Attendees at this year’s ASHRAE Winter Conference will be able to take advantage of a wide range of technical programs and papers that address the real cost of zero-energy design.
LAS VEGAS - Highlighting the importance of finding balance in design, this year’s American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Winter Conference will focus on zero-energy design and greening the industry.

The 2011 winter conference will take place at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel, and the technical program will feature a wide range of programs and papers addressing the real cost of zero-energy design, the efficient use of energy, the greening of the industrial base, and other topics related to design, standards, codes, and professional skills. In total, the program will include paper-related sessions - five technical paper sessions, 24 conference paper sessions and a poster session - as well as application-oriented, non-paper seminars (57), and open discussion forums (eight).

Numerous sessions will address the real cost of zero energy buildings and cover modeling and design, applications and equipment, including “Smart Grid and Net Zero Buildings: Where Are We Now?”; “Energy Modeling of Existing Buildings”; and “Next Generation Heat Exchangers for Net-Zero Design.” Also, several sessions will examine how countries around the world have approached net zero, such as “Cutting-Edge Japanese Technologies for Zero-Energy Buildings,” “Zero Energy Buildings around the World,” and “European Net-Zero Energy Activities and Buildings.”

With so many to choose from, conference attendees are often forced to narrow down which technical sessions they attend to only a few. However the Virtual Conference, free for paid conference registrants, allows attendees to catch up with sessions they are unable to attend in person due to conflicting schedules. The Virtual Conference includes access to all speakers’ PowerPoint and audio presentations, an open forum for a two-week period following the conference, and the ability to rate presentations.

For complete conference information, including abstracts on all technical program sessions, or to register, visit


Once again, ASHRAE will present two free public sessions at the AHR Expo. The first session, titled “A Practical Guide for Reducing Air Leakage in HVAC Air Systems,” will feature speakers Mark Terzigni, project manager, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA); Robert Delawder, ASHRAE associate member, Southland Industries; and Mike McLaughlin, ASHRAE associate member, Southland Industries.

This session will review the pertinent information necessary for the engineer, contractor, and manufacturer to develop a practical guide for reducing air leakage in HVAC air systems. Excessive air leakage in HVAC systems is known to be a significant source of energy waste in HVAC systems. Given this fact, the engineering, contracting, and manufacturing community has had a common goal of reducing air leakage in HVAC systems to provide a low energy design solution and provide yet another step toward achieving a zero energy design.

Over the years, numerous standards, guidelines, project specifications, and procedures have been developed that both directly and/or indirectly influence the ability to achieve this goal. In some cases, the combination of these documents impedes the ability to reduce air leakage and/or add significant costs to a project without additional benefit.

Current standards, guidelines, and project specifications that influence air leakage will be identified, as well as where conflicts can arise. Information on duct construction and air leakage testing and how these components can contribute to reducing air leakage in a cost-effective manner will also be discussed. This session is for engineers, contractors, and manufacturers seeking to achieve the common goal of reducing air leakage in HVAC systems.

This public session will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, Jan. 31, from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.

The second public session, titled “What You Need to Know about the Energy Standard for Buildings - ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010,” will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. This session will discuss the new ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (ANSI approved; IESNA co-sponsored), which has been a benchmark for commercial building energy codes for over 35 years. Now, with well over 100 addenda incorporated since the 2007 edition, Standard 90.1-2010 will significantly change the way buildings are built as these new modifications find their way into the world’s energy codes.

This session will highlight some of the major changes expected in building envelope requirements, mechanical systems, and lighting requirements. In addition, the results of those changes on building energy efficiency since 2004 will be shown. This session is for anyone who wants advanced insight into the new standard’s expected impacts on the industry. Speakers at this session include Keith Emerson, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association; Len Sciarra, Gensler; Drake Erbe, Airxchange; and Eric Richman and Bing Liu, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Both sessions will be held in Room N256 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. No ticket or badge is required for admittance.

