CIC’s Alstra champions energy efficiency through EvoSolution Forum, highlights end-to-end solutions



Alstra launched the EvoSolution technical forum series in Manila and Davao, sharing best practices in the building industry with engineers, architects, and consultants to make energy efficiency and sustainability a business priority. Alstra Group Director Rajan Komarasu (first from left) opened the two-day forum, which featured experts in climate control and vertical transport solutions. In photo are Willy Estrella, Commercial & Industrial Solutions Director (second), Danny Kalingasan, Design Manager (middle), Ted Jagusztyn (fourth), Building Engineering Solutions Director, and Mark Faulkner, Service Operations & Quality Director (far right).


Alstra, Concepcion Industrial Corporation’s commercial division, recently gathered its industry partners for its first EvoSolution, a technical forum advocating a safer, more efficient, and sustainable building industry.


It also promoted its unique end-to-end solutions package that streamlines the building process by ensuring that projects finish on time and less resources are wasted. Alstra’s solutions start from equipment selection, engineering design, project installation and management, testing and commissioning, to periodic maintenance and retrofit services.


EvoSolution, a series of technical forums, provides industry experts and building professionals the best practices and the latest technologies in climate control and vertical transport solutions. EvoSolution forum sessions were held in Manila and Davao in October this year.


Carrier, Otis, and Toshiba are the brands that complement the end-to-end solutions package of Alstra that companies in the Philippines and around the world have relied on for years.


“We believe that joining together as industry players is necessary for a more sustainable path towards the construction industry’s growth. We will also partner with industry organizations in the next EvoSolution Forum,” said Rajan Komarasu, Group Director of Alstra


“By increasing the awareness of partners and other players on the practices and technologies to address buildings’ energy efficiency issues, EvoSolution helps to ensure that everyone in the industry plays an active role in boosting the country’s growth while also taking care of the environment.”


According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), buildings use up 40% of global energy. In turn, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) systems, particularly chillers, use up 40% of the power consumed by an entire building; the remaining 60% is consumed by lighting, electronics, and water and heating systems, according to data from the United States Department of Energy. The UNEP also noted that the building sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.


In the Philippines, according to latest numbers from the Department of Energy, the commercial sector accounts for 24% of the country’s total energy consumption. The industrial sector accounts for 26.6%, and the residential sector, 28.2%.


“As the country continues to develop, energy demand rises, and so we need to take action to improve energy efficiency in the building sector. EvoSolution is a proactive step in that direction,” Komarasu said.


Best practices, technologies shared


Aside from Alstra’s chief engineers and designers, experts from Carrier, Otis, and partner company United Technologies shared issues commonly encountered in operating climate control and vertical transport systems and how to approach them.


Willy Estrella, Alstra’s Director of Commercial and Industrial Solutions, provided practical tips in installing commercial HVAC systems. He shared that choosing the right HVAC design depends on the type of building, its geographic location, its year-long operation schedule, and efficiency targets.


“When installing HVAC systems, it’s important to consider the space design to give air-conditioning units enough room for the return and supply of air flow, and properly design air ducts by planning ahead. Most importantly, we need to properly study the building’s load requirements to know that we’re getting the most out of our HVAC system,” said Estrella.


Estrella revealed that “most buildings run more efficiently on part-load than at full-load. This means that the cooling requirement of a building can be achieved with minimum power input instead of having the HVAC system operating at maximum capacity. In a year, full load typically occurs only one percent of the time.”


He added that bad HVAC design commonly results from the lack of information and design tools; this, he said, may be avoided if partnered with the right experts.


“Carrier can provide the tools to facilitate energy and climate analysis, commercial load calculation, air system analysis, comparison of different HVAC designs, and choosing the right refrigerant piping design,” he said.


Meanwhile, Danilo Kalingasan, Design Manager of Alstra, focused on the benefits of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, and why these are recently seeing more demand than chilled water air-conditioning systems. “VRF sales have significantly gone up since 2015 because the system is more appropriate for taller buildings, allows for multiple split installations with some allowing up to 64 indoor units per one outdoor unit,” he said.


“In addition, they are low-cost because they use inverter technology, thus consume less electricity, require minimal to non-existent ductwork, and occupy less ceiling space.”


Kalingasan noted, however, that certain applications require special ventilation requirements that can be better addressed by a chilled water system, such as warehouses, play theaters, pharmaceutical factories, or printing presses.


Ted Jagusztyn, Alstra’s Building Engineering Solutions Director, shared best practices in HVAC technology adopted in Singapore, a country with a similar climate like ours.


“We need to carefully evaluate best practices and technology for applicability in the tropics, which have to deal with constraints different from those in cooler regions. For example, in a study of small Singapore hotels, it was found that a VRF system is more cost-efficient than a water-cooled chiller system in terms of installation and system life cycle over a period of 10 years,” he said.


The importance of regular maintenance of HVAC systems was highlighted by Mark Faulkner, Alstra’s Service Operations and Quality Director.


“Maintenance of HVAC systems should be done regularly to keep tubes clean. Otherwise, fouling, or the accumulation of dirt and other unwanted materials in condenser tubes, can increase energy required by the system by up to 11.5 percent,” he explained.


When it comes to vertical transport solutions, Alstra featured experts from Otis, who discussed the need for smarter elevators as populations rise and megacities increase globally. Andy Yoon, Otis’s Branch Director of Modernization & New Equipment Installation, and Masaru Katoh, Sales and Engineering Support Manager of Otis’s High Rise Contract & Logistics Center, talked about optimizing elevator operations through their destination dispatch system.


“With Otis’s destination dispatching system, we group in one elevator passengers who are going to the same floor to reduce the travel time. This improves the flow of building traffic, provides a more pleasant experience for passengers, and minimizes energy consumption,” said Yoon.


Meanwhile, Katoh spoke about one of Otis’ latest elevator technologies, Skyrise.


“Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and Seoul’s Lotte World Tower use Otis SkyRise, which are double-deck elevators that are designed specifically for tall, iconic buildings. SkyRise is energy-efficient because of Otis SkyMotion machines and the ReGen drive technology, light-weight and easy to install, quieter, and most of all, meets the highest standards of safety,” Katoh said.


Turning energy efficiency into a business priority


A reflection of Alstra’s unique end-to-end solutions package, EvoSolution illustrates that the best technologies are more effective when aided by good design, and Alstra envisions to make these good practices the norm among its business partners and other industry players.


“Our decades of expertise in HVAC systems through Carrier and Toshiba, the global market leadership of Otis, and our extensive knowledge of the Philippine market have put us in the best position to share these best practices with our partners and colleagues in the industry,” said Alstra’s Komarasu.


“We are confident that EvoSolution can help make energy efficiency a business priority for a smarter and sustainable building sector for the Philippines.”


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