NEW YORK CITY — The last time the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo took place here in 2008, it established a then all-time attendance record of more than 39,000 visitors with over 6,400 buyers coming from 138 countries. Including exhibitor personnel, the total number of attendees reached more than 57,600. Show management is optimistic that the attendance record could be broken again at this year’s expo, thanks to optimism in the HVACR industry.
“More than 1,800 exhibiting companies have already reserved 387,000 square feet of booth space, exceeding the record-breaking exhibit space reserved for the 2008 AHR Expo in New York City by nearly 6 percent,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “Due to the steadily improving economy and sheer size of the HVACR market in the Northeast, we may set new attendance records.”
Indeed, according to a recent ASHRAE/AHR Expo survey of more than 1,000 HVACR manufacturers worldwide, 79 percent of respondents said their prospects for business were either excellent (19 percent) or good (60 percent) for the coming year. These results reflect a significant improvement over last year’s survey, which found 70 percent of respondents expected the economy to be better in 2013 than 2012, while 3 percent predicted it would be worse. No one responding to this year’s survey felt economic prospects would worsen in 2014.
The 66th AHR Expo will take place Jan. 21-23, 2014, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Time to Talk
Most HVAC contractors look forward to attending the AHR Expo because they like to check out new products and talk with manufacturers face-to-face. And not surprisingly, manufacturers look forward to the face time as well. As Erin Mezle, director of marketing, Fujitsu General America Inc., noted, “Our No. 1 reason for exhibiting is networking with our contractors and distributors and conveying the new products for the upcoming season.”
This year, the company plans to introduce the VRF Heat Recovery System, which provides simultaneous heating and cooling operation using one refrigerant system. Mezle noted that the system includes energy savings management through available advanced scheduling, energy apportionment billing, and remote monitoring. “It is a scalable solution for small and large buildings providing flexible capacities from 6-3,200 tons using one controller.” Fujitsu will also feature a new floor-mounted version of its Halcyon mini-split.
This year will mark the 53rd time that the Sporlan division of Parker Hannifin Corp. has exhibited at the AHR Expo, and the reason they keep coming back, said Tim Schamel, division marketing manager, is that it is the premier trade show for the HVACR industry in North America. “Attendees include a cross-section of influential industry leaders — exactly the audience we target with our messaging. The AHR Expo is also a great venue to launch our new products. It’s a unique opportunity to highlight these new products in front of a high-value audience.”
One of the new products that Sporlan will be exhibiting is the flexible ZoomLine Refrigerant Line Assembly, which offers many advantages over rigid tubing, said Schamel, including time and cost savings due to ease of routing and maintenance, and reduced brazing and rework due to leakage at braze joints. “It also reduces tube bending, rework, and scrap, as well as parts and inventory by eliminating elbows and couplings.”
In addition to scoping out new products, attendees will want to take advantage of some of the educational opportunities at the AHR Expo. This year’s program will focus on energy efficiency, due in part to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2012 executive order mandating a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency in state buildings by 2020. This announcement coincided with the launch of Build Smart NY, a strategic plan to implement the governor’s order over the next seven years. Many other states, including nearby New Jersey and Connecticut, also have robust energy management initiatives in place, which is why HVAC professionals who must implement these state initiatives should plan to attend some of the nearly three dozen educational sessions that will focus on achieving greater energy efficiency and sustainability.
Many of these educational sessions will be offered free-of-charge, including ASHRAE’s “Trends in Building Energy Disclosure: Increasing Energy Efficiency without Retrofits, and Building a Better Benchmark: Lessons from New York City’s Local Law 84 Energy Disclosure Data.” Other free sessions designed to help attendees save money on energy costs and achieve better operating performance include the following:
• The Associated Air Balance Council (AABC) will present “Recommendations for Existing Building Testing,” which will discuss new testing mandates that must be performed on existing buildings, per some cities’ regulations. The goal is improved energy efficiency and system performance, but there are questions regarding which buildings and systems should be tested, and those will be answered in this session.
• The National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) will give a seminar entitled “Retro-Commissioning for Comfort and Energy Savings,” which will provide an overview of the retro-commissioning process, which revitalizes aging buildings to improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
• The website www.automatedbuildings.com will host “Market Trends for Integrated and Intelligent Building Systems and the Retrofit Opportunity,” which will discuss wireless, cloud, and deep integration, as well as the retro commissioning opportunity from a consultant’s point of view.
• LonMark Intl. will present “Energy Efficiency Through Automated Demand Response,” which will discuss how building automation networks, such as LonWorks and BACnet, will play an essential role in smart grid connectivity, including the ability to shift electrical loads toward off-peak periods as electricity prices change due to grid demands.
Several of these sessions will feature energy-efficiency experts from the New York area speaking about governmental regulations and initiatives emanating from the East Coast. “Anyone responsible for achieving greater energy efficiency through innovative HVACR solutions won’t want to miss the array of educational sessions at the 2014 AHR Expo,” said Stevens.
The Building Automation and Control Showcase will also return this year, giving attendees the opportunity to be immersed in the latest building automation and controls (BAC) technology. More than 100 manufacturers from around the world will be highlighting the latest BAC products and technologies, with many of these companies located in one convenient area on the exhibit floor. As Stevens noted, “Building automation and controls impact just about all segments and job categories of the HVAC industry, which is why we are dedicated to providing HVACR professionals with the information and hands-on experience they need to find the best BAC solutions.”
In addition to the hundreds of new products being showcased by exhibitors, the New Product and Technology Theater will feature dozens of presentations. These special sessions will highlight the latest innovations and solutions from all segments of the HVACR industry.
For more information regarding the AHR Expo, including exhibitor listings and educational opportunities, visit www.ahrexpo.com.
Publication date: 1/6/2014