The momentum for HVACR industry is heading for a big way with anticipated growth in tourism sector and the mandatory requirement of growth in manufacturing and service sector in meeting the country’s challenges for achieving economic targets. High rise buildings are coming up in the urban areas and the trend may expand to destinations having high tourist attractions as well. The need of system designs for building services is a major requirement in the building engineering trade. In this respect all involved from designers to installers in the trade of building services have a duty and responsibility that such services are made available to meet the aspirations of the owners and the occupants. The practice in Sri Lanka by the majority of building designers is to give less prominence to building services and when selecting a main building contractor, it is very rarely that sufficient consideration is given on the capabilities of their sub-contractors for services or on their engineering credibility. The worst may occur with design and build contracts. It is well known fact that by many building designers employ one or two service engineers to cover almost all building services from potable water hot and cold, to more complicated central air conditioning systems. Unless experienced engineers are employed for each building service for designing and also unless the systems are rightly supervised for proper installation, the likelihood of experiencing numerous problems cannot be avoided at operating stage. Even the experienced designers who have not been exposed to some operating and maintaining experience, their designs yet may not be considered right enough for adoption. This is highly seen in Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (VAC) system designs. Only an experienced VAC designer backed by some operating and maintaining experience would suggest right systems, right sizes, right quantities and right installations with right commissioning, that may yield right comfort for most of the occupants, optimized services for facility managers, energy efficiency for the owners and environmentally friendliness for the entire globe. The expertise required for such designers cannot be achieved overnight but only with time gaining hands own experience while gathering information as much as possible by attending seminars, workshops, site visits and technical sessions, and by reading reliable articles on the subject. Unfortunately with the high competitiveness for surviving in the business, there is tendency by quite a few emerging building services designers having academic and professional qualifications are approached by the building designers or building owners in designing building services systems. However, lack of awareness of gravity of the problems generally encountered in the installed VAC systems by such building designers and building owners, the need to get the services from experienced and reliable designers is generally ignored probably due to the need of saving money or due to their busy schedules of commitments. In VAC Systems numerous problems may encounter for Human Comfort, Operational Simplicity, Energy Efficiency and Environment Concerns. When addressing Human Comfort, VAC system designers should look into all aspects of human comfort covering thermal comfort, hygienic comfort addressing indoor environment (air) quality, auditory comfort with noise control and olfactory comfort with smell control.
I feel privileged as I humbly accept the responsibility of being the President of ASHRAE Sri Lankan Chapter 171 for the year 2015/2016. This year we aim to further improve our chapter and add more value to our membership by carrying out chapter work through committees. We will have 20 committees this year which will give all or most members the opportunity to join the chapter activities.
Some of the main activities lined up for the upcoming year are the CSR Project in August, CRC in Istanbul, Turkey from 1st to 4th October, Annual Get Together in December, Membership Promotion Night in January 2016, and the Refrigeration Technical Tour in March 2016. In addition to these events, we aim to Introduce Chapter members for regional activities, membership upgrades, propose members to Chapter Awards, propose members to regional awards, 2 webcasts, 4 seminars, 1 DL program, 6 committee meetings and 10 BOG CC meetings with ASHRAE industry related program conducted by a past president at each session. Our main target by the end of this year is to achieve PAOE by earning minimum points in five PAOE categories. I believe these targets can only be achieved through dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of all members. Finally, I request every single member to put in your best to improve our chapter and give value to your membership. Kapila Rodrigo President – ASHRAE Sri Lankan Chapter -171