Buy a cup of coffee for an HVAC contractor

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The cleanrooms industry is faced with the challenge of embracing the contamination control needs and assisting in the educational process of the HVAC industry. If we educate, get involved, these guys will not only be your first line of defense in battling contamination, but one of your strongest lines of defense, no matter what market you're in.

And, according to my gut instincts, they're ready to get on board.

As so often is the case in many manufacturing processes, certain functions can practically co-exist but not be aware of the issues they have in common. This thought, although grammatically cumbersome, ran through my mind as I conducted several exploratory discussions at the recently concluded International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) in Atlanta—sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI).

I spent a good portion of my time at the show speaking to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors and engineers, looking for fresh angles for “new project” stories. You may not know these guys too well. They're coming in on the front end of a project; for the most part working under the guidance of a design/engineering firm and, in many of the large jobs, they're following your specs. They're the infrastructure guys who, in some cases, pack up the trucks and head out while you can still see through the walls.

Yet, they're at an interesting stage in the evolution of their work. I asked one contractor if he was working on any interesting cleanroom projects at the time. “You know what,” he said, cocking his head as if instantly puzzled, “I think I just finished one, but I'm not sure.” I handed him an issue of CleanRooms and told him to keep in touch.

The HVAC industry is starving for cleanroom information, insight and relevant product knowledge. They're seeing “clean” job opportunities pop up as the demands for cleaner, safer products are filling their pipeline of work. They're getting more involved in projects and slowly realizing the contamination control role they can play, but they're just now becoming aware of what make makes a cleanroom clean.

Cleanroom projects are the growth market for these guys, the new blip on their radar. As an involved industry player, it's time to invite a local HVAC contractor over for a cup of coffee. You might be surprised what you both could take away from the conversation. And by the way, look to our news and technical pages over the next few months. We'll be exploring some to “surprisingly simple,” yet practical contamination control technologies that the HVAC industry has to offer—cost-effective applications that make long-term sense for almost all of our markets.

On the edge: We've been justly accused of setting the standards in the industry over the years. This year will be no exception. As you may know, Fed-Std-209E will be “put to rest” at some point during the next six months. On first word, CleanRooms will install the ISO nomenclature in our descriptions of room cleanliness. We've offered you both in our text over the last 12 months, so now would be a good time to get to know your Fed-Std-209E equivalents.

Michael Levans
Chief Editor


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