November 7, 2019 by Ductus
change within a long standing, multi-billion dollar industry occurs
infrequently at best. For such a change to occur the expected results would
have to significantly overcome the initial expense; but more so our own
perception and way of doing things. Pre-Insulated duct
seems to be achieving just that.
For almost a
century now, metal frame duct ventilation systems have been the only viable
option for commercial HVAC systems. Consumers have needed to cover the cost of
the product as well as the added expense of installing and maintaining tons of
large metal sheets, layered with large volumes of fibrous materials for
installers takes time and increases the potential for human error. The heavy
and cumbersome nature of the material also increases risk to health and safety
while the considerable storage space needed remains unproductive and a constant
inconvenience throughout the entire installation period.
all this, sheet metal fabricators have grown into large companies benefitting
from a niche market affording them constant and specialised work. However,
emerging trends to produce greener and more efficient products have prompted
governments to impose stricter sanctions; limiting carbon emissions and forcing
manufactures to devise products requiring less energy to build and operate.
warming potential or GWP of a product takes into account the energy needed for
its production and lifespan. The total embodied energy of a product can then be
calculated and given an efficiency rating.
advancements in closed-cell technology along with the need for better standards
encouraged manufacturers to engineer a much lighter and rigid panelling system.
Pre-insulated duct or rigid duct eliminates all the additional costs associated
with metal ductwork. One particular example; the ALP system has been measured
outperforming sheet metal systems by a very noticeable 85%.
incredible revelation caught our attention when it was first introduced into
the Australian market in 2015. Pre-insulated duct has of course been around for
quite some time but had previously offered no real incentive and therefore
gained no traction.
News on the
considerable savings in carbon emissions, time and money prompted interest from
regulators and engineers who have since supported the use of pre-insulated duct
through approval ratings and recommendations. Savvy businessmen have also shown
interest; and as such have now found themselves an opportunity to capture a
large proportion of the HVAC insulation market, long held by the sheet metal
Jim Malek of
Air has been providing HVAC solutions for 15 years. His knowledge of the
industry as well as prior laboratorial experience allowed him to foresee the
rising demand for a new system and has been leading the charge ever since. I
spoke with him on how he sees the industry’s future and what he thinks will
happen to his sheet metal competitors.
speaking with Jim I did my own research into the advanced chemical and HVAC
industry market to see what others had to say. I was particularly interested to
see what market insights I could find regarding market share and sale volume
figures for the industry. Global market analysts collect raw data to define
trends in business sectors to enable informed decisions on potential market
reading through some of the reports on the global HVAC industry as well as the
industries supplying the materials used to manufacture both pre-insulated duct
and the fibreglass materials used in sheet metal systems; the demand for
pre-insulated duct is predicted to increase significantly.
notable points to consider in this David and Goliath battle were that the
global market for this sector was predicted to rise significantly over the
coming years with the entire HVAC global market predicted to reach US $183
billion by 2025. Most of the demand in this sector would come from construction
projects within the Asia Pacific region where the demand for the fibreglass
materials associated with sheet metal ductwork is for the first time in history
expected to decline.