CHICAGO - If you've been to more than a few AHR Expos, you know that Chicago, unfortunately, is one of the best venues for this event. McCormick Place convention center is huge and accessible, and the city has enough hotel rooms and restaurant chairs to handle all show attendees plus the locals.

Yet without a Midwesterner's fortitude, Chicago can be an unforgiving place to spend late January. If it warmed up another 20 degrees, it could be considered "cold," but at prevailing winds and temperatures, it's just plain nasty.

Organizers of the 2003 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition expect this year's show to become one of the largest in its history when it convenes Jan. 27-29 in the north and south halls of Chicago's McCormick Place.

Some 1,400 exhibitors are expected to fill 400,000 sq. ft. of space. More than 30,000 attendees and 25,000 exhibitor personnel are scheduled to attend.

"Our largest AHR Expo was in Chicago in 1999, and we could challenge those records when we return to McCormick Place next year," said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., producers and managers of the AHR Expo.

The 1999 show attracted more than 58,000 hvacr professionals and occupied about 399,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. The second-largest AHR Expo was held in Atlanta in 2001 and featured 385,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.

Seventeen industry associations have endorsed the event, including Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Wholesalers International, Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, and Refrigeration Service Engineers Society.

The AHR Expo attracts contractors, consulting engineers, dealers, distributors, wholesalers, oem's, architects and builders, industrial plant operators, facility managers, agents, and representatives.

Show seminars

Association-sponsored seminars will be conducted during the show to educate attendees on popular topics of interest. Some of those seminars include the following:

  • Basics of Clean Air: Air filtration principles along with best practice techniques and applications, sponsored by the National Air Filtration Association.

  • Louvers - What you should know before you buy or specify,
  • What Constitutes a Quality TAB Report? Information to owners, engineers, and installing contractors regarding the roles and responsibilities that they have in getting a quality testing, adjusting and balancing report. A discussion will include tips to help ensure that projects receive a quality TAB report.

  • Return of I=B=R Residential Hydronic Heating: Fundamentals of design and installation of residential boilers and heating systems, sponsored by GAMA.

    ASHRAE Winter Meeting

    The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers holds its winter meeting concurrently with the AHR Expo.

    The 2003 ASHRAE Winter Meeting technical program is comprised of 52 seminars (application-oriented presentations with papers), 13 symposia (presentations with papers on a central subject), 24 open-discussion forums, two technical sessions (paper presentations), a poster session, a public session and two open sessions. A total of 73 papers will be presented.

    The ASHRAE Learning Institute will offer an extensive selection of continuing education courses at the 2003 Winter Meeting. The courses include two professional development seminars, which will be held prior to the Winter Meeting at the Palmer House Hilton, and eleven short courses, which will all be held at McCormick Place.

    Pre-conference seminars

    ASHRAE Professional Development Seminars include the following.

  • Optimizing the Design and Control of Chilled Water Plants; 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

    This seminar presents innovative techniques for the design and control of energy-efficient and life-cycle cost optimized chilled water plants. The course covers the design of chiller plants from equipment selection through the evaluation of the controls.

    Topics include: Selection and specification of chilled water plant equipment including chillers, pumps and cooling towers; application and design of chilled water distribution systems; methods to mitigate low-delta-T syndrome; life-cycle cost optimized selection of chilled and condenser water set points and temperature ranges; selection of cooling tower fan controls; performance based specifications for chillers and cooling towers; and optimization of chilled water plant controls. The instructor is Mark M. Hydeman of Taylor Engineering LLC.

    Cost: $350 member; $450 non-member.

  • System Selection and Report; 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

    This course describes a methodology for recognizing, defining and confirming the building owner's goals for an hvac system. It will help attendees identify the parameters that the system's performance must meet and the factors that limit system options. Also discussed will be the types of systems available and the features of different system types. Attendees will learn how to compare the different system choices and how to present their recommendations to the owner.

    Topics include: Defining the building owner's goals for an hvac system; identifying the parameters of the hvac system's performance; identifying the factors that will limit the system options from meeting those parameters; determining the types of systems available from which to choose; identifying the features of the different system choices; and presenting comparison results and recommendations to the owner. The instructor is David M. Elovitz, P.E. of Energy Economics Inc.

    Short courses

    ASHRAE short courses include the following.

  • Life-Cycle Cost Analysis; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26.

    Life-cycle cost analysis provides building professionals with the tools needed to compare and choose the best economic alternative when evaluating project alternatives with different first-costs and long-term operating costs. This course will describe life cycle cost analysis methods, review discounting of cash flows, and discuss the effects of inflation and the use of supplemental economic indicators.

    The new Windows-based Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC-5) analysis software developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be demonstrated. Other analysis tools will also be discussed. The instructor is Gene Meyer, Kansas State University.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

  • Humidity Control I - Basic Principles, Loads and Equipment; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26.

    In commercial buildings, excess humidity and moisture problems have caused difficulties with mold, mildew and uncomfortable conditions for occupants. This course, based on ASHRAE's new "Design Guide for Humidity Control," will help the designer achieve true control of humidity rather than just its moderation. The course will cover how to remove moisture loads with equipment dedicated to that purpose alone, rather than relying on the occasional dehumidification effect of a building's cooling system.

