The world reportedly needs an estimated USD 5.4 trillion in annual urban climate finance to mitigate climate change. The challenge is a formidable one, but on the ground here in the GCC region – and I suspect in many other parts of the world – the disquietude is not over the multi-trillion-dollar investment that is required but over existential issues.
In the past few weeks, I have informally chatted with MEP consultants and MEP contractors to ascertain the extent of their concern over climate change – let’s call it climate crisis, for it indeed is one. The responses have been quite typical – after the initial soft noises on how important it is to curb runaway emissions, the talk has invariably turned to the availability of projects in the market; an inquisition into the sub-sectors still alive and lucrative; payment delays; marginalising of MEP expertise; lack of coordination amongst the stakeholders, leading to costly budget overruns, delays and finger-pointing; and mild curiosity over those quaint enough to suggest the need for better Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), even if as an afterthought.
Total Cost of Ownership is regarded as an interesting subject, if only to smoothen the worry-lines of facility owners, but even there, it is not hard to sense a certain lack of conviction in the voice, not to forget the gaps that need to be filled yet in the energy services contract model.
Amidst all this is the newest kid on the block – Cooling as a Service (CaaS) – that has arrived with all the fanfare of a Hollywood blockbuster. This month’s issue focuses on the subject through an interview with the CEO of a company that reportedly has made early inroads and gone so deep into providing the service that it is able to describe the application of the model in granular detail, especially after I was at pains to understand how it differs from District Cooling as a model.
In addition to the Q&A on CaaS, we have packed this issue with guest columns that among other aspects, address existential issues, legal points, regulation and rather interesting discussions on building tracing for better IAQ and on air filtration, in particular. Hope you find value for time.