By Michael Copp, Executive Vice President
The word ‘sustainability’ has been used for many years to describe design criteria that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”1 We have recently seen articles that talk about “net-zero carbon communities” within which as described by Rose Morrison (2021) in her article, The Future of Net-Zero Communities, consist of buildings that “generate as much energy as they consume.”2 This concern for protecting the environment is in parity with PHCC’s mission statement and these efforts are gaining steam exponentially as the debate regarding sources for and generation of energy to meet growing demands intensify. Morrison (2021) notes, “enabling net-zero energy consumption frequently involves unique plumbing, wiring and HVAC challenges.”
PHCC contractors can offer ‘sustainability’ value-added services to their customers that might include: audits; remote monitoring; subscription-based annual maintenance; location considerations of high-quality shut-off valves and water heater; hot and cold pipe insulation to name a few opportunities. Mike Persinger writes in his article, 13 HVAC Market Trends Expected to Heat Up in 2021, “The “Internet of Things” isn’t going away. Today, it’s estimated more than 14 million homes in the U.S. use “smart home” or “smart technology” devices and products—and that number is only expected to go up.”4 Persinger (2020) notes that “GlobalWebIndex 5 found a rising number of consumers were ready to pay for more expensive, eco-friendly products, including 46 percent of Baby Boomers and 61 percent of Millennials.”
Incidentally, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness of desire for plumbing and HVAC retrofits, upgrades and best practices needed for a safe living and working environment—whether at home or in the office. Steve Swanson (2021) writes in his article in Contractor Magazine, What COVID Means for IEQ, “The coronavirus has exposed the contaminants, gases, and carcinogens…”6 So as it relates to indoor environmental quality (IEQ) “It will profit you to know how filtration works, how to decrease infiltration [and exfiltration] and increase ventilation with minimum loss of heat energy.”
There are incredible opportunities for PHCC contractors to be the ‘contractor of choice’’ by offering forward-looking sustainable solutions that create long-lasting relationships with their customers. Our members can also be the ‘employer of choice’ by attracting a tech-savvy workforce that wants to contribute to building and maintaining sustainable communities.
3 https://www.kitchenandbathclassics.com/wp-content/uploads/Guide-Sustainable-Plumbing-CMHC.pdf (See page four to access Sustainable Plumbing Checklist)