The ELAN Expo held its 1st International Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Installation System, Water Treatment and Insulation Exhibition and Workshops (WEST AFRICA HVAC Expo 2017) at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island between Wednesday, 13th to Friday, 15th July 2017. The choice of hosting the robust event in Lagos- the business and commercial hub of Nigeria- was not a mere coincidence but predicated on the fact that, we currently lead HVAC consumption in West Africa with almost 40% of all HVAC products exported over the past 15 years. Hencethis calls for the better re-positioning of Nigeria to take its rightful place within the sub-region and the African continent in general. The highlight of the event was to show case a wide range of HVAC and Water Treatment and Insulation Facilities for the Nigeria Market and also provide an enabling platform for networking and deal making between manufacturing firms, dealers and the end-users of the products displayed by expositors. There were also syndicate sessions of professional associations, the academia and other stakeholders drawn from the public and organized-private sector and a cross-section of the Nigerian public during the two–day concurrent workshop meetings to brainstorm and discuss pertinent issues about the Global HVAC industry, its emerging technologies and the prospects for growth in Nigeria. The Keynote Address, titled “HVAC Trends in an emerging economy” was presented by Engr. Adetokunbo Sangowawa, FNSE, a Practicing Engineer and Building Services Consultant with Specialization in HVAC systems.

Other papers presented at the event are:
• Nigeria HVAC Energy and Efficiency Standards and Complying with International Best Practice Standards by Engr. Richard Adewunmi, MNSE
• Design of HVAC Systems for Maximum Airflow by Engr. Murray O. Akusu, MNSE.
• The Basics That Facility Managers Must Know About HVAC Systems/Low Cost Cooling by Engr. Lucas Omotosho, MNSE, FNIMechE
• Facility Maintenance and Management Systems using the Somotex System as a Practical Guide by Engr. Chukwuemeka .C. Mokobia, MNSE
• Aesthetically integrating Condensers, AHU’s and Ducts into Architect’s Design by Engr. Dr. Amechi Ujam, MNSE, FNIMechE
• Ductless HVAC Units, The way forward for Aesthetics by Engr. Joseph Udumebreye, MNSE

The 1st WEST AFRICA HVAC Expo 2017 was organized and held successfully. The HVAC Exposition was attended by over Four thousand (4000) participants from all works of life as the biggest gathering of HVAC engineering professionals aimed at evaluating and discussing the latest developments, trends, and technologies in the global HVAC sector, With expositors from all over the world ( i.e. U.S.A to Germany, China, India, and Turkey, e.t.c ), the event also afforded participating companies the opportunity to present their products and make business partnership agreement with dealers in Nigeria. It was unanimously agreed by the key stake holders and workshop participants that heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, installation system, water treatment and insulation sectors have demonstrated significant growth potentials in Africa, with an exceptional demand level, trade import performance, and associated foreign investments opportunities in Nigeria. The HVAC Expo came up with the following as its post-event communiqué:

The stakeholders observe as follows:
i. The growing urbanization has a consequent implication for more housing in need of thermal comfort. This provides unbounded opportunities for stakeholders (Manufacturers, Dealers, HVAC Professional and Practitioners, and End-users) in the Nigerian HVAC industry, only if the peculiarities of the Nigerian market environment are properly understood.

ii. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is an important part of residential buildings- such as; single family homes, apartment and public buildings- where safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with respect to temperature and humidity, using fresh air from outdoors.

iii. It was observed that the budget for HVAC infrastructure in Nigeria is often inadequate, and could hardly provide for maintainability and sustainable long term usage.

iv. Even though, the centrality of HVAC systems in apartment building and robust public facilities cannot be questioned, the cost of thermal cooling is understandably high and constitute about 50-75% of an organization’s utility bill. This has been a cause for worry to facility managers whose targets are to ensure thermal comfort provisions for building facilities at low cooling cost.

v. An indigenous Nigerian Code, Standards and Legislation for HVAC products quality is non-existent, especially as it responds to the climate change requirements, and services rendered by HVAC practitioners.

