CHICAGO - Contractors planning to attend the 2006 International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) should also think about attending a few of the sessions that will be presented at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' (ASHRAE) meeting, which takes place Jan. 21-25 at the Palmer House Hilton.

The theme throughout several of the sessions being presented at the meeting this year is integrated or sustainable design. Integrated design is an all-encompassing design strategy that should integrate architecture, engineering, building use, location, and utilities into a building form that meets or exceeds the requirements of the integrated components.

One of the sessions concerning this topic is a symposium on creating low-energy buildings through integrated design. It includes case studies of low-energy, sustainability, and integrated design in residential and commercial buildings.

Registration for the ASHRAE 2006 Winter Meeting is $750 ($490, ASHRAE member). For more information or to register, visit Registration also can be completed by contacting ASHRAE Customer Service by phone at 800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide).


The technical program will have 104 sessions presented. Included are 62 seminars (presentations on a central or related topic with no published papers), 14 symposia (presentations with papers on a central subject), 26 open-discussion forums, a poster session, and a public session. A total of 73 papers will be presented.

A number of the sessions should be of interest to contractors. These include:

  • Field Test Results for UV Systems, Sunday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Summary: A forum at last year's meeting showed that available UVC performance information was largely anecdotal and there was a need for well-documented field performance information. This seminar will provide presentations on field performance results of UV systems for coil cleaning and air disinfection.

  • Are HFC Systems Leaking More or Less Than Their Predecessors? Sunday, Jan. 22, 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. Summary: While much is known about leak processes in CFC and HCFC systems due to historical practice, experiences with HFCs are just starting to achieve comparable familiarity. This forum seeks to start a discussion on these experiences.

  • Selection and Application of VAV Terminal Units, Monday, Jan. 23, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Summary: There are many options available when selecting VAV terminal units. The choice has a substantial impact on energy usage, acoustics, comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ), and maintenance. This seminar presents perspectives on these choices.

  • Improving Fan Systems Energy Efficiency, Monday, Jan. 23, 11:15 a.m to 12:05 p.m. Summary: Designers select fans to match a designed HVACR system but the combined efficiency of the total system is often overlooked. Discussions are focused on suggesting and implementing methods and procedures that would result in the most efficient system.

  • Managing Return Air in Residential and Small Commercial Buildings, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Summary: The impact of various options for managing return air in residential and small commercial buildings are discussed. Return air management strategies under consideration include the number and location of return intakes. Temperatures, airflows, building pressures, and energy impacts are addressed.

  • Designing for Dehumidification and Mold Avoidance, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Summary: Moisture and mold are of great concern in the industry today. Dehumidification considerations are required in most applications. This seminar addresses many issues, including part-load and design point performance and energy usage of conventional and advanced cooling systems.

  • A Look Forward to 2020 for Small Forced-Air Heating and Cooling Systems, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 10:15 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. Summary: Changes with new technology, energy costs, IAQ, regulatory situations, homeland security, building practices, code changes, and more have impacted system designs. This forum seeks ideas on where people think these systems might be in the future and then use that information to begin planning discussions on research, standards activities, and applications to meet those changes.

  • Will the New 13 SEER Efficiency Standard Make A/C Systems More Susceptible or Less Susceptible to Field Problems? Wednesday, Jan. 25, 10:15 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. Summary: On Jan. 23, 2006, the minimum efficiency for residential air conditioners will jump from 10 SEER to 13 SEER. What does this mean, if anything, to the systems robustness with respect to suboptimal installations? Will higher efficiency systems be more, less or equally susceptible to the suboptimal installations?


    As can be expected, ASHRAE is also offering several technical tours, including the AMCA International Tour: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Laboratory Testing, which will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22. This tour of the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International's laboratory facility in Arlington Heights, Ill., will look at where the performance of fans, louvers, dampers, airflow measurement stations, and other air-moving products are tested and certified. The cost is $20.

    A tour of the Chicago Center for Green Technology - a LEED Platinum Building will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23. A brownfield redevelopment and building renovation project, the Chicago Center for Green Technology (CCGT) is now a model for the nation. The building features four arrays of photovoltaic panels (30 percent of load), passive solar technologies for lighting and heating the offices, a passive solar greenhouse, a smart lighting system, and ground source heat pumps. The cost is $20.

    Another tour of the John Buck Co. will take place from 2:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23. This newly constructed 50-story high-rise building on South Wacker Drive meets LEED's silver standard. The tour begins in the 29th floor conference room with an overview of the building's HVAC system and pertinent architectural features before viewing the cooling tower, chiller room, fan room, and a typical floor. The cost is $20.

    A tasty tour of Eli's Cheesecake Factory is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Eli's Cheesecake Co. opened in 1980 on Chicago's northwest side and now produces over 16,000 gourmet cheesecakes per day. The tour features a look at the bakery, along with refrigeration systems that cover five temperature zones, including a mixing room, oven/cooling area, holding freezer, blast freezer, and packaging area. Dress: To participate in the entire tour of the facility, rubber soled and closed-toe shoes are required. Otherwise, attendees receive an abbreviated tour. The cost is $20.

    A reverent tour of Loyola University's Madonna Della Strada Chapel will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The chapel, constructed in 1937, is a prized architectural feature on the Loyola University of Chicago lakeside campus. Common with buildings of this vintage, there was no space cooling. A space cooling system has been added along with a new space heating and ventilation system. The system complied with all municipal codes and the owner's requirements with little impact to the chapel interior. The cost is $20.

    A self-guided tour of the Exelon Elevator and Stair Pavilions at the North End of Chicago's Millennium Park is suggested. This tour will show the innovative energy conservation features of these pavilions. Among the designs are photovoltaic modules that generate electricity for use by the pavilions. The photovoltaic modules are incorporated into a glass curtain wall system that serves as the exterior skin of the building. The expected annual energy production is estimated to be about 16,175 kWh per year per pavilion, which will offset about 17 percent of the estimated annual energy consumption.

    Visit for a complete listing of technical program sessions and technical tours. ASHRAE will also be offering a free public session during the AHR Expo.

    Publication date: 01/09/2006