, offering time to network and exchange ideas.
The event format enabled some great discussion from the participants, which showed a recent shift in attitudes in the Italian market. It was very positive to see the high level of interest in hygienic AHUs. However, it must be acknowledged the sector is battling some ingrained viewpoints, particularly towards installation costs. Traditionally, clients have been focused on price, with a drive for smaller and cheaper AHUs, with a reliance on maintenance should things go wrong. This is despite the knowledge that this approach can affect both system quality and performance. However, the energy crisis is starting to shift mindsets towards energy-efficient equipment that provides a better return on investment.
Feedback highlighted that many consultants, designers and architects also felt hindered by difficulties accessing reliable information. One consultant stated they only specified Eurovent certified products due to the widespread issue of uncertified manufacturers stating incorrect product performance data. Another held the belief that all AHUs should be hygienic, however they had difficulties getting clients to buy in to the technology due to factors such as size constraints, cost, etc.
While it seems there are still hurdles to overcome, the energy crisis is driving a shift in attitudes, which is positive news for manufacturers. Feedback from the event suggests that designers, consultants and architects are crying out for reliable, independently verified product performance information, meaning that certified manufacturers are already ahead of the game.
Due to the success of the technical seminar, we are seeking to build similar events covering a range of HVAC topics. If you would like to suggest a subject or location, please get in touch with the ECC team.
Interested in certification? Find out more about the hygienic AHU programme.