ASHRAE Addresses energy Efficiency and the Importance of Education

"Sustaining Our Future by Rebuilding Our Past focuses on Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings as our greatest opportunity for a sustainable future". This was the presidential theme that Gordon V.R. Holness, P.E. pursued while President of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Cond

"Sustaining Our Future by Rebuilding Our Past focuses on Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings as our greatest opportunity for a sustainable future". This was the presidential theme that Gordon V.R. Holness, P.E. pursued while President of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).


There are numerous subsets that makeup the HVACR industry including: Government, Code and Standard, Manufacturing, Distribution, Contractors, Utilities, Education, etc. All too often these agencies do not work in unison and we wind up with LEED platinum building that no one can work on, new standards or codes that none reads or follows.

Mr. Holness the immediate past president of ASHRAE took time out of his busy schedule to share his vision of the industry with HVACR educators and trainers at the HVAC Excellence 2011 National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference. His presentation was to give a view of how the industry can be working together to resolve the issues of increasing energy demands during a time of decreasing supply and growing environmental impact issues.

He presented the facts that world energy consumption will grown by 53% over the next twenty years. During this same time CO2 emissions are expected to grow 120% from 180 ppm to 580 ppm. Many people believe that we will simply build new buildings that are more energy efficient to replace the old ones. With 78 million baby boomers and 40 million people in generation Y, there are nearly twice as many people who will retire and sell a home than purchase one over the next twenty years. Mr. Holness stated that 75% to 80% of the buildings that HVACR persons will be working for the next twenty years and beyond already exist today.

Most developed countries require stringent training, apprenticeship and continuing education for someone to work in the HVACR industry. The HVACR industry in England or Germany are viewed as a profession not just a trade. For Americans to maintain their standard of living without paying too much for power or thermal comfort, we must change the mindset of building occupants and the people working on them.

This is not to say that anyone wants to give their customers the famous Jimmy Carter malaise speech. It means we need to rebuild our current buildings mechanical systems to be more energy efficient. Award building owners or make the correct choices through a building labeling or scoring program.

Mr. Holness closed with "What can HVACR Educators and Trainers do to Make a Difference"? Proper education of technicians, teach energy auditing and management, emphasize operation and maintenance, teach students to install and service equipment to manufacturers specifications. It all comes down to proper technician training!

The HVACR industry is a 200 billion dollar a year industry and consumes more energy than any other sector of the American economy with the exception of transportation. When people discuss energy efficiency, going green, saving money, the answer to all of these statements is properly sized, properly installed, and properly maintained HVACR equipment.

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