Artificial intelligence (AI) policy: ASHRAE prohibits the entry of content from any ASHRAE publication or related ASHRAE intellectual property (IP) into any AI tool, including but not limited to ChatGPT. Additionally, creating derivative works of ASHRAE IP using AI is also prohibited without express written permission from ASHRAE.

logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

Beyond the Myths: 2018 ASHRAE Webcast to Address Realities of Energy Efficiency

By: Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News

From eSociety, March 2018

Going beyond the myths associated with energy efficiency, this year’s ASHRAE Webcast will address ways holistic approaches to building design are essential to achieving efficiency goals.

“Energy efficiency has become foundational to ASHRAE, but there is a prevailing misconception that technology and code enforcement are delivering meaningful results,” said Steve Piccolo, Member ASHRAE, who is the chair of the Webcast Ad Hoc Committee.

This year’s webcast, titled “Making Energy Efficiency a Reality,” will focus on recognizing the value of a holistic approach to assessing a building and its systems, said Piccolo. The presenters are expected to address practical approaches that help achieve optimum energy performance in commercial and high-rise residential buildings.

The Chapter Technology Transfer Committee’s Web Broadcast Ad Hoc Committee chose the topic after polling ASHRAE membership including voting technical committee members, chapter presidents, Publishing & Education Council, Members Council, Technology Council, the Board of Directors, among others, according to Piccolo.

“We wanted to present something timely and of interest to audiences in North America and abroad,” said Piccolo.

The webcast features three speakers: Tom Durkin, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE; Mark Frankel, Member ASHRAE; and R. Christopher Mathis, Member ASHRAE. ASHRAE President Bjarne W. Olesen, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, will begin the webcast with opening remarks.

The presenters will address myths and realities they have discovered through real life experiences, and the webcast will focus on strategies and policies that dive into deep efficiency goals.

“We need to have some really wide peripheral vision in how we look at our projects. Let’s not have blinders on,” said Durkin.

Projects have many components, and engineers should strive to understand the project’s aspects and how they affect each other, he said.

Mathis said they will present case studies to showcase new construction, remodeling and residential building issues and challenges.

While the webcast will address, “Is advanced technology alone solving the case for energy efficiency?” Mathis said technology is not the sole answer to achieving energy efficiency. He said engineers cannot forget the fundamentals.

“It’s not just a matter of throwing technology at it,” he said, adding that building professionals should first “plug the holes” with solutions such as insulations, caulks and sealants and energy efficient ductwork before leaning on more expensive energy techniques.

Durkin agreed and said engineers have to address the whole picture of an energy efficiency project, including the social factors such as working with a client who cares to achieve energy efficiency.

“The challenge to folks like me has gone from easy to not so easy...Technology is going to be a big part of that...Technology is not going to be able to get us to some of these aggressive goals that our Society has set for us,” Durkin said.

The technological advancements regarding energy efficiency are not the only examples of advancements.

Frankel said he plans to focus on how the industry’s approach to energy efficiency has evolved. Some of those changes include integrated design strategies, deep performance goals like zero net energy and the evolving electrical grid, he said.

He said his section will also address how energy efficiency has always been linked with policy goals.

“From the first conservation programs driven by the 1970’s energy crises, to current efforts to reduce the carbon impacts of the building sector, policy drivers have always been one of the primary motivators for building energy efficiency,” Frankel said.

The webcast is scheduled from April 19 from 1–4 p.m. Presented by the Chapter Technology Transfer Committee, the webcast is free, but registration is required to view the webcast. Registration is now open.

The webcast will also be available on demand for registrants from April 20 to May 4.

For more information and to register, visit