Perspectives on design styles and experiences from around the world were shared by nearly 2,000 built environment industry professionals at ASHRAE’s 2011 Annual Conference. The theme of the Conference, Sustainability Knows No Borders, highlighted the international reach of ASHRAE’s membership.

Some 1,690 people attended the Conference, held June 26-29, in Montreal, Quebec. Attendance was higher than the last three ASHRAE annual conferences, which took place in Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and Louisville.

The ASHRAE Conference offered a technical program with nearly 300 presentations, nine educational courses and numerous social events. The meeting also featured nearly 400 meetings of technical, standards and standing committees, developing guidance for the future of the industry and ASHRAE.

The Plenary session, where nearly 60 members were honored for their service to ASHRAE, also served as the platform for Presidential Member Lynn G. Bellenger’s final address to the Society as ASHRAE president.

Technical program highlights included several sessions that provided new applications and current practices, such as: case studies of new buildings without commissioning, using building energy information in a smart grid, selecting fans for minimum energy usage, emerging wireless technologies for HVAC&R applications, improving performance of refrigeration systems, back to basics on airflow in unitary systems, energy recovery issues in dedicated outdoor-air systems, unique applications of photovoltaic systems, applications of high temperature cooling and low temperature heating and HVAC&R design checklists that work. As usual, sessions on ground source heat pumps and radiant cooling systems drew large audiences.

Net zero energy-related sessions were the highest-attended, especially methodologies for determining environmental impacts of buildings, renewable energy technologies for achieving net-zero energy design, challenges in making green buildings a way of life, design strategies for net-zero energy residential buildings, combined heat and power for net zero energy buildings, and alternate heating, cooling and domestic water heating technologies to reduce building energy usage.

Also offered were two Professional Development Seminars and seven short courses from the ASHRAE Learning Institute. The most popular courses were Advanced High-Performance Building Design; Energy Management in New and Existing Buildings; and Basics of High-Performance Building Design.  

Top selling publications included Standard 189.1-2009, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings; Standard 62.1-2010, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality; and the 2011 Annual Conference pre-prints CD, which contains all papers presented at the conference.

Ron Jarnagin took office as the Society’s 2011-2012 president. His theme for the year, Sustaining ASHRAE through Leadership, focuses on developing future leadership, building the Society’s global presence and strengthening the industry.

Additionally, six students from Polytechnique de Montréal, along with members of the Montreal Chapter, are working to improve the quality of life at Accueil Bonneau, a local homeless shelter, as part of ASHRAE’s Sustainable Footprint project. The project is intended to leave behind a lasting sustainable footprint in the cities where the Society’s conferences are held. The members hope to reduce operating expenses of the shelter through the overall design and commissioning of a domestic water heating solar system which will significantly reduce costs of water heating.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of some 50,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.