Engineering Sustainability: ASHRAE Annual Conference, June 20-24, 2009

Engineering Sustainability: ASHRAE  Annual Conference

June 20-24, 2009

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Annual Conference

With over 100 workshops, speeches, certification trainings and research presentations, the ASHRAE Annual Conference is perhaps the finest opportunity this year to quickly get up to speed on the state of the art in sustainable  engineering practice. 







Plenary Session Technical Plenary Session

Saturday, June 20 Sunday, June 21

3:15 am–5:00 pm 9:45 am–10:45 am

Galt House, Suite Tower Galt House, Suite Tower

Grand Ballroom A (2nd Floor) Segell Room (3rd Floor)

“Adapting Buildings and Cities for 3°C of Climate Change”

We all know that the world is changing fast, and four events in particular really have really made us sit up and think about the future:

The first was the effect of the European heat wave of July 2003 that killed more than 35,000 people; 15,000 alone lived in ordinary buildings in France, mainly the vulnerable and elderly, many living on the top floors of blocks with uninsulated metal roofs.

The second event happened a month later: the August 2003 power failure that affected over 50 million people in the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Again these buildings failed to provide adequate shelter against “events.”

The third event that shocked the world was the day the levees breached in New Orleans, the city that failed to protect its people.

The fourth has been the rise and rise of oil and gas prices around the world, heralding that the fact that we are already over “peak oil,” we are simply, as a planet, beginning to run out of oil and gas.

The fifth event has been the collapse of the domestic and commercial property markets.

In this talk, Sue Roaf outlines a range of building- and climate-related risks that individuals may be facing in the future and then presents a range of actions that homeowners and legislators can begin to take to future-proof lifestyles in the building and cities around the world against the predictable and growing challenges of the twentyfirst century. At the heart of the solutions available is the concept of low-carbon buildings. Roaf’s talk defines what these are and how we can help them to happen. She also discusses the challenge of re-designing the built  environment, society, and the economy for the predicted 3°C of climate change by 2065.

Roaf is professor of architectural engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, visiting professor at the Open University, and a visiting Fellow at Arizona State University. She spent 10 years in the Middle East studying the Windcatchers of Yazd, living with nomads and excavating in Iraq. She has also practiced as a landscape consultant in Iraq and the Gulf.

Roaf’s research interests over the last two decades have centered on thermal comfort, ecological building design, building integrated renewable energy systems, adaptation of the built environment for climate change, carbon accounting, and the traditional technologies of the Middle East. She recently chaired international conferences on solar cities, carbon counting, architectural education, thermal comfort, and post-occupancy evaluation. She has also written, co-written, and edited numerous publications, including 10 books.

Immediately following the Plenary Session in the Ballroom Foyer, Roaf will be available to sign purchased copies of her book, Ecohouse, A Design Guide, Second Edition ($50).

To learn more: