September 18th and 20th 2012 Swegon Air Academy has recently toured Turkey, with seminars in Istanbul and Ankara on the topics of indoor climate effects on building inhabitant productivity and highly energy efficient building practices.
The sound of thunder was rolling over the hills, but it didn’t stop a great number of guests from attending the Swegon Air Academy seminar at the 17th floor of the hotel high rise in eastern Istanbul. Indeed, the attendees braving the weather were offered spectacular sceneries over the city and the Bosporus through the panorama windows and some very interesting seminars. Two days later another seminar was arranged, but this time the setting was changed to downtown Ankara, the political heartland of Turkey.
First out among the speakers in Istanbul was Mr Hüseyin Bilmaç, chairman of the board for IMSAD (Association of Turkish Building Material Producers), giving an interesting introduction from a local perspective to the ongoing standardization work within prospective EU member countries, with Turkey taking on a leading role. Opening speaker in Ankara was Mr Gürkan Arı, president of the TTMD (Turkish Society of HVAC and Sanitary Engineers), discussing the ongoing introduction of different low energy building standards and certifications in Turkey. Mr Arı also elaborated on the topic to stress the national importance of reducing Turkey’s dependence on imported energy, in which GreenBuildings are a key factor.
Second out on both events was Mr David P. Wyon, sharing his experiences from research carried out since the mid 1960’s, with a unique cross-discipline account of parts of his research on indoor climate and its effects on human behavior, with this seminar focusing on school children’s learning performance. As Mr Wyon’s research based on field intervention experiments shows, a large number of the current school buildings are not providing the fresh air and indoor temperature regulation which is needed for a good learning environment. Test results indicate performance drops of a staggering 30% due to unfavorable indoor climate, which naturally seems a great waste of resources and an unnecessary hurdle to all budding minds. The problem is many times not very apparent even to teachers and pupils themselves, due to the inherent ambiguity involving the two critical factors; In summers the air quality is often relatively good because the classroom windows may be opened, but on the other hand the temperature is not well regulated. In winters the windows are rarely opened, which makes the temperature regulation more controlled, but the air quality worse. All taken into consideration, the conditions are often far from ideal. The research is based on cases in Scandinavia, but the basic findings are well worth considering in other locations as well.
Closing speaker on both evenings was Mr Mario Bodem, presenting his first-hand experiences of highly energy efficient building projects. These fascinating cases included both new buildings, ranging from modestly sized houses to large luxury villas, as well as a number of highly interesting renovation projects, including sports centers, schools and apartment blocks. The mix of projects gave rich opportunity for inspiration when it comes to the state-of-the-art solutions, which are naturally easier to achieve with new building projects, while also providing plenty of examples of how to transform old unattractive and inefficient apartments into modern, highly efficient and better climatized ones. All this without letting economical feasibility slip out of sight. But as Mr Bodem pointed out on questions from the audience, it is vital to make sure that the investor understands that renovations, green or not, are not goldmines in themselves. What should be done is to separate the cost for repairs and modernization efforts, which are necessary costs anyway, and then comparing any additional investments in “green” solutions with the decreased energy consumption that follows. If the project is done properly, the equation will show that it’s a wise investment to go green, as one of Mr Bodems recent renovation projects proves: One 1970’s apartment block, which in terms of original energy efficiency was far from a worst case scenario, still reached heating energy savings of 76%. Considering the amount of similar projects that will need attention in the near future, this truly shows great potential!
Photo of David P. Wyon by Henrik Paulsson