ATLANTA - How low can you go when it comes to energy reduction in buildings? According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), you can achieve net zero. Guidance on how to get there is featured in the technical program at ASHRAE’s 2008 Winter Meeting, Jan. 19-23, 2008, at the New York Hilton in New York City.

“This technical program is ASHRAE’s most ambitious ever,” said Mo Hosni, chair of the ASHRAE Program Committee. “First, the technical program is filled with sessions that focus on the hottest issues facing the industry - sustainability and net-zero energy buildings. Second, the program is structured to offer the greatest options for attendees with an extended day of sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 23, as well as the scheduling of 16 seminars at the AHR Expo. Third, for the first time, New York professional development hours will be awarded for several sessions in the technical program, providing excellent value for meeting attendees.”

The technical program covers a range of presentations from basic to advanced, offering more than 130 sessions and 60 papers covering some 100 different technical areas. Programs are separated by tracks: applications, business management, commissioning, data center cooling, dehumidification, energy, fundamentals, operational topics, refrigeration, sustainability, systems and equipment, and underfloor air distribution.

More than 30 sessions related to sustainability are included in the program, with its theme of Reaching New Heights in Net-Zero Energy Design.

What is a net-zero energy building? The official ASHRAE definition is “buildings which, on an annual basis, use no more energy than is provided by on-site renewable energy sources.” A forum on Jan. 23 explores other definitions and the impact of such buildings on the environment.

A Transactions session on Jan. 22 examines case studies of low-energy buildings, focusing on evaluation of individual technologies, design processes, lessons learned, and long-term measured performance.

A Jan. 23 seminar looks at low- and zero-carbon cities of the future, presenting plans by London, Barcelona, and Manchester to lower their carbon emissions. Attendees will learn how HVAC and related technologies are critical to success.

A Jan. 20 forum looks at the role of energy storage in net-zero buildings, discussing grid impacts, system sizing, and costs.

For complete ASHRAE Winter Meeting information, including abstracts on all technical program sessions, visit

Publication date:10/22/2007