May 2020  

Inside Illinois Chapter

Webinar Saves May Joint Chapter Meeting

While the lingering pandemic slammed the door on the regularly scheduled May 12 gathering, a new and different door opened for nearly 80 people who used it to meet in a virtual, virus-free webinar space. For the next 1.5 hours, they listened and learned about the the latest survey findings on the state of building commissioning.

Tom Poeling, Project Support Director for U.S. Engineering Construction, delivered the presentation “BCxA Value of Commissioning.” His talk reported in detail the results of a survey by the BCxA and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) that updated metrics on the value of commissioning in new and existing buildings. The survey also outlined building owners’ expectations and perceived benefits. The webinar offered instant polling of audience during the presentation. The audience was split about evenly between members of the Illinois ASHRAE Chapter and the Building Commissioning Association (BCxA). The event had been planned as a joint meeting of both groups.

The online gathering was the Illinois Chapter’s first webinar. It was offered through an ASHRAE meeting portal made available to affiliate chapters. For their participation, attendees earned 1.5 PDHs. Plans to reoffer the June 9 meeting topic, Modular Construction, as another webinar are now in the works. Look for details soon.


WIA Postpone May 28 Piping Program

The Women in ASHRAE have postponed the hands-on learning event planned at Premier Mechanical and CT Mechanical in suburban Addison, IL on Thursday, May 28. It is hoped that the event will be rescheduled in the fall of 2020. Watch for a future update and plan to participate and learn how to weld, braze, solder, join and fabricate piping.

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Student Activities

IIT Student Design Grabs 1st Prize in USDOE Solar Decathalon

Congratulations to the IIT student design team that received a top prize in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge. The Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. Students from 45 teams, representing 31 collegiate institutions, competed for the top prizes. 

IIT captured the 1st prize in the Office Building category. Their 15-story, 160,000 sq. ft. Vertical River Office Building design paired innovation with sustainability to aim for a zero-energy structure. The building’s primary water-sourced heat pump used adjacent Chicago River water. The HVAC system also employed a secondary radiant ceiling with additional solar panels on the façade. Get more information

The design team members are: Pablo Aranda Navarro, Rafael Ventura Lopez, Nupoor Nileshkumar Kansara, Sergio Vizcaino Gonzalez, Fengyuan Jiang, and David Polzin.

IIT also captured an Honorable Mention prize Mixed-Use Multifamily Division of the competition.

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Calendar of Events

Here are education programs and other events the chapter plans to provide at our upcoming monthly dinner meetings and other ASHRAE events in 2019-20. Mark your calendar now and visit for full descriptions of these programs as the dates draw nearer.

June 9 — Meeting: Modular Construction (webinar)
June 27-July 1 — Annual ASHRAE Virtual Conference (online this year)
September 17 — Annual Golf Outing
October 25-27 — Region VI CRC (Peoria, IL)

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Region VI News

Region VI CRC Shifts to New Fall Dates

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Illinois Chapter members of the Region VI CRC Planning team recently called off the Chapters' Regional Conference originally planned for May 7-9 in Peoria. On April 10, they announced that the Conference has been rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25, to Tuesday, Oct. 27. It will still gather at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette and other venues; however, some changes might be in store for the daily schedules.

“Vision 2020,” which looks to the future of our industry, is this year’s CRC theme.

Region VI is comprised of 11 chapters in the Midwest, including the Illinois Chapter. This CRC typically draws about 200 attendees, most of whom are ASHRAE members and are highly involved in the HVAC industry. The conference includes social events, ASHRAE business meetings for Region VI, as well as several technical presentations.

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ASHRAE Society Update

ASHRAE Virtual Conference: 92 Technical Sessions for $99
This year’s conference will take place virtually...

ASHRAE is responding to these extraordinary times with extraordinary measures, including a four-day live virtual event at a significantly reduced registration fee. The 2020 ASHRAE Virtual Conference is structured to allow participants from all over the world to take advantage of the Society’s strong technical content.

The virtual conference will include 90+ technical sessions, updates from Society leaders, and virtual networking events. Technical sessions will be available starting June 22, with conference activities and additional live sessions addressing the latest information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic taking place daily starting June 29 and continuing through July 2. Conference registration is now open at

During the weeks leading up to the conference, ASHRAE will also conduct online versions of the business and technical meetings that typically are held during its onsite annual conference.

The cost to attend the virtual conference is $99 for ASHRAE members ($329 for non-members, which includes an annual ASHRAE membership) and offers:

  • Twelve live technical sessions with live Q&A with presenters
  • An on-demand technical program of some 90 sessions
  • Scheduled live video chat sessions with speakers from on-demand sessions
  • Downloadable copies of all conference papers
  • ASHRAE Leadership Moments each day from Society leaders
  • Virtual networking happy hours

To learn more and to register, visit


Get Free Online Access to ASHRAE Handbooks through June

ASHRAE's top priority is the public's health and safety and they recognize that many members must continue to work while in isolation. To make things a little easier during this difficult time, the society is offering members free access to ASHRAE Handbook Online. This powerful tool offers the complete four-volume set of ASHRAE Handbooks — nearly 4,000 pages of expert technical guidance along with sound and video clips, spreadsheets and other supplemental resources. Free member access will be available through June 30. Learn more.


ASHRAE COVID-19 Resource Page

Access an online compilation of over 50 free resources related specifically to combating the spread of COVID-19 at Available resources include ASHRAE Journal papers, Handbook chapters, ASHRAE standards and guidelines, conference seminars and much more. This page is updated regularly — check back as additional information becomes available. For more details.

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This web site is maintained by the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE). It does not present 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