Manufacturers or designers: who’s got the pull when it comes to building design?

That’s what an American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ winter meeting debate this month in New York will attempt to find out.

The session, “Manufacturers are the Real Designers,” will take place at 8 a.m. Jan. 20. Consultant Victor Goldschmidt of Northport, Mich., will moderate the debate between two teams. And like in high school debate club, members will not know which side they will argue until just before the session begins.

“In most instances there is a healthy cooperation between equipment manufacturers and design consulting engineers,” Goldschmidt said. “At times there can be conflicts in resolving responsibilities. The debate will allow opposite arguments to be considered leading to the best results.”

Topics likely to be discussed include integrated product development, building information modeling and expectations of manufacturers and designers.

The AHR winter meeting takes place before and during the AHR Expo in New York City. For details, go to