Big 5: Five minutes Amit Ahuja, AMCA International
Amit Ahuja, MD of Maico Gulf and chair of AMCA International in the Middle East, discusses the air-movement and control association’s regional activities
CW: How would you assess current levels of demand within the Middle East’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), and control system segments?
Amit Ahuja: Demand in the UAE is strong, particularly in Dubai. Expo 2020 Dubai appears to be on a critical path, and time really is of the essence when it comes to completing projects in time for the event. Saudi Arabia can expect the effects of Saudi Vision 2030 to gain momentum, especially given the government’s commitment to awarding related projects later next year. Generally speaking, the price of crude oil is going to play a vital role in driving project-related demand from regional markets.
CW: How has business been for Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International during the past year?
AA: Our Middle East activities have continued to witness expansion since the addition of our stand-louver certification programme, which is accredited through an AMCA Independent Laboratory in conjunction with independent consultant, Thomas Bell-Wright (TBW). TBW tests louvers in accordance with AMCA test standard 500-L. Our focus during the past five years has been to provide educational seminars in association with the ASHRAE Falcon and ASHRAE Oryx chapters. This has laid the groundwork for increased specifications for AMCA-certified products, and has also served to fuel our growth in the region.
CW: In which segments are AMCA affiliates’ products and services currently in highest demand?
AA: Commercial HVAC systems for buildings are in highest demand, primarily within the field of variable air volume (VAV) units. In this respect, AMCA-certified fans, dampers, louvers, and sound attenuators are currently very popular in the Middle East.
CW: What are AMCA’s Plans for The Big 5 2017?
AA: AMCA is returning for its sixth consecutive year, and will have a corner stand in the newly centralised hall for HVAC-related services. From our stand, Z5G101, we hope to receive visitors from across the region, and would be happy to answer queries concerning membership requirements, standards, and publications. Our executive director, Mark Stevens, and the director of AMCA Certified Rating System, Nazme Mohsina, will be travelling to The Big 5 from the US. I will also be present along with Aldes’s Norman Qamar, who is chair of the AMCA Marketing Committee.
CW: What are AMCA’s priorities in the Middle East for 2018?
AA: AMCA will make an announcement in Q1 2018 about staffing arrangements in the region, and we will continue to host technical seminars in conjunction with ASHRAE. Our chief goal is to increase uptake of the AMCA Certified Ratings Program. We also intend to help regional professionals develop and enforce tighter specifications, and – in collaboration with ASHRAE Falcon and the Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) – we would like to educate the market about new energy efficiency standards for fans.
Amit Ahuja is managing director of Maico Gulf, a member of the AMCA board of directors’ executive committee, and chair of the association’s activities in the Middle East.