ATLANTA – The heat wave in San Antonio, TX, served to remind attendees at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2012 Annual Conference of the Society’s significant role in shaping the built environment.

Approximately 1,560 people attended the Conference, held June 23-27, during an intense Texas-style heat wave. Outside, the temperatures reached 100F+. Indoors was a much cooler scene, thanks to the talents of technicians who install, service, and maintain the very air conditioning systems ASHRAE supports.

The heat didn't keep people away. Attendance was at its highest since ASHRAE’s 2007 Conference in Long Beach, CA.

The ASHRAE Conference offered a technical program with nearly 280 presentations, eight educational courses and numerous social events. The meeting also featured more than 400 meetings of technical, standards and standing committees, developing guidance for the future of the industry and ASHRAE.

Top-attended sessions in the technical program were featured in the mini-conference on Integrated Building Controls, including lessons learned from mistakes in integrated controls in a student union and a city hall; how to use control specification fundamentals to get what you really want; a holistic approach to controls to deliver mission critical success; case studies of an energy-retrofitted office building; and an examination of 20 years of experience in HVAC system commissioning services.

Also, there was a strong interest in modeling, with popular seminars on improving consistency in building energy modeling, exploring load calculations using the ASHRAE Headquarters Building and getting back to the basics of energy modeling. Rounding out the top-ten attended sessions were an assessment of the best practices in performing the Existing Building Commissioning Process and an update on advances in evaporative cooling technologies.

Also offered were two Professional Development Seminars and six short courses from the ASHRAE Learning Institute. The most popular courses were Complying with Standard 90.1-2010: HVAC/Mechanical; Energy Management in New and Existing Buildings; and Healthcare Facilities: Best Practice, Design and Applications. Among the new publications available were “Handbook of Smoke Control Engineering;” the “Energy Efficiency Guides for Existing Commercial Buildings” package (including both the Business Case and Technical Implementation guides); ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2012, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems; “Datacom Equipment Power Trends and Cooling Applications,” 2nd ed.; “Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals: 50% Energy Savings;” and the Psychrometric Analysis CD, version 7.

Thomas E. Watson took office as the Society’s 2012-2013 president. His theme for the year, Broadening ASHRAE’s Horizons, emphasizes the role of ASHRAE members as leaders in the application of sustainable design and practices in our communities worldwide. Additionally, San Antonio Colleges’ EcoCentro, a community outreach program which teaches sustainability principles to the communitiy, was selected as ASHRAE’s 2012 Annual Conference sustainable footprint project. The project is intended to leave behind a lasting sustainable footprint in the cities where the Society’s conferences are held. Local members are working to provide the center with rainwater collection and photovoltaic systems.

ASHRAE’s 2013 Winter Conference takes place in Dallas, TX, Jan. 26-30, to be held in conjunction with the AHR Exposition, Jan. 28-30.

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ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.