ASHRAE Annual Conference Hosted an Exchange of HVACR Knowledge and Experience

HVACR professionals engaged in an exchange of knowledge and experience at the 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference in Houston. The conference took place at the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel and the George R. Brown Convention Center, with 1,675 people in attendance.

The annual conference offered a technical program with eight tracks and one mini-track, including presentations, tours and social events. The five-day event also featured meetings of technical, standards and standing committees, developing guidance for the future of the industry and ASHRAE.

Shelia J. Hayter, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, took office as the 2018-2019 ASHRAE president. Her theme for the society year, Building Our New Energy Future, focuses on the role buildings will play as the traditional electrical grid continues to evolve toward a smart grid with advances in renewable energy.

“ASHRAE will play a role in accelerating the use of technologies as we move toward greater energy efficiency and healthier buildings,” says President Hayter. “This conference is an example of how we’re taking the lead through the sharing of knowledge and resources to be the bridge between industries to our energy future.”

The plenary session featured a presentation of awards and honors recognizing the achievements and contributions of members to the society and the industry. Keynote speaker Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, research scientist and author, closed the session with a presentation on Inspiring the Next Generation.

During his State of the Society address, outgoing 2017-2108 ASHRAE President Bjarne W. Olesen spoke on the Society’s expanding partnership with the UN Environment, which includes training courses and resources to support the phase-out activities of ozone-depleting substances around the world. In addition to highlighting the opening of new offices in Washington, D.C., and Dubai, Olesen emphasized the engagement of ASHRAE in Europe by stationing staff in Brussels, Belgium, beginning in July.

The technical program of the conference addressed trends in integrated building design, HVACR analytics, best practices in standards authoring, impacts of extreme and future weather scenarios on buildings, along with other topics. A seminar highlighting the proposed ASHRAE Hot Climate Design Guide provided an opportunity for attendees to contribute ideas to improve the design, construction and operation of buildings in hot climates.

The Houston Chapter partnered with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to perform energy audits and equipment upgrades, as ASHRAE’s 2018 Annual Conference sustainable footprint project. The project is intended to leave a legacy representing ASHRAE’s commitment to sustainability.

The ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) offered four new half-day short courses, two full-day seminars and four additional half-day courses providing technical information to industry professionals. The top attended courses were Advanced Designs for Net Zero Buildings; Designing and Operating High-Performing Healthcare HVAC Systems; Humidity Control II: Real-World Problems and Solutions; and The Commissioning Process in New & Existing Buildings.

The 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference takes place Jan. 12-16, 2019, in Atlanta. The AHR Expo will be held in conjunction with the Winter Conference, Jan. 14-16.

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