As in previous years, ASHRAE will present two free public sessions at the AHR Expo: “A Practical Guide for Reducing Air Leakage in HVAC Air Systems” and “What You Need to Know about the Energy Standard for Buildings - ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010.”


This year’s technical tours will spotlight how technology developed by ASHRAE members is practically applied in buildings. Tours will include Planet Holly- wood Casino Resort, formerly known as The Aladdin, which is located on the Las Vegas Strip. Planet Hollywood features an expanded casino/hotel, a condo tower, new restaurants, nightclubs, and retail space.

The guided tour will be conducted by a chief engineer who can answer all technical questions. Once the tour is complete, it will be possible to tour the various accommodations such as the new Miracle Mile Shops or the casino. The property features a 3-acre casino floor with traditional gambling machines. The Miracle Mile is a 475,000-square-foot, 1.5-mile-long enclosed shopping mall with more than 140 stores and 15 restaurants.

This tour costs $15 and will take place Monday, Jan. 31 from 2:15 to 5 p.m.

Another tour will involve the Springs Preserve, a 180-acre cultural institution, which was designed to commemorate Las Vegas’ dynamic history and to provide a vision for a sustainable future. The Preserve features museums, galleries, outdoor concerts and events, colorful botanical gardens, and an interpretive trail system that meanders through a scenic wetland habitat. The Preserve, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Valley Water District, is built around the original water source for Las Vegas Valley originally called the Las Vegas Springs.

The Preserve shows people how to live in the desert environment and how to take advantage of what is available. Springs Preserve was the first LEED Platinum development in the Las Vegas area. Part of this project showcases green building efforts through a dual use concept. For example, the parking area is actually the roof of the reservoir, and the shade structures in various areas are photovoltaic cells used to generate power for the site. The HVAC includes an indirect/direct evaporative cooling system that is both energy and water efficient. The gardens also use a fleet of hydrogen-powered utility vehicles. The vehicles are refueled on site by a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station.

The tour of the Springs Preserve includes the Sustainability Tour, which explores building materials used to construct the Dester Living Center, the constructed wetland that treats water waste, solar panels in the parking lot, and the Sustainability Gallery.

This tour costs $23 and will take place Monday, Jan. 31, from 2:15 to 5 p.m.

Highlights of the MGM CityCenter and Central Plant tour will include a guided technical tour through the 16,797,000-square-foot mixed-use MGM CityCenter located on 76 acres on the Strip, as well as the 11-story, 51,155-square-foot central plant. With a total cost of approximately $11 billion, it is the largest privately funded construction project in the history of the United States. The mixed-use development is composed of a “skyline” of two 400-room boutique hotels; one 4,000-room hotel and casino; four towers of 2,500 residential units; and 550,000 square feet of high-end retail, dining, and entertainment space. The multi-use project makes extensive use of green technologies, such as reclaimed water and an on-site power plant.

Central plant highlights include six dual compressor chillers (5,740 tons each); six fiberglass cooling tower cells (10,900 gallons per minute each); three gas-fired 1,000 boiler horsepower water tube, boilers; and two cogeneration 4.6 MW gas turbines with unfired 400 boiler horsepower waste heat recovery.

This tour costs $15 and will take place Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Sidebar: Sessions of Interest to Contractors

Contractors visiting the AHR Expo should also consider attending some of the sessions at the ASHRAE Winter Conference. Seminars of interest for contractors include:

• Residential Water Heaters and Hot Water Use: The Real Story

• Radiant Heating and Cooling

• Cradle to Grave Refrigerant Management

• Going Lower with Solar

• Good Design for GCHP: What Is It and Who Does It?

• Integrating Solar and Hydronic Heating for Residential and Small Commercial Systems

• Coils and Water Don’t Mix Well: Avoiding Scale Build-Up in Mechanical Plumbing System Design

• HVAC Software Applications for Smart Phones and Tablet Computers

• Right Sizing: What Does It Mean?

For more information about these and other technical sessions, visit:

Publication date: 01/17/2011