The 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference was held Jan. 24-28 with the AHR Expo held Jan. 26-28 in Chicago.
ASHRAE broke records for attendance at the Winter Conference with 3,018 attendees. Attendance this year was higher than the past six winter conferences, except Las Vegas 2011. Attendees came from more than 60 countries.
The expo claimed the title for the best-attended event ever held in Chicago. Preliminary figures for the world’s largest HVACR marketplace show that more than 61,000 total attendees, including 42,400 visitors, took part. Five Chicago records were shattered by the 2015 event.
- Total number of registered attendees: 61,990
- Number of visitors: 42,400
- Net square footage: more than 480,000
- Number of exhibiting companies: more than 2,100
- Number of international exhibitors: 592
For ASHRAE, a major item of note at the conference was recognition by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) on ASHRAE achieving the highest rating—four Green Globes—on its international headquarters. Through a month-long process, GBI’s Green Globes assessor worked with ASHRAE staff to document the building’s sustainable management practices. Only 3 percent of projects assessed by GBI achieve four Globes certification.
Also taking place was launch of ASHRAE’s and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction’s fourth biennial work plan for 2015-2016, based on a global cooperation agreement signed in 2007. The ASHRAE-UNEP cooperation agreement was developed to achieve several international goals, including the sustainable phase-out of ozone depleting substances in refrigeration and air-conditioning applications; maximizing the climate benefits of using low-global warming potential alternatives including aspects of energy saving in buildings; as well as facilitating the transfer and adoption of sustainable and feasible technologies to developing countries.
The conference’s Technical Program ranked high in attendance, focusing on big projects, the big picture and big impacts with the intent of presenting big results for engineers, contractors, manufacturers and building professionals. Individual top-attended sessions in the technical program were seminars related to Lab Safety and Fire Alarm Response; Controlling a Minimum Impact Data Center; Design of Safe, Healthy and Energy-Efficient Air Distributions for Hospitals; ASHRAE Design Guide for Tall, Mega Tall and Super Tall Building Systems; Refrigeration for Craft Brewing; Is Air-to-Air Energy Recovery Mutually Exclusive with Demand Control Ventilation and/or Airside Economizers?; Fan and System Integration for Maximizing Energy Efficiency Design; Hydronics 101: Design Basics and Complying with Standard 90.1; and Walgreens’ Pursuit of a Net-Zero Store; as well as a Conference Paper Session on Using Solar to Improve Efficiency; and a Technical Paper Session on Energy Efficient, Hydronic HVAC Systems.
Also offered were a combined 20 Professional Development Seminars and Short Courses from ASHRAE Learning Institute. The most popular offerings were Complying with Standard 90.1-2013: HVAC/Mechanical; Designing High-Performance Healthcare HVAC Systems; and Design of Commercial Ground Source Heat Pumps.
Publications new to the ASHRAE bookstore were sold at the conference, including Load Calculation Applications Manual, 2nd edition; the Chilled-Beam Design Guide with REHVA; Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground-Source Heat Pump Systems; and Data Center Design and Operation: ASHRAE Datacom Series CD.
The 2015 ASHRAE Annual Conference takes place in Atlanta, June 27-July 1. The 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference will take place Jan. 23-27, Orlando, Fla., with the AHR Expo held Jan. 25-27.