ASHRAE conference blows into the Windy City

Held partly in conjunction with AHR Expo, ASHRAE hosts its 2009 Winter Conference Jan. 24-28 in Chicago.


Held partly in conjunction with AHR Expo , ASHRAE hosts its 2009 Winter Conference Jan. 24-28 in Chicago. Opening Sunday and running through Tuesday at the landmark Palmer House Hotel, the conference moves to the lakefront for its final day, with AHR Expo at McCormick Place.

Conference attendees will not lack for attractions. Between nine educational tracks, a variety of tours over the course of the week and two keynote presentations, attendees will have plenty of options from which to choose.

Educational sessions will be held throughout the week and will feature topics including sustainability, high-performance systems, systems and equipment, refrigeration, fundamentals and applications, among others.

Several technical tours will highlight new technologies and techniques in HVAC. A visit to the InterContinental Chicago hotel will provide a look at the hotel's newly installed green roof, which landed the facility an Energy Star award for superior eco-friendly initiatives and highly efficient energy use, the first hotel in Chicago to receive the designation. Tours of the Chicago Center for Green Technology, LEED Platinum Building and the new modern wing at the Art Institute of Chicago will reveal other accomplishments in HVAC and building sustainability efforts.

Then, for fun, don't miss behind-the-scenes tours of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Merchandise Mart, or see Chicago from a variety of perspectives: a close-up look from Millennium Park; a great skyline view from the Adler Planetarium; then see it all in panorama from the Skydeck at Sears Tower. These and other general tours will be available for attendees to get a more intimate knowledge of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Highlighting Saturday's conference session will be plenary keynote speaker Chris Leubkeman, who will speak on Sustainable Urbanization. A director of Arup Group's global Foresight and Innovation initiative, Leubkeman's presentation will look at some of the current global efforts to both design new cities and adapt existing cities to the new era of dwindling resources.

Sunday's conference session will find technical keynote speaker Adrian Bejan, Ph.D., presenting his Constructal Theory. Bejan is a J.A. Jones distinguished professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University. He will discuss the theory he proposed in 1996, which holds as its main principle that, “in order to persist in time (to survive), a flow system must change such that it flows easier and easier.”

Visit for more information about the conference.

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