Winter Is Here

Winter Is Here

by Benjamin Skelton

February 20, 2018

The ASHRAE Winter Conference returned to Chicago in January and brought with it some unusually warm temperatures for this time of year. Of course, for the 3,400+ attendees it was always ~72ºF in the Palmer House conference rooms.

As Director and Regional Chair (Region VI) I sit on the Board of Directors for the Society and get to see the entire workings of the organization. It also means that my conference is non-stop, often with double-or triple-booked meetings. I have meetings from Friday morning until Wednesday night with my days typically starting at 7 AM and ending after Midnight. Granted some of that is social fun but that’s actually where a lot of the business of ASHRAE is done. And ASHRAE is a business. We often lose sight of that fact when we say ASHRAE is a “non-profit society”…. one that we operate with a $28 million annual budget and an office in Atlanta with a full time staff supporting the mission.

As a Society Director, I not only see what’s happening all over ASHRAE, but I get to be part of steering the direction of our Society’s future. ASHRAE is comprised of three main councils that all report to the Board. Those councils include: Members Council, with responsibility toward the members needs of ASHARE; Technology Council, with responsibility towards technical development and research; Publication and Education Council, with responsibility towards the publications produced by ASHRAE as well as educational outreach such as trainings, webinars and certifications.

Needless to say, there is a lot going on all the time in this nearly 57,000 member organization, and especially so at the Winter Conference. One highlight for me was the great honor of welcoming over 800 attendees at the Plenary Session on Saturday, which is the official kick-off for the weekend.

For conference highlights, click here.


Here are a few of my takeaways from the conference:

And the most clever presentation goes to….During the President’s Luncheon, Bjarne Olesen ended the State of the Society update with the ASHRAE President’s State of Health, featuring stats from his most recent physical. ICYMI, he’s all good!

You’re up Europe! At the last conference in Long Beach, the Board approved a new European Region. Region XIV supports Society President Bjarne Olesen’s theme “Extending Our Community” as ASHRAE continues to expand its reach Internationally.

ASHRAE got UNfriended. The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UN Environment) Ozone Secretariat honored ASHRAE with the prestigious Partnership Award for ASHRAE’s extraordinary commitment and contribution to the progress and achievements of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Wake me up before you go go mobile-friendly. I woke up today and found what I was looking for on ASHRAE’s newly unveiled, mobile-friendly website. The new site, which was announced at the conference, greatly enhances accessibility across multiple platforms and includes many new features. For the complete run down on what the new site offers, click here.

Mo Money, Mo Problems ASHRAE Solves. It was announced that last year ASHRAE invested $4 million to fund various research projects. See where this money goes and make your donation today by clicking here.

Looking for a cheap vacay? Portal to 90.1 for FREE! For now, that is. ASHRAE is giving a free sneak-peak at the Standard 90.1 online portal until March 15. Check out the new way to standardize now before you have pay.

Winter Olympics too cold for you? Check out the new ASHRAE Global Training Center in Dubai. It opened in September, 2017. Courses are now being offered to those in the region.

Sure to make Oprah’s list…. The most popular publication ASHRAE Pocket Guide for Air Conditioning, Heating, Ventilation, Refrigeration, 9th Edition has been released and is currently available. If you want a simple, practical, thorough guide to everything HVAC&R, this is the one.

Hillary wasn’t kidding, it takes a village. The conference was a tremendous success, in large part to Will Mak of Cyclone Energy Group, Winter Conference General Chair as well as the countless volunteers from the Illinois Chapter that worked tirelessly on various committees to prepare great events, tours and provide world-class hospitality to attendees from all over the world.

“Houston, ASHRAE here. The Annual Conference Has LandedMark your calendar for the Annual Conference in Houston – June 23-27. Hopefully they’ll return the favor of unusually cooler temperatures for the conference!