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Winter Conference Technical Program Shares Best Practices

Winter Conference Technical Program Shares Best Practices

By Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News

From eSociety, November 2018

Knowledge transfer of technical information is the main driver of the 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference’s technical program.

The upcoming conference’s technical program spans from Jan. 13-16 and includes information ranging from refrigeration to the convergence of comfort, indoor air quality and energy efficiency. The technical program includes more than 100 sessions in eight tracks.

Because ASHRAE sets the stage for energy performance in the built industry, it is important for members to keep up with industry best practices, challenges and developments, said Sonya Pouncy, Member ASHRAE, who is the chair of the “Construction, Operation and Maintenance of High Performance Systems” track.

The 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference will be held concurrently with the 2019 AHR Expo. ASHRAE’s technical program sessions will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center—the same location as the AHR Expo. Usually, the two events are located at different venues.

“I think the proximity of the ASHRAE technical sessions to the AHR Expo will be beneficial for both, providing exposure to groups who don’t typically make it from ASHRAE to AHR and for those who don’t typically get from AHR to ASHRAE,” said conference chair Corey Metzger, P.E., Member ASHRAE.

Construction, Operation and Maintenance of High Performance Systems

The technical program’s tracks address industry issues, challenges and innovations. The “Construction, Operation and Maintenance of High Performance Systems” track reflects the industry’s focus on the full life-cycle of buildings as opposed to completing a design and moving on to the next project, Metzger said.

This track will include information on the best practices of how to maintain and operate buildings and best practices for operating set-points and control strategies that will help buildings maintain their designed-building performance, said Pouncy, who is the chair of TC 7.3, Operation and Maintenance Management.

“As building performance becomes more of a concern for owners and occupants, being able to maintain a high level of performance—the designed level of building performance—is important,” she said. “If you want the performance out of your equipment, you’ve got to maintain it.”

More people are talking about operations and maintenance, as they affect a building’s longevity, she said.

“That means if we’re going to continue to improve our energy performance, and we’re not building more buildings, we need to be able to maintain and operate the buildings that we have to higher performing levels,” she said.

Common System Issues and Misapplications

Another conference track, “Common System Issues and Misapplications,” will feature industry professionals talking about real-life issues they have faced in projects and the lessons they learned from them.

People who attend the track will learn about real-world errors and misapplications that can cause problems in constructability and system performance, said the track’s chair, Lee Riback, Member ASHRAE.

“I have found over the years that the conference technical sessions have been invaluable to me as a person working in the HVAC&R industry,” said Riback. “One of the great things about the Society is the ability of people to share information with each other, the opportunity to learn and to grow in the understanding of the methodologies and processes by which we can deliver better buildings to the occupants.”

Issues and misapplications can be small or big, short-term and long-term headaches, can affect multiple parts of the project and can affect a system’s performance, he said.

“Everything is common. Mistakes are made every day. Misapplications are made literally every day,” he said. “Almost all of us in life learn more from our mistakes and failures than we do from our doing it the right way and successes.”

More Tracks, More Information

This year’s technical programs includes two new tracks.

The “Renewables and Natural Systems” track will explore topics such as energy technologies, renewable energy sources and the future of the smart grid.

“The Engineer’s Role in Architecture” track will examine engineers’ roles in the safe design of buildings and structures. That track’s topics include designing resilient buildings using historical insight, equipment selection and strategies to facilitate integrated project delivery.

Professional development hours are available for attending technical sessions or ASHRAE Learning Institute courses.

The technical program is available on the ASHRAE 365 app and online.

What are the tracks for the 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference technical program?

1. Systems and Equipment:  Papers and programs in this track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.  

2. HVAC&R Fundamentals and Applications: Key components of ASHRAE fundamentals include thermodynamics, psychrometrics, fluid and mass flow. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.             

3. Refrigeration: With significant changes on the horizon for refrigerant regulations, along with new applications for refrigeration systems being frequently applied, there is more need than ever to understand both the fundamental and advanced concepts and issues related to refrigeration.  Papers and programs in this track will focus on refrigerants, refrigerant regulation, refrigeration cycles and refrigeration applications.

4. Construction, Operation and Maintenance of High Performance Systems: Construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of facilities is critical to meeting targeted performance levels. Papers and programs in this track will focus on meeting high performance design goals through construction and operation phases of a project.        

5. Common System Issues and Misapplications: With the number of possible system and equipment options and combinations available, along with increasingly capable and complex automation systems, it is no surprise that issues are frequently encountered with HVAC&R systems. Papers and programs in this track will focus on issues or misapplications that are frequently observed and opportunities to avoid these issues in the future.               

6. The Convergence of Comfort, Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency: With the importance placed on optimizing comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency, there are often trade-offs that must be made. Papers and programs in this track will focus on strategies to limit required compromises, and on finding the best set of design criteria for each building or system.               

7. Building Integrated Renewables and Natural Systems: As the movement toward more sustainable buildings and net-zero buildings continues to grow, the inclusion of building integrated renewable energy systems paired with other natural systems will become increasingly common. Papers and programs in this track will focus on advancements in building integrated renewable systems, application of building integrated renewable systems and the use of renewable and natural systems in the move toward net-zero buildings.           

8. The Engineer's Role in Architecture: With significant attention being paid to integrated teams and early involvement by all team members, papers and programs in this track will focus on improving the design and construction process by defining the roles to be played by engineers moving forward.