Canadian Consulting Engineer

ASHRAE Winter Conference hears about design build, low-GWP refrigerants

January 28, 2016

The 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Exposition wound up on Wednesday, January 27. This is a gigantic dual event which this year was held over four days in Orlando. The trade exposition took up the vast acres of exhibition space at the Orange County Convention Centre.

The U.S. HVAC business is evidently flourishing judging by the number of exhibitors — over 2,000. Some of these hosted extravagant events, including one company that rented a portion of Universal City, including rides, for an evening of free food and drinks. Over 60,000 attendees were at the AHR Expo, with many coming from overseas.

Next door in the Hilton hotel and accessed by an outdoor bridge, the more sedate and learned ASHRAE conference ASHRAE held 300 technical seminars and meetings. Highlights included sessions that incorporated Building Information Modelling, such as “New CFD techniques for design of air distribution systems,” and “Do tall, super tall and mega tall buildings consume more energy than conventional buildings?”

There were also sessions on design-build, such as “How does the criterion engineer’s role affect the design build contractor’s and design build engineer’s roles during all phases of a design build project?” For indoor air quality experts there was a session on the health risks of e-cigarettes and how ASHRAE standards need to be adapted for this new craze. There were also sessions on the advances being made in refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP).


During the event ASHRAE announced a free web application that automates the calculations needed to show a building project’s compliance with ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The 90.1 ECB app uses the Energy Cost Budget (ECB) method in the standard.

Honours and awards were handed out to 54 individuals, including the F. Paul Anderson Award, ASHRAE’s highest award for technical achievement, which went to Thomas E. Watson of the Daikin Learning Institution in Virginia. Among the 17 new ASHRAE Fellows were people from the United Arab Emirates, Australia, China, India, South Korea and the U.K. (none from Canada).

Nicolas Lemire, ing., president of Pageau Morel and Associates, was presented with one of five ASHRAE Technology Awards for the Anne-Marie Edward Science Building in Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue, Quebec. Click here for previous announcement.

Finally, the AHR Expo innovation awards for new products were handed out. The top Product of the Year Award went to Aeroseal’s HomeSeal duct sealing technology which is the first alternative to traditional manual duct seals. It works from the inside of ventilation shafts to “seek” and target leaks, then bond-seal them.

The other AHR product innovation awards were as follows:

Building Automation: Accutrol AVC Fume Hood Control System from Accutrol, LLC

Cooling: ZoomLine™ Flexible Tubing from Sporlan – Parker Hannifin

Green Building: Piranha Wastewater Heat Recovery Heat Pump from International Wastewater Systems Inc.

Heating: Victaulic Grooved System for Saturated Steam Piping from Victaulic

Indoor Air Quality: ASCENDANT™ conventional cooling, active desiccant hybrid system from SEMCO LLC

Plumbing: NEUTON controlled chilled beam pump module from SEMCO LLC

Refrigeration: HEOS Sistema – high efficiency waterloop system for commercial refrigeration from CAREL INDUSTRIES S.p.A.

Software: PlasmaSoft 2.0 IAQ Procedure Software from Plasma Air International

Tools & Instruments: ZoomLock™ Braze-Free Fittings from Sporlan – Parker Hannifin

Ventilation: Aeroseal duct sealing technology from Aeroseal

The judging panel recognized an additional 33 products and technologies with honorable mentions.


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