vi. It was also observed that the use of outdated refrigerants with high ozone depletion potential (ODP) in Air conditioning units and refrigeration system is rife in Nigeria to the detriment of public health and environmental safety.

vii. A huge manpower gap exists in the HVAC sector as it affects repairs and maintenance of state-of-the-art HVAC facilities in spite of the vast opportunities the sector provides for wealth and job creation.

viii. It was widely observed that much is still left to be desired by HVAC product end-users, as aesthetic architectural designs of buildings are oftentimes at variance with functional HVAC installation designs. This encourages the tinkering with the choice and sizing of HVAC equipment, and adversely affects the functionality of HVAC systems in built-in environment. It must be noted that equipment selection,-such as; condensers/chillers, air handling units and ducts- enhances HVAC systems functionality and ensure better comfort of end-users.

The stakeholders recommendations are:
a. Nigeria’s population and wealth provide a huge market for growth in the HVAC industry. Hence, Government should endeavor to make the Nigeria business environment more investment friendly to encourage HVAC manufacturers to build on the present recorded gains in the sector. Major HVAC equipment producers interested in setting up factories and assembly plants in Nigeria should be made to enjoy some government incentive, such as; import waiver facilities as a nod of encouragement, to grow the economy through service provisions, employment creation, local content engagement and manpower development in the nation’s HVAC industry.

b. The design of HVAC system for maximum airflow must require the services of a qualified Professional and of necessity take into cognizance the capacity of the room/apartment space, the equipment in the cooling space, the number of persons in the room, the time required for cool air to fill the room, and the capacity of HVAC equipment to be selected.

c. Budget provision for HVAC infrastructure should cover the following; equipment cost, installation cost, manpower training, common spares, and at least one year maintenance (warranty) by supplier.

d. More emphasis should be placed on HVAC facilities with an evident capacity for low-cost cooling, and top energy saving through energy conservation and efficiency technologies. This could be achieved by; encouraging the use of high performance HVAC equipment (with improved coefficient of performance, EER, SEER, kW/ton, variable drive, and smart control mechanism) and, adopting innovation in free cooling should be encouraged, through the use of permanent magnetic motors, economizer to ameliorate the peculiar challenges of high power cost and incessant power outages.

e. The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the custodian of the nation’s codes and standards is urged to expedite effort in collaboration with relevant professional engineering and scientific bodies –such as; the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers- and other relevant players in the Nigerian HVAC industry, to develop a regulatory framework, codes of practice and product standardization benchmarks, indigenous to Nigeria and in line with global best practice. The codes and legislation should also carter for the periodic replacements of old non-compliant HVAC units, improved quality and functionality of HVAC facilities, and also address concerns of public safety in the built-in environment.

f. There is need to promote green technology by ensuring; compliance with ASHRAE, LEED, BREEM green building codes in the absence of the indigenous Nigerian codes of practice, to improve air quality by reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels through better air filtration, introduction of new refrigerants and the phasing out all outdated refrigerants with high ozone depletion potentials (ODP) by 2020 in line with Kyoto protocol, and lastly encourage the use of less-power consuming but thermally driven air conditioning and refrigeration plants, improve cost efficiency and efficiency life span.

g. Given the shortage of skilled and qualified manpower in the HVAC industry in Nigeria, the Government is urged to exploit the abounding opportunity that the existing HVAC services sub-sector provides to combat poverty and unemployment amongst the teeming unemployed youths. Hence, an effective means of skilling and re-skilling workforce to keep up the pace of rapid technological growth in the sector is more -than -ever imperative for the sector and the country.

h. There is need for the enactment of laws and a regulatory framework for professionals operating in the built-in environment, to ensure the seamless integration of mechanical and building services professionals with Architects, throughout the development life cycle of a project,so as to harmonize engineering systems functionality with architectural beauty.

Communiqué Signed By;
Mr. Jude Chime
Stakeholders Chairman/ ELAN Expo Nigeria
Engr. Dr. Robinson I. Ejilah, FNIMechE, MNSE
Stakeholder’s Secretary/ Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers


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