TAMPA, Fla. — ASHRAE’s annual conference, which brought HVACR industry leaders, researchers, and professionals together to exchange knowledge, explore advancements, and foster collaboration, wrapped up here on June 28.

More than 2,050 HVACR industry professionals attended the five-day conference, during which the society named its president, officers, and directors for Society Year 2023-24.

Ginger Scoggins, P.E., an ASHRAE fellow, took office as the 2023-24 president. In her inaugural address, Scoggins spoke about the climate change-related migration that has taken place globally in the past 50 years and about ASHRAE’s commitment to providing resources and thought leadership toward building decarbonization.

“We have worked to integrate a carbon-reduction focus throughout our ASHRAE committees, councils, and leadership and provide our industry with a clear indication of our commitment to this issue,” said Scoggins. “We have several other initiatives under way, with a plan for their completion during this society year. ASHRAE has accepted the challenge of our time … and we need you to join us.”

ASHRAE also announced the approval of its much-anticipated pathogen mitigation standard, ASHRAE Standard 241, Control of Infectious Aerosols. This groundbreaking standard is a major step forward in reducing the risk of infectious disease spread in buildings, the society said. Standard 241 is available for presale now.

During the President’s Luncheon, ASHRAE presented a special Presidential Certificate of Honor to the former White House COVID-19 response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, for his advocacy during the pandemic, which led to initiatives that include the release of a National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge.

In his acceptance speech, Jha praised ASHRAE’s leadership for the development of Standard 241 as a way to improve IAQ as a critical public health intervention in controlling the spread of infectious disease.

“This effort to try to improve indoor air quality and reduce the burden of respiratory pathogens is something we have talked about at the White House — a lot of experts have been talking about it,” said Jha. “Talking is important, but what ASHRAE did over the last six months in building out Standard 241, that just got approved, fundamentally changes the game. It is one of the most important public health interventions I have seen in years, if not decades. It is really heartening to see this organization take a central role in tackling the biggest challenges facing human health in the U.S. and around the world.”

During the plenary session, Jeff Littleton, executive vice president and secretary, reported on the society’s current initiatives, and in his farewell address, outgoing president Farooq Mehboob reflected on his year as president and the accomplishments realized through the 2022-23 society theme, “Securing Our Future.”

“In my inaugural presidential address, I spoke about the era of unpredictability that we are facing,” said Mehboob. “I reminded you that the future does not belong to those who sit and watch, but instead we must seek it create it and secure it. I have been amazed by the dedication of our volunteers and staff who have tirelessly worked to move our society forward and secure its future.”

In addition to awards, speeches, and social events, the conference featured 90 sessions that covered a wide spectrum of topics, including energy-efficient design strategies, renewable technologies, and building decarbonization. The top technical session was the ASHRAE Building Decarbonization Update.

The ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) also offered 10 courses, including one on improving IAQ using ventilation rate procedures, and another on designing net-zero buildings using ASHRAE guidelines.

The 2024 ASHRAE winter conference will take place January 20-24, 2024, in Chicago in conjunction with the 2024 AHR Expo.