Meeting in New York City will offer the pleasure of looking at the city’s magnificent skyline, shown here through the Brooklyn Bridge on the East side. (Photo copyright Jordan Gary.)

NEW YORK - “Reaching New Heights In Net-Zero Buildings” is the theme of this year’s American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) meeting, which will be held Jan. 19-23 at the New York Hilton. The meeting will focus on sustainability, professional development, and HVACR technology and will be held in conjunction with the AHR Expo.

Meeting highlights include the technical program, which will feature more than 130 sessions with the presentation of 59 papers. Sessions of special interest in the technical program will include a roundtable featuring two of New York’s best-known owner-developer firms along with the engineering designers who bring their projects to reality.

In keeping with the focus on sustainability, another session will look at New York City’s Sustainability Plan, plaNYC 2030. One goal of the plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent by 2030. Attendees can learn about the city’s efforts and ASHRAE’s role in meeting these goals.

In addition to the technical program that will take place at the New York Hilton, ASHRAE has scheduled 16 seminars, two forums, and a public session at the Javits Convention Center and AHR Expo. These particular sessions will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, January 22 and 23.

Steve Rizzo, author ofBecoming a Humor Being, will be the keynote speaker at the plenary session. He will discuss how people can choose a healthy attitude both professionally and personally, learning how to succeed and enjoy their lives in the midst of challenging and changing times.

“Concerns about climate change and the need to reduce energy consumption has created numerous challenges, or make that wonderful opportunities, for the built environment engineering community,” Kent Peterson, ASHRAE president, said.

“Rising to the challenge will require equal parts of perseverance and innovation. Steve Rizzo illustrates how to embrace change as ASHRAE turns its technology engine against the daunting challenge of creating market-viable net-zero energy buildings.”

For more information and to register, visit


As in past years, ASHRAE will present a free public session at the AHR Expo. This year’s session is titled HVAC System Design for Security and Sustainability and will be held at 3 p.m. January 22, at Javits Convention Center. Harmohinder Singh, Ph.D., North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, N.C., will moderate the session.

At the session, issues that will be discussed include attacks that can occur with chemical, and/or biological agents (CBA), which are among the most dreaded because of the ease with which they can be produced and disseminated as well as their fatal potency. Protecting buildings and built-in environments against bioterrorism or CBA attacks are key issues in homeland security.

Unfortunately, the threat posed by CBA is so complex that building professionals should be educated about what they are, possible scenarios of their release, how they may be detected, how buildings may be immunized against such threats, etc. The session will help those in attendance to understand and appreciate the dangers that such an attack poses.

Those participating in the public session will include:

The ASHRAE Winter Meeting and AHR Expo will take place after the magnificent Christmas displays shown here will be taken down in Rockefeller Center. (Photo copyright Jeff Greenberg.)

• Leroy Mickelsen, P.E., U.S. EPA: Emergency Planning and Response: State, Local, Facility and HVAC Level.

• Dale Herron, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Champaign, Ill.: CB Protection of Facilities.

• Neil Norrell, U.S. EPA: Remediation of Anthrax Contaminated Buildings.

• Jim Jones, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Blacksburg, Va.: HVAC System Design and Operating Issues for Chemical and Biological Attack.

Another interesting session that will be held on January 22, at 12:15 p.m. at the Javits Convention Center, is titled, Missing the Bus: What is ASHRAE Not Doing for the Contractor? As can be discerned from its title, ASHRAE is looking for help in determining its role in providing guidance to all members of the building team, which includes contractors.

“ASHRAE isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel on training documentation targeted to contractors and design-build firms but instead to work with existing organizations to market a more comprehensive suite of training information for contractors,” Jim Fields, chair of ASHRAE’s task group on HVAC contractors and design-build firms, said.

“One of our primary goals is to see how we can make existing products, such as standards and design guides, more user friendly for contractors.”

ASHRAE formed its task group earlier this year. Fields said more active involvement with contractors and design-build firms will help strengthen the level of understanding between design engineers and these other disciplines.

ASHRAE conference attendees might want to take a break and ride the Staten Island Ferry. (Photo copyright Jeff Greenberg.)


The New York skyline is becoming greener thanks to sustainable design measures implemented in buildings across the city. A few of these facilities, recognized around the world for their leadership in sustainable design, are being made available as part of ASHRAE’s technical tours. ASHRAE encourages attendees to take advantage of this special opportunity to see first-hand how the built environment in New York City is reaching new heights in sustainable design. Tours are available for the following buildings:

• New York City’s first green office tower, 4 Times Square, was the first project of its size and financial structure (multitenanted and not owner-operated) in the United States to adopt standards for energy efficiency, sustainable materials, and indoor environmental quality, as well as for responsible construction, operations, and maintenance practices.

• One Bryant Park, located in Times Square, is a 2.1 million-square-foot office tower that is being promoted as the world’s most environmentally responsible high-rise office building. The building will incorporate innovative, high-performance environmental technologies to promote the health and productivity of tenants, reduce waste, and ensure environmental sustainability.

• Located near Rockefeller Center, the Time and Life Building features a one-of-a-kind heating and cooling plant that allows them to switch among natural gas, steam, and electricity to optimize operations and apply the most favorable fuel prices.

• The Helena is one of New York City’s first green high-rise residential buildings, using 65 percent of the energy and one-third of the potable water of similar properties. The building features photovoltaic panels, which provide 13.1 kW of electricity - 4 percent of the building’s power requirements.

• Built at the site of Ground Zero, 7 World Trade Center is a pioneer in terms of environmental responsibility, energy efficiency, and quality of life. This 52-story building is the first high-rise office building incorporating post-Sept. 11 construction measures with sustainability.

• Located in Columbus Circle, Times Warner Center is a multi-use retail, office, hotel, performing arts center, and residential complex. The 56-story building is one of the most energy-efficient offices in New York City, designed to require 35 percent less energy than the usage allowed by the New York State energy code.

For more information on the technical tours, visit

Sidebar: Sustainable Visit to NYC

Sustainability is one of the themes of this year’s ASHRAE meeting, and it only makes sense that this will be a feature of the ASHRAE Headquarters Hotel, the New York Hilton. Sustainability measures at the hotel include 90 percent fluorescent lighting; environmentally friendly refrigerants used in the chillers; preheating of hot water with steam condensate; and occupancy sensors installed in the meeting rooms. The hotel recently installed a 200-kW fuel cell to generate electricity in a clean, environmentally friendly way.

In addition, ASHRAE is debuting a program that allows attendees to connect online to carpool or share hotel rooms. Through ShareSpace, attendees can find others in their neighborhood who are attending the meeting, making it easier to find someone to share a cab to the airport and hotel or catch up with someone upon arrival in New York to share ground transportation. Sharing rides or rooms cuts down on energy and vehicle usage, as well as provides networking opportunities.

To learn more, visit

Publication date:01/07/2008