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Panasonic rebrands its Life Solutions Business

DUBAI, UAE, 22 May 2022: Panasonic Life Solutions Middle East Africa (PLSMEA), a division of Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa FZE (PMMAF) announced that it has changed its name to Panasonic Electric Works Middle East Africa (PEWMEA), as of April 1, 2022.

Making the announcement through a Press release, dated May 22, the company said that with the name change, PEWMEA will focus on realising the vision to devote its resources and activities to elevate the quality of all kinds of spaces, with a special emphasis on smart energy systems and living solutions to support sustainable and smart living. PEWMEA, it said, will lead the regional Energy Systems Business Division, Lighting Business Division, Smart Energy System Business Division and Indoor Air Quality Business Division.

Eiji Ito

According to the company, PEWMEA has been offering living solutions and a wide array of products, such as wiring devices, LED lighting, solar systems, fire alarm systems, home and building automation, ventilation fans, air treatment, air purifiers and air-moving solutions. Upon the company name change, PEWMEA will provide maximum satisfaction to the regional customers working together with partners utilising digital technologies revolving around electrical works in all kinds of living spaces that make up society, including housing, offices, hotels, commercial facilities and sports facilities, the company said.

Announcing the rebranding, Eiji Ito, Managing Director, said: “With solutions centered on electrical equipment and digital technology, we hope to provide a safe and comfortable space where everyone can spend a healthy and lively time. We will continue to update the space following changes in the social environment and lifestyle, and always deliver maximum satisfaction to our customers. With this sentiment, we will continue to work together with our partners to provide ‘human-oriented solutions’ that enable our customers to live their best.”

ASHRAE celebrates inauguration of global HQ building

ATLANTA, Georgia, 18 November 2021: ASHRAE formally opened its new global headquarters building, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by its board of directors, top building campaign donors, elected officials and local guests. Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE added that it completed a USD 20 million building renovation project intended to prove the economic viability of a fully net-zero-energy (NZE) operation.

“The completion of this project is an important milestone for ASHRAE as a professional society and for the built environment worldwide,” said Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President. “Our investments in energy efficiency and sustainability will boost innovation within the built environment and inspire others to replicate our headquarters’ project model. Our Society reimagined a pathway forward for existing building stock and is pleased to provide an example of the future of high performance buildings.”

The renovated, 66,700-square-foot building, situated on 11 acres of land at 180, Technology Parkway in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the culmination of a 10-month project, completed in October 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASHRAE said.

“One could make the assertion that constructing a new net-zero-energy building from the ground up would have been much easier than renovating an existing building,” said Ginger Scoggins, 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer and Former Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair. “We decided that ASHRAE could make the greatest impact by showing others how to renovate an existing building with net-zero-energy as the focus, using our own standards and guidelines. ASHRAE is making net-zero-energy the ‘new norm’ in sustainable design and construction. It has been an honor to lead this historic project.”

ASHRAE said the building’s grand opening comes at the conclusion of highly successful building campaign that raised more than USD 10.3 million in monetary donations and contributions of equipment and services from multiple ASHRAE members and 33 corporate donors. Top corporate building donors, NIBE and Cisco, were represented at the ceremony, it added.

“When NIBE was presented with the opportunity to be a part of ASHRAE’s new headquarters, it was an easy decision to play a part in the growth and sustainability of the HVACR industry,” said Eric Lindquist, CEO, NIBE Industrier AB. “Our US brands are focused on continued promotion of systems and solutions that provide comfort, affordability, and betterment of the environment. We look forward to the new headquarters and what the future holds.”

Jeremy Witikko, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Global Industry Business Strategy, Cisco, said: “When ASHRAE embarked on creating a workspace that reflected their organization’s vision of advancing human well-being through sustainable technology, Cisco was ALL-IN on partnering. Cisco is committed to power an inclusive future for all and were thrilled to be a part of that journey with ASHRAE. Together, let’s continue to build a place where we can meet human needs and protect the planet though technology, our actions, our people and our intentions. An inclusive future starts with a livable planet where people and the environment can thrive together.”

