Last month, we lamented how the realities of publishing prevent us from giving you AHR/ASHRAE news in the February print issue. This month, sure enough, we have several topics to touch on, from Dallas and elsewhere. So fasten your seatbelts and join me in a one-page whirlwind tour …

Familiar Car, Fresh Paint

Did you notice the magazine’s makeover yet? March sees the launch of our latest redesign, as orchestrated by our talented and ever-patient art director, Jake Needham. You’ll find fresh ideas for color and layout in presenting everything from columns to the table of contents. The product and literature sections in particular often suffer from mundane presentation in trade magazines, but as I mentioned to our editors, those pages now look sharp enough to where you’d almost think we should be charging for entries in them.

  Don’t tell our sales staff I said that. Anyway, have a look around and give us your feedback on the new look.

Texas Told 'Em

We did cover a fair amount of AHR Expo and ASHRAE news earlier on the blog ( and now in our Issues & Events section, but let me add a few observations in no particular order.

As someone who fills an editorial calendar every year, humidification is one of the oddest topics on the docket. It’s a perpetual need, from basic spaces to delicate specialized processes. Humidification manufacturers seem adequately represented on the Expo floor. And yet when it comes to consulting engineers - either in terms of article submissions or ASHRAE technical seminars - mum is often the word. Of course, we still bring you interesting humidification content (a noteworthy museum piece is on tap next month), but for our design engineer readership out there, when it comes to humidification projects and discussion, why the vow of silence?

Congratulations to Emerson Climate Technologies are in order. The company took home the first-ever AHR Expo Product of the Year award, besting some stiff competition among the eight other category winners with its Copeland Scroll Digital Compressor.

It was a pleasure to sit in for seminars featuring a number of names fromES issues past and present, including those typically forward-looking automation discussions led by Ken Sinclair and David Branson, P.E. Dr. Richard B. Hayter also held forth to a full room (which included a heartening number of students). And a number of our contributors convened for a controls-related meeting, includingES advisor Jack Mc Gowan, who will work with us to put together anIntelligent Buildings Todaysupplement focusing on the opportunities of GridWise ( this fall.

Showing up a little early for one session, I caught the end of a seminar on laboratory ventilation. Not surprisingly, the material was complex and the Q&A spirited. Since I’ve been attending ASHRAE meetings, consensus has never been an element of that particular discussion, but there is no shortage of intelligent people pursuing better and better solutions.

While a multitude of perspectives is to be expected in that crowd, I was part of another crowd that saw what I can only describe as the most unexpected thing I’ve encountered at the week’s hospitality events: a couple of roaming dwarf Elvis impersonators. With boomboxes and late-era white capes in tow, they would stop at spots around the room and regale the guests with tunes from the King’s catalog.

Do Your Homework

One other tidbit from Dallas is perfect for this K-12 issue. If you work on school projects, be sure to check out the EPA’s School Advanced Ventilation Engineering Software (SAVES). The package contains several useful components, from a financial assessment tool to an ERV application map and indoor humidity assessment tool. We’ve all seen the studies reporting on the correlation between proper ventilation and learning in schools, so drop by

Just think, maybe you will help the school that produces a student who can solve the most persistent challenges of lab ventilation, or who can explain why I keep dreaming about little Elvii singing the virtues of mini-splits to the tune of “Viva Las Vegas.”