A funny thing happened on the way to the “Should ASHRAE Pursue A Net-Zero Standard?” forum sponsored by ASHRAE TC 2.8 – Building Environmental Impacts & Sustainability. Well, not exactly — the funny thing was the way to the forum itself. This Sunday session seemed like a two-mile hike from the front door, thanks to the expansive and at times byzantine design of Caesars Palace and its conference center. Perhaps this location was a clever way to weed out any net-zero dilettantes and get down to the roughly 60 people who completed the journey and filled the room. The less committed may have given up and turned back, and some may have even fallen by the wayside if they did not pack adequate snacks or hire a Sherpa. (I’m not sure if there are any Sherpas for hire in Las Vegas … but would you bet against it?)
In accordance with the nature of ASHRAE forums, speakers did not have to give their names, and this article doesn’t cite any individuals. A variety of attitudes was represented, from those definitely interested in such a standard to those who brought more of an “inaction as default setting” position to the (very long, L-shaped) table. Actual decisionmaking was not part of the agenda; neither was forming a consensus on anything in particular. The only goal was gathering input and good questions to ponder at this preliminary phase on the long and winding road toward a potential standard, solicited from what was a noticeably diverse group.