CHICAGO — With five new learning tracks and more than 100 sessions and 400 speakers, the technical program at the ASHRAE 2015 Winter Conference will focus on big projects and the big picture, which should have a big impact on attending engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and building professionals.
The conference will feature papers and programs for eight learning tracks that will address trends in the industry as well as in the design community in the area. Three returning tracks include “Systems and Equipment;” “Fundamentals and Applications;” and “Energy Efficiency.” The five new tracks will cover “Industrial Facilities;” “Large Buildings: Mission Critical Facilities and Applications;” “Life Safety;” “Design of Energy and Water Efficient Systems;” and “Hospital Design and Codes.”
The conference, along with the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo, are historically ASHRAE’s best-attended events, giving attendees from around the world the opportunity to discuss the latest topics in the building industry, said ASHRAE president, Tom Phoenix, principal and vice president, Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates, Greensboro, North Carolina. “They get ideas from others that they can put into use in their daily business practices. In turn, they share information to help advance technology that drives the building industry.”
The conference will take place January 24-28, at the Palmer House Hilton. Complete conference information and registration can be found at ashrae.org/chicago.
Phoenix has been involved with ASHRAE for 30 years. Regarding the conference, he most enjoys reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. “There is definitely a buzz and excitement in the air when our members come together.”
With a presidential theme of “People, Passion, and Performance,” Phoenix plans to focus on building performance this year, which is also his real-life avocation. “Measuring and improving building performance has been a priority of ASHRAE for a number of years now, and all indications are that building performance will continue to be one of the top driving forces in our industry.”
There are a number of other big issues facing ASHRAE members this year that Phoenix will also address including changes being made to code enforcement. “This past year saw legislation and regulation in several states that either froze or rolled back energy codes, and it is anticipated there will be a number of these bills addressed by legislative and regulatory bodies across the country in 2015. ASHRAE plans to continue its organizational efforts at the local level to stress the importance of the three-year code cycles.”
In Congress, Phoenix noted legislative threats and opportunities abound, with some members of Congress seeking to alter the federal government’s role and use of building energy codes, while other members are interested in accelerating state adoption and improving building energy code compliance and enforcement rates. “Congress is also poised to pass the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, commonly known as the Shaheen-Portman bill — the most significant energy-efficiency legislation [which includes building energy codes and standards] in more than seven years.”
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Source: www.achrnews.com; Joanna Turpin; January 12, 2015.