    Attendees will learn what equipment is used for this purpose, how it works and how to apply it quickly, economically and reliably. The instructors are William M. Worek, Ph.D., University of Illinois - Chicago, and Mark Nunnelly of Nunnelly & Associates Inc.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

  • Understanding and Designing Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m Jan. 26.

    This course will present some of the issues that point toward separate dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) and away from delivering the ventilation via single all-air variable air volume systems. The course will then illustrate that, once a shift in the design paradigm in favor of a separate DOAS has occurred, questions concerning the thermodynamic state of the delivered ventilation air arise.

    Some of the boundary conditions that impact the best state of the delivered ventilation air will be addressed. The instructor is Pennsylvania State University Professor Stanley A. Mumma, Ph.D., P.E.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

  • Determining Energy Savings from Performance Contracting Projects - Measurement and Verification; 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

    This course provides an overview of energy efficiency performance contracting with an emphasis on measurement and verification (M&V) procedures and methods for determining energy savings. Topics will include performance contracting history, advantages and disadvantages; implementing performance contracts; and M&V options, methods and techniques.

    The course will also include two brief M&V case studies as well as information on ASHRAE's Energy Savings Guideline 14-P. The instructor is Steven R. Schiller, P.E., Nexant, Inc.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

  • An Introduction to BACnet¿; 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

    ASHRAE's BACnet¿ has been an ANSI standard since 1995 and has been widely adopted both in the U.S. and internationally. In this course, students will learn the fundamental principles of BACnet as they relate to interoperability. The course will help students understand some of the elements required to successfully plan for BACnet and some of the complex issues that must be addressed to achieve interoperability.

    Also discussed will be the basic components of any multi-vendor or multi-discipline BACnet control system, how different systems can be merged together using BACnet, and how BACnet facilitates the integration of older systems with BACnet-based systems. The course does? manufacturers, or alternatives to BACnet or BACnet specification writing. The instructor is David Fisher, PolarSoft Inc.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member._

  • Introduction to Green Buildings and Sustainable Construction; 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

    This course will present the basic principles related to sustainable construction and green buildings. Included will be a review of the integrated approach to buildings and systems necessary to achieve green/sustainable buildings, developments and projects. Key elements for success in achieving green projects will be covered, including the requirements of a popular national green rating system in the U.S.

    The course will detail what is green and what motivates green projects in today's market, and will include a review of case studies from a wide array of green building projects. These include a residential development, dormitory, supermarket, warehouse, and office buildings. The instructors are Joy Altwies, EIT, Farnsworth Group, and Richard C. Walkenhorst, RA, NCARB, Farnsworth Group.

  • Cooling and Heating Load Calculation Fundamentals; 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 28.

    This course will present the fundamentals of the heat balance procedure for determining cooling and heating loads and how it was codified into a load calculation procedure. Students will learn about heat transfer processes, formulation of the heat balance method and be introduced to the related Radiant Time Series method.

    The software included with the ASHRAE text, Cooling and Heating Load Calculation Fundamentals, will be used by the instructor to demonstrate the procedure for a variety of practical situations. The instructor is Curt Pedersen, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

  • Fundamentals of Panel Heating and Cooling;, 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 28.

    This course covers fundamentals of panel heating and cooling. Performance, design, applications, limitations and installation for systems will be presented. The architectural/mechanical/human interface will also be discussed within the principals behind ASHRAE comfort Standard 55 and indoor air quality Standard 62. The instructors are Robert Bean, R.E.T., Danfoss, Inc., and Birol Kilkis, Ph.D., Watts Radiant, Inc.

  • Introduction to Project Management; 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 28.

    This course will help the new or potential project manager understand the responsibilities and rewards of engineering project management, and will provide information that will start the new project manager off on the right foot in his or her new responsibilities. Topics include: defining project management, consequences of poor project management, benefits and rewards of good project management, the importance of project planning, and understanding contracts. The instructor is Barry Benator, P.E., Benatech Inc.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

  • Compliance with STD 90.1-2001 Hvac/Mechanical; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 28.

    This short course presents the mechanical requirements from ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2001, which is the benchmark for commercial building energy codes in the U.S. and in countries around the world. States are already in the process of adopting elements of the 2001 standard and the U.S. Department of Energy is reviewing it in preparation for adoption as the new benchmark for state energy codes.

    Design professionals, code officials and building owners will benefit from this course, which presents the hvac requirements and methods of compliance. The instructor is Mark Hydeman, P.E., Taylor Engineering.

    Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

Humidity Control II - Applications, Control Levels and Mold Avoidance; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 28.

For those who need to go beyond the basics of humidity control, this course provides the next step. Based on ASHRAE's best-selling "Design Guide for Humidity Control," the material includes an in-depth discussion of moisture load calculations and how humidity control can be added to hvac designs for seven different types of commercial buildings. The course also covers the effects of different humidity levels on thermal comfort, corrosion, mold growth and airborne microorganisms - information which helps the owner and designer define the humidity control level that will be optimal for each application. The instructor is Lew Harriman of Mason-Grant.

Cost: $95 member; $110 non-member.

For more information on the 2003 AHR Expo, contact the International Exposition Co., 15 Franklin St., Westport, CT 06880 (203) 221-9232 or