January/February 2021 Print

Inside Illinois Chapter

January Webinar:
“Diversity Is
Good for Business!”

How would you rate your company’s focus on diversity? This was one of the polling questions asked during the Diversity webinar hosted January 12 by the Illinois Chapter’s Women in ASHRAE. A little more than half of respondents thought there was too little focus; a little less than half thought it was just about right. Not one person thought too much emphasis was being placed. Kenya Jacobs, Trane’s Director, Diversity Recruiting and Workforce Development, led the 1.5-hour webinar, Diversity & Inclusion: What’s In It for Me? Her presentation addressed the growing importance and relevance in today’s evolving business climate and changing workforce. There’s more to the story, it turns out, than simply getting in step with the times and on the right side of social evolution. Survey data already show that diversity is paying gains in key areas of recruiting, competition and obtaining new work. Have a look at the webinar recording and PowerPoint slides now available from the Illinois ASHRAE website.

Join us on February 16 when our next webinar takes a new look at Sustainability. Mark your calendar and watch for details.

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Scholarship Update

Now Accepting Applications for IL ASHRAE Scholarships

While the 2020 pandemic has redefined the way college courses are taught and attended, the pursuit of a college degree remains as expensive as ever. Tuition, fees and books are costly, and many students can use a little financial help to keep rolling along.

The Illinois Chapter offers annual scholarships for future engineers. In early 2021, it will award up to four $1,500 scholarships to deserving college students pursuing studies in engineering, science or mathematics that are fundamental for a career in the HVAC field. It's quick and easy to apply for one of these scholarships. Applicants do not need to be ASHRAE student chapter members. The application deadline is January 31. Scholarships will be presented to winners in the spring. A (newly revised) application form may be downloaded here.

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Women in ASHRAE

The Women in ASHRAE’s next monthly Virtual Happy Hour, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., will occur on Thursday, January 28. Women engineers and other industry members are invited to log in to meet and network with peers, discuss current issues and plan future activities. Join the Happy Hour Zoom Meeting at: https://zoom.us/j/93770379838

Contact Nancy Kohout, [email protected], for more information.

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2021 Winter Conference

Chicago Host Committee Brings You:
More Ways to Find Facts & Fun at Virtual ASHRAE Conference

The switch this year to all-virtual will alter the usual format of ASHRAE’s 2021 Winter Meeting. However, Illinois Chapter host committee members of the conference, originally planned to meet in Chicago, have produced extra attractions to add even more interest and fun to the Feb. 9-11 event. Here are two to tell you about.

Virtual Tour of STACK Infrastructure Data Center. Data centers are designed to operate with maximum uptime and resiliency, where even brief outages can result in millions of dollars of lost revenue. STACK Infrastructure is nearing completion of a 200,000 SF, 24MW facility in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The virtual tour looks at critical electrical and mechanical infrastructure and how it supports the server and network environment for some of the world's largest companies.

A pre-recorded video will be posted at the On-Demand section at the virtual conference. Beginning Feb.8, you can view the video at your leisure. On Friday, Feb. 12, 11:00 a.m., join presenters Brian Medina, PEKevin Cooper, PEAaron Duda, PE, Principal and members of the Chicago host committee for a live 20-minute Q&A chat.

You must be registered for the Virtual Winter Conference to participate in the STACK Infrastructure tour. Look for the chat session link at the Virtual Conference environment.

Virtual Escape Room, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. You have been summoned to the top office. When you arrive with your team, you suddenly discover that you are not only locked in but also being framed as participants in an elaborate art heist while the real culprit walks free. The police will arrive in one hour. You must work together quickly to crack the code that will enable you to escape before time runs out! (Check out this video for a preview of what to expect.)

The Chicago Host Committee has worked hard to plan a fun, engaging and safe (at home) event for conference attendees. Participants will work in 5-person teams to escape the room. This is an optional activity. To play, purchase a ticket at the conference registration site. Space is limited so act fast! Prizes will be awarded to the winning team. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For more information on either event, email [email protected].


ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference Offers Robust Technical Program

A full technical program, featuring more than 120 sessions will be presented at the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference, running from February 9-12. The technical program includes 8 tracks compromised of 40 live sessions (most with live Q&A) and 80+ on-demand sessions, with many addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to updates from Society leaders and awards presentations, here are some additional conference features:

  • Early morning and evening sessions to accommodate attendee time zones from across the globe
  • Keynote Speaker, Stephanie Taylor, M.D., presenting “Buildings are Our Best Medicine”
  • Small group, interactive sessions to facilitate discussions, including:

The cost to attend the virtual conference is $249 for ASHRAE members ($479 for non-members, which includes an annual ASHRAE membership). Company registration packages are also available for groups of 3 or more. Registrants will receive:

  • Scheduled live video chat sessions with speakers from on-demand conference paper sessions
  • Downloadable copies of all conference papers
  • PDHs, LEED AP credits and AIA learning units available
  • Access to 120+ technical sessions for 18 months
  • Updates from ASHRAE Society leaders
  • Virtual networking events and sponsor kiosks

To learn more about the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference and to register, visit ashrae.org/2021Winter.

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ASHRAE Society Update

Epidemic Task Force Releases Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure

AThe ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has released new guidance to address control of airborne infectious aerosol exposure and recommendations for communities of faith buildings.

ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure summarize the main points found in the detailed guidance documents produced by the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. They are based on the concept that ventilation, filtration and air cleaners can be combined flexibly to achieve exposure reduction goals subject to constraints that may include comfort, energy use and costs.

The task force’s Communities of Faith Buildings guidance offers recommendations on conducting worship services under epidemic conditions. “The document also helps communities move toward a new 'normal' operation after this public health emergency nears an end” said Rick Karg, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force member.

To view the complete ASHRAE Core Recommendations, visit ashrae.org/COVID-19.

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Calendar of Events

Calendar of Monthly Tech Talks

CTTC Chair Elizabeth Zakelj and her committee members are developing the following group of monthly Illinois Chapter technology talk topics for 2020-21. All presentations are planned as webinars as members opt for virtual gatherings while the pandemic remains. Mark these dates on your calendar and watch for more details about each topic as the dates draw nearer. We hope you will participate in several of the late-afternoon webinars.

February 9-11, 2021 — ASHRAE Winter Virtual Conference
February 16, 2021 (new date) — Sustainability Topic
March 9, 2021 — HVAC Fundamental (Series)
April 13, 2021 — Communications/Management Topic
May 11, 2021 — Healthcare Topic
June 8, 2021 — Fire Alarm/Protection in HVAC

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Worth Noting

Coronavirus Causes Largest U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop Since World War Two: Report

The U.S. emitted 10.3% less greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, the largest drop in emissions in more than 70 years as the coronavirus crippled the economy. Also in the report by the Rhodium Group, an independent research firm based in New York City, the decline would likely enable the U.S. not only to meet but exceed its pledge made under the Copenhagen climate accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. Emissions will actually be 21.5% in 2020.

The largest declines occurred in the transportation sector (down 14.6%), as travel diminished, and power plant emissions which dropped 10.3% below 2019 levels. (From Reuters)

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Welcome New Members

Matthew Costanza
Dominique Slezak
Gauri Soman
Bethany Whitaker

Aaron Horta
Timothy Schlatterer

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This web site is maintained by the Illinois ASHRAE Chapter. It does not represent official positions of the Society nor reflect Society policy. ASHRAE chapters may not act for the Society and the information presented here has not had Society review. To learn more about ASHRAE activities on an international level, contact the ASHRAE home page at http://www.ashrae.org.