ASHRAE said that although it has occupied the building for more than one year, with limited onsite staff presence, the installation of a Photovoltaic (PV) solar array system was completed in October 2021, marking the beginning of the building’s operation at fully net-zero-energy performance. The PV system is a combination of three sub-arrays, totaling 332kW, mounted on the rooftop and in an unused section of the parking lot, it added.

ASHRAE said that in addition to the PV system, innovative approaches incorporated in the building include:

  • Eighteen new skylights and reconfigured window/wall ratio.
  • Radiant ceiling panel system: This is used for heating and cooling and dedicated outdoor air system for outdoor air ventilation with enthalpy heat recovery.
  • Overhead fresh air distribution system augmented with reversible ceiling fans in the open office areas and displacement distribution in the learning center.
  • Six water-source heat pumps (WSHPs): There are four on basement level and two on upper level atrium that will be used to condition these spaces.
  • A robust Building Automation System with remote access.
  • Demand Control Ventilation (DCV): This will be used for high occupancy spaces in the meeting and learning center.
  • On-site electric vehicle charging stations available for guests and staff.

In attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the offices of US Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, along with county and city officials, ASHRAE said.

“We are very pleased that a professional association of ASHRAE’s distinction selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its global headquarters,” said Mike Mason, Mayor, Peachtree Corners. “Technology Park is a natural fit for an organization whose focus mirrors the city’s efforts in technology innovation, sustainability and green living.”

ASHRAE said its Building Ad Hoc Committee and Technical Advisory Subcommittee, comprising Society volunteers, oversaw the building renovation project. Partners involved in the design, engineering and construction of the building project include: Houser Walker Architecture, McLennan Design, Integral Group, Collins Project Management, Skanska, Shumate Mechanical and Epsten Group, it said. The PV installation was completed by Creative Solar USA, it added.

HMS launches new IR-based air conditioning interface

HALMS, Sweden, 17 June 2021: HMS Networks has launched an IR-based Intesis AC interface, which the company said enables integration of any air conditioning unit, regardless of brand, into Modbus or BACnet building automation systems.

Saying that HVAC systems are usually the largest consumers of energy in a building, HMS said it is crucial for building owners to monitor and control these systems to save costs and energy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly important to find new ways of installing and using AC units, as ventilation and “clean air” have become a major concern, the company said. The air conditioning market is growing fast with new brands and different types of AC units constantly emerging, the company said. This, it added, makes it challenging for building owners to integrate AC-units into their specific Building Management System (BMS).

The Intesis offering, the company said, includes the most comprehensive portfolio of AC interfaces on the market, enabling monitoring and control of air conditioning units from any home or building automation system. The portfolio, it claimed, is now further strengthened through the launch of a universal IR-based Intesis AC interface for integrating AC units to Modbus- or BACnet-based automation systems. The new interface connects to the AC unit via the IR link, which is already used by most AC units to communicate with their remote control, it said. The Intesis IR-based AC Interface is already compatible with more than 100 IR remote controllers and their associated AC units, it added.

The new AC interface solution, the company said, is configured using the Intesis MAPS tool, which brings many advantages for the system integrator. With a project-based configuration, all the interfaces installed can be configured in a single MAPS template, making it easy to copy device configurations and set up new projects, it said. Thanks to the diagnostics function, it added, the commissioning process and any post-installation assistance is also simplified.

BACnet International welcomes Netix Global as newest member

DUBAI, UAE; Atlanta, United States, 9 May 2021: BACnet International said Netix Global has become the latest company to join the BACnet community as a Gold member. Headquartered in Hoofdorp, in the Netherlands, Netix is a IoT- and AI-based advanced building automation systems provider, whose products and solutions include BAS/BMS, metering and energy savings, enterprise security and smart city integration.

“Netix is a fast-growing company that would continue to be associated with bespoke and globally accepted testing bodies like BACnet International,” said Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO, Netix. “It gives customers and stakeholders the necessary confidence for ready acceptance, especially in newer markets.”

Netix said it joins more than 150 leading building automation suppliers as BACnet International members, supporting the promotion of BACnet as a global communications protocol. Andy McMillan, President and Managing Director, BACnet International, said: “Netix is a wonderful fit for the BACnet International community. They are taking advantage of new technologies to further enhance building automation capabilities in data analytics and energy management, which are critical to effectively and efficiently managing facilities in smart city solutions.”

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