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The 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference concluded with more than 1,800 people in attendance over three and a half days, and presentations from industry thought leaders from around the world.
The conference which ran from Feb. 9-12, featured 59 live sessions, 27 Q&A chats with presenters of Conference Paper Sessions and 80+ on-demand sessions. In the weeks leading into the conference, committee members also participated in meetings of technical, standards and standing committees, developing guidance for the future of the industry and ASHRAE.
The technical program included numerous, highly attended sessions, on the diverse topics surrounding rapid changes in technology, policies, tools and engineering practices related to the pandemic. Top sessions included 'Building Operation and COVID-19: Standard of Care,' 'What Did Building Do During the Pandemic, and How to Make your Buildings More Resilient' and 'Lessons from Managing Infrastructure through the COVID Shutdown.' Other highly attended sessions include cutting edge labs, IAQ, ASHRAE standards, ethics, controls and energy efficiency. Attendees also observed new equipment and products demonstrated by conference sponsors.
"The ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference provided an ideal place for our members and industry professionals to connect directly with each other, to explore the latest research and learn how to address the challenges that we all face in establishing healthy indoor environments for building occupants," said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. "We were pleased to be able to showcase the new and exciting ways we're moving ASHRAE forward as a society and how our resources have become an invaluable asset as the world learns more about the relationship between infectious disease mitigation and indoor air quality."
The conference kicked off with the ASHRAE Meeting of the Members, including a Secretary's Report from ASHRAE Executive Vice President Jeff Littleton and the State of the Society address from President Gulledge, updating the membership on the traction gained from his society theme, "The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0." Both spoke on recent society accomplishments including a successful research promotion campaign, the work of ASHRAE's Epidemic Task Force during the pandemic, the establishment of a diversity task group, government affairs involvement and the opening of ASHRAE's new Global Headquarters.
"ASHRAE volunteers remain committed to sharing their valuable time, wisdom and expertise – they remain steadfast in their determination to make the world a better place through ASHRAE," said Littleton during his report. "Thank you to the thousands of volunteers at the society, regional and chapter levels that have adapted and persevered – and in many cases flourished – under these trying circumstances. Because of you, ASHRAE will emerge from the pandemic stronger and more influential than ever before."
The ASHRAE Meeting of the Members video can be found at ashrae.org/president.
Attendees received a behind the scenes look at the innovative solutions that went into ASHRAE's new global headquarters through an in-depth technical tour of the building, guided by ASHRAE Building Ad Hoc Committee chair Ginger Scoggins.
The ASHRAE Global Headquarters technical tour video can be found at ashrae.org/newhq.
The accomplishments of 165 outstanding ASHRAE members were recognized during special honors and awards segments each day, including the elevation of 16 members to level of ASHRAE Fellow.
All technical sessions are now available on-demand to registrants for the next 18 months. Registration for the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Conference remains open for both individuals and groups at ashrae.org/2021Winter.