2023 AHR Expo proves ‘tremendously successful’Buildings Business & Professional Engineering AHR EXPO AHRI air conditioning ASHRAE buildings built environment decarbonization heating HRAI HVAC refrigeration thermal energy storage ventilation
Attendance improved over 2022.
Last week’s Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Exposition (AHR Expo) in Atlanta, Ga., drew 42,794 visitors and exhibiting personnel to the Georgia World Congress Center, where 1,779 exhibitors—including 425 international companies and organizations—showcased their offerings across a 486,805-sf show floor.
“We have recalibrated our focus on a mainstream presence, where our industry is talked about in every scenario involving the built world,” said show manager Mark Stevens in his opening remarks.
By way of comparison, the 2022 expo—the first since 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—drew 30,678 attendees and 1,573 exhibitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“We are thrilled to see such a strong showing!” said expo press officer Nicole Bush, calling the 2023 show “tremendously successful.”
Running from Feb. 6 to 8, the expo was co-sponsored by the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute of America (AHRI) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)—which held its winter conference in the Omni Hotel at CNN Center from Feb 4 to 8, for co-location purposes—while the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) served as honorary sponsor.
“We are pleased to return to Atlanta, our global headquarters (HQ) city,” noted 2022-2023 ASHRAE president Farooq Mehboob, referencing his association’s recently retrofitted, net-zero energy HQ in nearby Peachtree Corners, Ga.
At a press briefing, Mehboob described the current society theme, ‘Securing Our Future,’ in part by recalling his own experiences as a chief engineer for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in the 1960s and ’70s, starting his own business as a consulting engineer in the ‘80s and joining ASHRAE to help expand the organization’s international reach across the Indian Subcontinent, Africa and the Middle East.
“Securing the future will depend on fostering global relationships,” he explained. “The industry still doesn’t have an international standard for ventilation to prevent the next pandemic, for example, but ASHRAE will fill that need. As an industry, we must remain focused and maintain our position of leadership and preparedness.”
He also cited the recent publication of ASHRAE’s first guide to building decarbonization, meeting another growing demand around the world. Fittingly, the top three sessions at the ASHRAE Winter Conference all discussed thermal energy storage (TES), which can help buildings around the world achieve balance when relying on variable, renewable sources of energy.
“With exhibitors and visitors from more than 120 countries, the AHR Expo continues to be where the global industry meets,” added Stephen R. Yurek, AHRI’s president and CEO.
The expo hosted 17 podcasters, 105 industry sessions and 152 new product and technical presentations to complement the wares on the show floor. Educational sessions for engineers focused on such topics as carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration, the harmonization of standards and the fundamentals of testing, adjustments and balance.
Next year’s event will rotate back to the Windy City; it will be hosted at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., from Jan. 22 to 24, 2024. Registration is expected to open early this summer.
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