If you didn’t get to the Expo or winter ASHRAE meeting in New York this year (and if, ahem, you don’t check the daily news on our website), you might be wondering, “Who won the 2014 AHR Expo Product Of The Year?”

Well, the hardware went to Emerson Climate Technologies this time around. Emerson had already won the Cooling category for its second generation of variable speed technology, with a product line it touts as achieving cooling levels of 25+ SEER, and it went on to take the big award.

The other news out of the especially wintry and frigid week in NYC was our own first-ever live seminar at the Expo. A big thanks to everyone who came out to attend our cooling session – we had room for 75 and had to close registration a little early because it was filled up. Those who got in enjoyed a solid trio of speakers covering different aspects of the subject. ES columnist and advisor Paul Ehrlich, P.E. opened with a hospital retrofit that proved to be so worthwhile that you can read more in this month’s cover story.

Jeff Seewald, P.E. of Sebesta Blomberg followed with a great look at the payoff of knowing how to obtain, dice, and slice plant performance data to achieve some real improvement. And Tom Squillo, P.E. of Environmental Systems Design brought his data center expertise to bear in the third segment, giving the mission critical folks some good food for thought before all presenters fielded some Q&A.

It was a very good maiden voyage, and we look forward to building on this with another good offering next year when the Expo goes, to quote an old comedy skit, “back to Chicago!”



I also ran into Ron Zimmer, who is the President and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association. CABA is a member organization that does all sorts of work on the automated front, of course. However, Zimmer’s team has released a research report to the industry at large for free download, and it’s worth knowing about.

“Life Cycle Costing of Intelligent Buildings” is, in CABA’s words, “an effort to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. This research project identifies the barriers to adopting life cycle costing and determines what issues need to be rectified in order to make life cycle cost processes more understandable.”

This is an area that isn’t necessarily simple but which is only getting more important for owners and engineers alike. I encourage you to grab a copy at www.caba.org/lccib, and take a look at CABA’s other endeavors and events while you’re on the site.



I did get some follow-up commentary on this year’s Expo from a friend of the magazine who has been in the industry a good while, and I thought it was worth adding to the post-show mix:

I didn’t see much new at the show (which really is now geared almost entirely toward contractors, international, and OEMs). … I suspect that the show is a reflection of the industry. What do we see?  A mature business, limited innovation, focus on cost and channel, and a movement to be more global.

What wasn’t addressed at the show is the big issues. How will systems be able to meet the new ASHRAE efficiency standard? What is the role going forward for the supplier, owner, engineer, and contractor?

How does this align with your observations? This happens to touch on two topics in this issue: the state of specifications and proper roles as addressed in Gary Hamilton’s motors/drives feature, and also Paul Ehrlich’s BAS column. What do you think about those big issues and how engineers, events, or magazines should tackle them? Write me at beverlyr@bnpmedia.com and share your quick (or lengthy) two cents.