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Between technology and literature

altColombia brings in this opportunity a new Professional of the month. The recognition goes to Andrés Velásquez, consultant of the company Building Technologies Consultores. by Duván Chaverra Agudelo

From his university career, Andrés Velásquez began to realize what would be the professional path that his life would take, when at the end of his professional career he had already belonged to the Editorial Committee of the magazine Mecánica al Día, of the University of Los Andes, where he got his degree as a mechanical engineer. The good start in his recent career only predicted good things for the Professional of the month of this edition, who then traveled to Mexico to complement his university studies by delving into mechanical design with emphasis on optimization and ergonomics, all thanks to an offer made by the Organization of American States (OAS). "When I returned to Colombia (1987) I joined as head of Engineering and product development of the licensee of Carrier in Colombia, Equiprac S.A, where I managed in the 4 years of permanence to go through not only the aspects of the design but also the manufacture and application of the lines of equipment for air conditioning and refrigeration. In 1991 I moved to the island of San Andrés to manage and direct the operation of Tecnisla, independent distributor of Carrier and after 10 years of leadership, I acquired this company and transformed it into Islatech Ltda, through the latter 20 years of experience in the design, assembly, commercialization and service of CVAR systems of all kinds, not only on the island but in different cities of Colombia," said Andrés. After a two-year stint in the general management of Airecaribe, a Colombian recruitment firm, the Professional of the Month took advantage of all his experience to start his project called Building Technologies Consultores. "I currently lead a group of engineers and assistants specialized in the design and optimization of air conditioning and ventilation systems. Counting in these five years with about 750 projects designed". The engine of your life
During his stay in San Andrés, one of the most recognized tourist islands in Colombia, the engineer Velásquez met who today is his wife, Issa Irene Hooker, an optometrist and the mother of Santiago, a five-year-old boy. Today, the profession of their father and husband brought them to Bogotá. "When I decided to open the consulting operation and close the assembly and service company, they (his family) gave me the strength and accompaniment, taking high risks (abandoning the sea of the seven colors of the island where we lived, a really paradisiacal place) to undertake this project that today pays off," explained the engineer. His free time, in addition to sharing it with his family, he does it with reading, as he is a follower of literary novels and technical, administrative and psychological documents. "I especially like action and mystery novels, from the classics of Agatha Christie to the current exponents of the genre such as John Grisham and Tom Clancy. I also like salsa music, boleros and rancheras. I consider that I have good humor and positivity in all the situations I face, where I am always putting myself in each other's shoes." Your professional challenges
For any entrepreneur who one day decided to create his own company, starting his journey is the most difficult challenge to take on. Once that first step has been overcome, now the most important thing is to maintain yourself and for this you need the help of a whole work team. "Forming a cohesive working group with a mission implies understanding the needs of the collaborator, drawing lines of growth and respecting and listening to the opinions and suggestions of each member of the team. I am convinced that the example is the best form of leadership, you can not demand from a person the behaviors that one does not have, "explained Andrés.


For the guest, the day to day is also assumed as a challenge: "Each project we undertake becomes a challenge to overcome, improve any aspect, innovate with responsibility and sense, achieve new solutions to situations that are common. The challenge is not to 'accommodate' what only works, not to adopt pre-established solutions and to be able to start over no matter the journey. You have to overcome it even if it is 1% each time, so that at the tenth time it is a 10% improvement". Your vision of the industry
Andrés Velásquez believes that in Colombia and the rest of Latin America the market is demanding changes in the methodology of its operation and promotion. "The CVAR industry is maturing out of the original scheme in which the distributor performed all the roles: design, supply, assembly and service. The size and level of the current market no longer allows in projects of a certain size, since it requires another model and in my concept it is that of a three-legged table (designers, executors and suppliers)", explained the Professional. He insists that a good job must be guaranteed accompanied by an integral process: "Without the dissemination to the consultants of the advances of the suppliers, it is not possible to apply the products and their support in the projects. Only an integrated process, but with independence, guarantees the customer the maximization of the value paid. The approach, infrastructure and expertise of a designer for the development of a project, is not useful to execute it, where other skills and tools are required. In the same way, the one that develops and produces does not manage to be in all segments efficiently," said Velásquez.   On the other hand, it is unconcealable that every day there is more talk about the need for the industry to participate in the development of new sustainable alternatives, because that is the path that sooner or later all those linked to this sector will have to choose. Our guest believes that the future of the industry is linked to the future of the systems application sectors. "It is clear that the trend to build sustainable and certifiable buildings is irreversible and real estate developers, building owners and user entities have already given unequivocal signals of the route to follow. This establishes that the projects of the CVAR, which are first-level protagonists in the buildings, are resolved according to sustainable, certifiable methodologies and with defined roles within the project. The LEED methodology is based on developments made by Ashrae and it is exciting to see construction project managers interested in the technical and regulatory aspects of ventilation and air conditioning, verifying which refrigerant will be used and its overall impact." Finally, the engineer Velásquez highlights that the alternatives in integration have allowed to overcome the lack of regulations that allow the development of more efficient projects. "In many of our countries, the authorities have not regulated or adopted CVAR standards with the speed that the requirements evolve. This gap has been filled by owners and developers by adopting sustainable construction methodologies. The development of digital controls, integrated into building management systems, requires that the systems to be designed and built are integrable and interoperable. It is already a palpable fact to find different brands of controls integrating within the same building, thanks to standard communication protocols. The future will be based on these platforms." We still have a long way to go from studying our own climates and conditions to optimize applications and make the most of the conditions of each place. To the extent that we respond satisfactorily to the needs of customers, we grow the market and give value to our industry.

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