ATLANTA — This year, ASHRAE commemorates its 125th year of existence, which is one of many achievements the association has to celebrate.
Society members celebrated the anniversary with paper sessions chronicling the progress of key industries and the evolution of energy modeling. An updated edition of the book, “Proclaiming the Truth,” was released at the conference in addition to a composite video highlighting ASHRAE’s history, which debuted at the plenary session.
In early February, ASHRAE held its 2020 Winter Conference, which attracted nearly 2,800 buildings-related engineers, architects, contractors, students, and other industry professionals. The Winter Conference’s technical program featured more than 300 presentations with interest surrounding this year’s new track, Big Data and Smart Controls, where session topics included smart sensor technologies, occupant behavior in buildings, and cost-based control of supply air temperature.
Later this year, ASHRAE will release a guide on designing for operational excellence, which will provide building owners, managers, and designers the guidance needed to understand the operational maintenance procedures to design and operate buildings in a technology-driven environment. The guide will focus on concrete steps needed to design a building to meet the needs of the occupants and achieve operational excellence.
Darryl K. Boyce, 2019-2020 ASHRAE president, said the project is near and dear to his heart and one that fits into his 2019-2020 theme for the association. “My theme for this year is ‘Building for People and Performance. Achieving Operational Excellence,’” he said. “This is a message that touches on ASHRAE’s vision of a healthy and sustainable building environment for all. It’s good for the buildings, good for those who live and work in those buildings, and good for the planet.”
ASHRAE also announced that it is making progress on the renovation of its new global headquarters. The 65,000-square-foot, three-story metro Atlanta building was originally constructed in 1978. To exceed the society’s energy and indoor air quality standards, it will be built to be ready to harness on-site electrical production.
“The renovation will focus on sustainability and resiliency and is providing the opportunity to learn from retrofitting and upgrading a real-world building, dealing with the balance between indoor environmental quality and energy use,” Boyce said. “The new renovated facility will become a showcase for the latest HVAC technology and provide a destination venue for industry visitors and members to experience the state-of-the-art technology in action.”
The retrofitted headquarters building will represent ASHRAE’s sustainability values. It will include feature high-tech plumbing, landscape efficiency, HVAC and lighting systems, and more. The easy-to-maintain, secure facility will boast low operational maintenance costs and excellent indoor environmental quality requirements.
“Our design criteria will meet, and, in some cases, exceed, the requirements of ASHRAE Standards 62 and 90.1,” Boyce said. “We’ll also follow the guidelines set forth for the new ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide. This is a demonstrative project, and all renovations, decisions, and process are being documented in great detail and will be made available to the industry. Through this process, we’re going to share everything — the good, the bad, and hopefully not the ugly.”
In June of 2007, ASHRAE released its ASHRAE Vision 2020: Producing Net-Zero Energy Buildings. This year, Boyce will appoint a Vision 2030 ad hoc committee to develop a revised play for net-zero energy buildings by 2030.
“The opportunity to create a new headquarters building provides a new pathway for us, as we are living a real world challenge,” he said. “The construction of our new headquarters building will serve as a real-time guide for the Vision 2030 document.”