A new study from the National Academy of Sciences predicts that the growing use of so-called “green” refrigerants being phased in to replace ozone-depleting ones could contribute to the global equivalent of up to 45% in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050. > Photo: Tudor Van Hampton Engineers prep for R-22 ban at recent HVAC conference. Related Links: View the National Academy of Sciences Study The use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), such as R-404a, R-410a and HFC-134a, are set to grow exponentially as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), such as R-22, continue phasing out under the Montreal Protocol. In the 1990s, HCFCs replaced more-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.