Engineering Society Goes All In with Net Zero Energy in Las Vegas

ATLANTA -- From the cool casinos that provide both entertainment and relief from the arid Las Vegas heat to the sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffets of fresh food, the draw of Las Vegas would not be possible without the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

When the world¹s largest membership-based HVAC&R engineering society rolls into Las Vegas in late January for its 2011 Winter Conference it will continue to play an influential role on the economy of Las Vegas.

ASHRAE, a leader in energy efficiency technology in the building industry, is an international not-for-profit association organized so that engineers may exchange technical information to improve the quality of life. The work of ASHRAE members keeps indoor environments comfortable and productive, delivers healthy food to consumers and preserves the outdoor environment.

On Jan. 29-Feb. 2, nearly 3,500 members of ASHRAE will gather in Las Vegas, Nev. for their 2011 Winter Conference. While attending the Conference, members will exchange technical information that will allow HVAC&R engineers to design and operate buildings, systems and equipment that are energy efficient and ensure safe, productive and healthy indoor environments. Such buildings are referred to as "sustainable" or "green' buildings in the industry. Also taking place during that time is the AHR Expo, featuring some 1800 exhibitors and an expected 45000 attendees and exhibitor staff.

This marks the first time the Society has held its twice-yearly conference in Las Vegas. As Las Vegas is a world-class destination that attracts visitors from around the world, many shows have seen an increase in attendance when they rotate from some other cities to Las Vegas. Also, it has been seven years since the AHR Expo was in the West so there will be greater attendance from the Western states.

Without the technology developed by ASHRAE members, the city of Las Vegas -- which is hosting the meeting for the first time -- would not exist. Lynn G. Bellenger, ASHRAE president, said. That fact speaks to the vital importance of the technologies and innovations that will be discussed. Of course, the demand for technology to improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality isn¹t limited to Las Vegas, but is shared throughout the world.

The estimated economic impact of the five-day Conference to Las Vegas is $3.4 million, while the combined impact of both the meeting and AHR Expo is estimated to be $53 million. The Conference, with its theme of Zero Energy Design: A Safe Bet, takes place at the Las Vegas Hilton and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

ASHRAE is internationally known for its programs that promote energy efficiency in the built environment. Among these is the Building Energy Quotient labeling program, which informs building owners and operators, tenants and prospective buyers on the energy use of buildings, similar to a nutrition label on food or miles per gallon ratings on cars. The program provides a detailed certificate with data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles, indoor air quality and other information that will enable building owners to evaluate and reduce their building's energy use.

ASHRAE also recently published Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential, provides a ³total building sustainability package for those who strive to design, build and operate green buildings. From site location to energy use to recycling, this standard will set the foundation for green buildings through its adoption into local codes. It covers key topic areas similar to green building rating systems: site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy ef¬ficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building¹s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.

Additionally, ASHRAE¹s flagship energy standard, Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential, was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Policy Act.

For guidance from ASHRAE regarding energy and indoor air quality, visit www.ashrae.org/consumer.