The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) annual conference was held March 16 – 20 in Grapevine, Texas. The event was located at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, just minutes from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Several thousand contractors and exhibitors attended the event with an increase in attendance over last year’s conference making the largest conference ever. The week started off with a main stage presentation by the always entertaining economist, Lowell Catlett. Catlett offered his unique perspective on the current and future state of the HVAC industry.
The ACCA board approved major membership and industry workforce initiatives. ACCA's Board of Directors met prior to ACCA 2015 and the IE3 Expo, on March 15. The board finalized major new initiatives for 2015.
The association will launch a new workforce development program, IE3jobs.com, aimed at military veterans, as well as students.
ACCA will move its membership into an "open" platform without geographical chapter requirements. Effective June 30, ACCA national membership will be open to all contractors nationwide. Membership in ACCA will not require that contractors belong to any state or local chapter, and will not include other associations’ membership dues.
According to Phil London, who will took over as ACCA chairman at the close of the 2015 conference, “It’s been 15 years since we took a long, hard look at ACCA membership, and the world has changed a lot since then. What made sense in 2000 doesn’t make sense now. Today the world is mobile, accessible, user-friendly and 24/7. And ACCA has over 100 different dues levels and there’s no easy way to join us online! It just doesn’t make sense.”
After June 30, state and local contracting associations will be able to control their own membership dues, enroll and renew members, and develop their own strategic plans and benefits.
The Radiant & Hydronics Council presented a full track of seminars featuring industry experts. John Barba, from Taco HVAC, led an energy-packed presentation on pump selection. Lance McNevin, of REHAU, presented a seminar on radiant cooling. Steve “Wheels” Wieland, of NTI, ran through 40 slides, in 40 minutes, on boiler installation. Jeff Persons, of Geo Source One, filled the room with a presentation on high temperature geothermal systems.
At the conference, ACCA announced the initiation of development of BSR/ACCA 16 Manual E-201x, "HVAC System Design for Energy Efficient Homes," as a new industry standard.
The standard will provide procedures to design/select HVAC systems and equipment for low-load homes that will achieve satisfactory indoor conditions with lower equipment capacity; i.e., resolving ventilation and moisture requirements/issues with low air volume systems while addressing occupant comfort, health, and safety. The procedures will apply as lower capacity equipment appears in the marketplace.
The 2016 ACCA conference will be held March 10-13, 2016, at the Charlotte convention center in Charlotte, N.C.