So, here we are — 2022 has finally arrived. I am optimistic this year will be much healthier than the previous two, and with this new healthy start, we can be glad to say the HVAC industry is also doing much, much better. The economy is on an upswing after the devastating shutting down of most workplaces, construction sites, and manufacturing plants in 2020 and the starting and stopping of businesses in 2021. COVID-19 taught all of us in the building industry that we have a lot more work to do to make building occupants safe and ensure facilities are healthy. We also have a renewed commitment to contribute to the preserving of our environment for the generations to follow us. And, this month, we are welcoming the magazine’s fourth class of 20 to Watch: Women in HVAC contest winners.

To help keep occupants safe, ASHRAE has pulled together a roster of experts in the building and health care industries and formed the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force (ETF). I recommend you check out the ETF’s website if you haven’t already.

The ETF focused on the immediate needs to combat COVID-19 with “building readiness information" followed by the topic “epidemic conditions in place (ECiP)” and “post-epidemic conditions in place (P-ECiP)” documents. A wealth of useful information has been created by the ETF along with others supporting the group’s mission to make buildings safe and healthy.

I’d also recommend you continue to read Dr. Stephanie Taylor’s “Building Health: A Physician’s View” column each month in Engineered Systems. Dr. Taylor (who is a member of the ETF) boasts master’s of architecture and MD degrees, which grant her a great deal of knowledge in keeping building environments safe and healthy.

To continue to contribute to the preservation of the environment, there are several locations on the internet, including:

  • ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.5 for Global Climate Change;
  • 2015 Paris Agreement to Preserve the Environment;
  • United Nation Environment Programme; and
  • World Meteorological Organization.

The fourth class of 20 to Watch: Women in HVAC contest winners continues to spotlight a select few of the many women who contribute to the continuous improvements in the HVAC building industry. This class includes consultants, design engineers, contractors, service technicians, facility operation and maintenance technicians, educators, researchers, equipment manufacturers, and business owners. Read the article in this issue to see who has been selected in this year’s class of winners.

We must continue to encourage diversity and foster new talent throughout the industry if we are to drive the built environment to new heights. Technology is forever evolving, and we must keep pace with change to go all out for optimum occupant comfort and health as well as to stop global warming before it is too late and the coming generations are left with the problems we and those who came before us created.