ATLANTA GA – ASHRAE hosted its 2021 Virtual Annual Conference June 28-30, which saw 970 virtual global registrants, exploring topics related to critical environments, building operation and maintenance, and plant and animal environments.
The conference featured over 100 live and on-demand sessions with updates from Society leaders and virtual networking events. Top sessions included Fundamentals of Climate Change (Seminar 1), Keynote: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Built Environment: Update on ASHRAE’s Response and the Meeting of the Members. Other highly attended sessions included topics on IAQ, energy efficiency and ASHRAE standards.
"The 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference brought our community of industry professionals together for a full slate of highly relevant and valuable content," said 2021-22 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, LEED AP. "The conference provided an opportunity to learn, share, and explore new ways to translate research and knowledge into built environment solutions that impact everyone. We are truly fortunate to be a part of this strong community that supports each other to accomplish great things. It is the power of this community that will propel us to future successes."
Day one included a final State of the Society and farewell address from 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E., as well as a Secretary’s Report from ASHRAE Executive Vice President and Society Secretary Jeff Littleton.
"Plans for the January 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Expo in Las Vegas are well underway and if you have any doubts about whether the industry is ready to reconvene in January, let me share some facts with you," said Littleton. "Fully 90% of the 498,000 net sq ft of AHR Expo exhibit space available in Las Vegas is already sold. That's 1,200 exhibiting companies already under contract. We may have had to cancel the show and the face-to-face Winter Conference this past January, but we are headed back to Las Vegas with a vengeance. Put it on your calendar today – Jan. 29th to Feb. 2nd. We'll see you in Las Vegas."
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force (ETF) presented an update on their global headlining work to share guidance on minimizing the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The keynote, titled "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Built Environment: Update on ASHRAE’s Response," included a brief history and status of the ETF, as well as a higher-level discussion on non-HVAC issues such as vaccines, data, transmission routes and reopening.
ASHRAE’s Task Force on Building Decarbonization also gave an update on their progress during the conference. The task force was formed to develop technical resources and provide guidance in mitigating the negative impact of buildings on the environment and to the inhabitants of our planet.
Retiring board members were honored for their service and a virtual installation ceremony was held for the 2021-22 Board of Directors and officers.
On the final day of the conference, President Schwedler gave his address on the Society theme for the coming year, "Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots."
"We each are involved in ASHRAE for different reasons and volunteer in our chosen ways," said Schwedler. "We do it because we grow – professionally and personally – and help others do the same. We do it because that global impact serves the world’s, as well as our personal, future generations. All this occurs because we are true to our deep, widespread and strong technical roots, grassroots and personal roots."
His presidential address manuscript, presentation and video can be found at ashrae.org/president.
Industry and Society accomplishments of selected ASHRAE members, as well as scholarship donors, were recognized during honors and awards segments.
All technical sessions are now available on-demand to registrants for the next 18 months. Registration for the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference remains open for both individuals and groups at ashrae.org/2021annual.