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Home » ASHRAE concludes Chicago Winter Conference and AHR Expo (Part 1)

ASHRAE concludes Chicago Winter Conference and AHR Expo (Part 1)

ASHRAE concluded its Chicago Winter Conference and AHR Expo with an impressive attendance and accelerated decarbonisation action. This is part one of a two-part article.

Young engineers in ASHRAE decarb initiative: Southern California chapter. Image supplied by ASHRAE
Young engineers in ASHRAE decarb initiative: Southern California chapter. Image supplied by ASHRAE

The 2024 ASHRAE Winter Conference proved to be a dynamic convergence of HVAC&R industry leaders, experts and professionals with a central focus on critical topics such as decarbonisation, climate change, artificial intelligence and more.

Held on 20–24 January 2024 in Chicago, the conference saw a robust gathering of industry professionals, with nearly 3 800 people registered to attend. The conference included 458 committee meetings, 125 technical sessions and numerous engaging social events and activities. The AHR Expo, spanning an expansive 527 000 net square feet of exhibit space at McCormick Place, played host to more than 1 860 exhibitors, including 344 international exhibitors unveiling cutting-edge HVAC&R technologies, products and services. An estimated 50 000 people attended the expo over the course of three days.

The top three most attended Winter Conference sessions are detailed below:

  • Seminar 13 – Thermal Energy Storage: A Critical Strategy for Decarbonisation
  • Seminar 19 – LIVESTREAM: Beneficial Electrification
  • Seminar 8 – The Logical Way to Tap into Decarbonisation: Hydronic District Energy Systems

At the Conference, 2023-24 ASHRAE President Ginger Scoggins shared updates pertaining to the Society’s current theme, ‘Challenge Accepted: Tackling the Climate Crisis’ during her State of the Society address.

“We built on a declaration to be a collective body of problem solvers in tackling the global climate crisis,” Scoggins said. “ASHRAE regions and chapters showed an exemplary commitment not only to understanding how climate change affects building planning, design, construction and operation, but they volunteered immense time and expertise to develop resources to support actionable, wide-scale building decarbonisation practices. You recognised the challenge and you found ways to accept responsibility for making changes in your activities to make a difference. Big or small, all changes help our efforts, and we appreciate you.”

Among many topics, Scoggins spoke on the expanding interest in ASHRAE’s decarbonisation conferences, as well as support from the US federal government for ASHRAE’s recently published updated energy efficiency standard for existing building, Standard 100.

Scoggin’s full State of the Society address manuscript and presentation can be found at

ASHRAE welcomed Dr. Carolyn Snyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Buildings and Industry for the US Department of Energy to the President’s Luncheon. Dr. Snyder spoke on ASHRAE’s building decarbonisation leadership.

“I want to share my deep gratitude and appreciation from the DOE for all of the work that ASHRAE does and for your longstanding close partnership with our agency,” Snyder said. “Last November, our deputy secretary announced our new national building decarbonisation strategy for the US. We need to prioritise and centre around equity, affordability and resilience – all key themes that we see throughout this conference and areas where you have been leading for decades. It’s going to require energy efficiency gains estimated at 35% by 2035 and 50% by 2050. Despite all the massive energy efficiency savings we have to date in our country, there’s so much more that we need to do to achieve these targets. It’s as if we wrote this blueprint looking at your conference agenda for this week. You are already leaders across those topics. What you’re doing here today in your organisation is making a real impact for our country today, but more importantly, it’s making an immense impact in our buildings, in our communities and in our homes for decades to come and for our children and grandchildren.”

Source: ASHRAE