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A holistic approach at this year’s show

Andrew Gaved
Editor at Large, Lyrical Communications

Amongst the many new initiatives at the InstallerSHOW this year, the Climate Solutions Theatre is one I am really excited about – and not just because I have helped to curate the programme.

The very concept of a theatre dedicated to covering cooling and heating in one place is a subject close to my heart as I have been trying to facilitate bringing the two worlds together for a good chunk of my career – I am after all the Editor who put H&V News and RAC magazines next to each under the same covers, thereby provoking the ire of both industry sectors at once. Among the most memorable comments was a fridge man who said this would result in cooling forever being seen ‘at the back end of the heating industry.’ He didn’t say  ‘back end’ either.

Historically the lack of collaboration between the heating and cooling sectors has been a source of bemusement and frustration over the years amongst specifiers –  and every consultant seems to have a story about finding heating and cooling systems, installed by different companies, effectively fighting against each other in a building, leaving high energy costs and general discomfort in their wake.

Now of course, the increased focus on reaching net zero and reducing energy costs has led to much more effort in the sectors working together. The acceleration in heat pump technology is naturally playing a key part in bringing heating and cooling closer together, but at the same time, there have been great strides in applying heat recovery techniques, to ‘win’ heat from applications where it used to be wasted. Such applications range from large-scale projects, piping waste heat from data centres into district heating networks, to single supermarkets capturing the heat from their refrigeration systems.

All this provides context to the fact that our Climate Solutions Theatre is aiming to tap into the search for more ‘holistic’ solutions and at the same time to air some of the issues facing the commercial heating and cooling sectors to a wider stage. It is no accident that World Refrigeration Day, which we celebrate on the middle day of the show, has ‘Temperature Matters’ as its theme, highlighting the potential for collaboration.

Given it is only one theatre out of a whopping ten content venues at the show – we are cramming in a wide selection of different elements: To show the diversity: on Day One alone, we will start with heat pump guru Graham Hendra’s thoughts on the latest developments; then we will hear from the government’s construction director, David Hancock on what it takes to plan a big project. This will be followed by a discussion on the new standards in IAQ and IEQ that is set to affect every commercial building; and move through to an explanation of the opportunities available in district heating.

Day Two brings a closer focus on cooling on World Refrigeration Day, and along with the UK launch, we will have a keynote from IOR president Graeme Fox; an expert panel discussing the impact of the F-Gas regulations; and a look at the importance of cooling and heating to supermarkets.

Day Three ends the show with a celebration of diversity. This will include what is expected to be the UK’s largest gathering of women in cooling, alongside panel sessions for women in heating, a networking lunch and international speakers – and a celebrity speaker too: Rachel Riley, face of the Countdown letters board, will share on her career in STEM. To end the day, the World Refrigeration Day Influential Women Showcase will be announced. A platform for involvement, discussion and collaboration: that’s the aim of the Climate Solutions Theatre. Come and be a part of it!

See the full event timetable here.

InstallerSHOW 25 – 27 June 2024, Birmingham NEC – Register for your free ticket here.

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