Almost every month, something worthwhile comes in right as I’m writing this page. This time, it’s some ASHRAE news. So in case you haven’t seen it yet … the 2014 version of ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard For The Design Of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (aka ASHRAE 189) is now out.

The Society reports major changes in seven categories, ranging from energy and IEQ to site sustainability and water. Let’s go to the videotape for a few quick specifics:

Energy.Orientation requirements were updated based on new research, as well as changes and updates made to equipment efficiency tables, ENERGYSTAR references, and continuous air-barrier requirements.

Indoor Environmental Quality. Lighting quality is added to the scope of this section, and requirements are added for lighting controls in specific space types. Requirements for air sealing of filtration and air-cleaning equipment are clarified, and new requirements for preoccupancy ventilation and building envelope moisture management are added.

Construction and Plans for Operation. Requirements related to environmental impacts associated with idling construction vehicles are updated. New requirements are added to reduce the entry of airborne contaminants associated with construction areas.

The updated standard can be yours for $128 or $109 for ASHRAE members, via the Society’s bookstore or other usual channels. If you’re looking for that last-minute gift idea for the special engineer in your life, then you’re welcome.


It’s no surprise that our veteran columnist Howard McKew likes checklists. You can see it in the perennially popular “Back2Basics” column, and that influence is visible in Amanda Parolise’s “Facility Files” as well. In his own column this month, he looks at some other checklists that first-time team managers might behoove themselves to consider.

I mention this because the name of one checklist caught my eye: the non-think checklist. Now, that may overstate the situation just a little bit, but as he explains, the “purpose is to inventory all the tasks that you don’t want an experienced CAD designer to be doing.” That’s a way to look at managing time/labor that I hadn’t seen or considered before, but you can see immediately how that general concept could pay off over the life of any substantial project. Neat idea.


The 2015 Expo has another broad schedule of educational sessions on tap for the meeting rooms through McCormick Place. They’ve set up an easier way to get the big picture for this year’s sessions: once you’re at, select Visitors and then Educational Programs.

On that page, hit the orange Education Schedule Overview button. That opens up a digital reader interface, with a fairly easy-to-read look at the entire lineup, including title, time, blurb, and presenting group. Multiple pages, so don’t assume what you see at first is the whole thing.

Our advisor and former BAS columnist Ken Sinclair has been harnessing these sessions as an outlet for the forward thinking at his site,, for years. He’s back in 2015, and you can get the scoop at Topics include how the Internet of Things is changing BAS, and addressing the “skills gap” as a panel discussion with Paul Oswald and Jim Sinopoli. He’s got four sessions booked, so get the details.

 Finally, make time for our own session in conjunction with Mission Critical Magazine, set for Tuesday afternoon. Critical Cooling & Controls features presentations and Q&A with Paul Ehrlich, Tom Squillo, and Vali Sorell. That’s a lot of expertise, but space is limited, so register for free today (see page 39 for how). Give your feet a break and your brain a valuable insight or two to take home and use after Chicago is over.