SALT LAKE CITY - Many opportunities for improving the performance of existing buildings were highlighted at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2008 Annual Meeting held in Utah.

The Building Performance meeting theme was reinforced by the focus of the newly elected president on operation and maintenance, introduction of a new sustainable footprint project, and launch of the association’s certification program for high-performance building design professionals.

Approximately 1,670 members came together to support the mission of advancing HVACR to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world.

“With our meeting theme of ‘Building Performance,’ ASHRAE showed that our climb to our goal of energy efficiency for the world’s buildings doesn’t look so far away,” said Bill Harrison, ASHRAE president. “In fact, it seems we are almost there.”

Also during the meeting, Harrison was inducted as the association’s president for 2008-2009. Through his theme, Maintain to Sustain - Delivering ASHRAE’s Sustainability Promise, he intends to focus on operating buildings to deliver the energy efficiency inherent in their design, including effective commissioning, improved documentation, and programs to educate and certify building operators.

“We must maintain to sustain, we must train to sustain, and we must influence the operation of our buildings to conserve energy,” he said.

According to ASHRAE, its Learning Institute courses related to natural ventilation and solar applications were well-attended. The keynote technical plenary speaker, Arah Schuur with the Clinton Climate Foundation, was also a success.

ASHRAE also launched its second certification program in high-performance building design with approximately 60 people taking part. The examination will be available on computer at testing centers in the United States and Canada by mid-August.

According to the association, the next certification program will focus on operation and maintenance, and is scheduled to launch at the 2008 Winter Meeting, followed by a program on commissioning at the 2009 Annual Meeting.

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Publication date:07/28/2008