Welcome to the March 2021 edition of the MNASHRAE Newsletter! Check out the home page of the website to hear a message from the Chapter President, Eric Johansen and take a peek at the redesigned site.
Minnesota ASHRAE Technology Awards
Each year the ASHRAE Technology Award program recognizes ASHRAE members and projects that utilize innovative HVAC/R systems in new buildings, existing buildings, and existing building commissioning. Society presents awards in six categories: Commercial Buildings, Institutional Buildings, Health Care Facilities, Industrial Facilities or Processes, Public Assembly Facilities, and Residential Buildings. The Chapter Technology Transfer Committee (CTT) of the Minnesota Chapter of ASHRAE has announced that Technology Award Applications are due next Friday, April 2, 2021.
Following is a link to the ASHRAE website that contains specific information on the application process (just scroll down to the Technology Awards Program): https://www.ashrae.org/membership/honors-and-awards/technology-awards-program-overview
Don't be overwhelmed by the application process, even if you have never been involved before! The application is basically a 2 or 3 page description of the project (short form), and if the project wins an award at regional level, a more complete submittal (long form) is required for the project to be forwarded to Society. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email the CTT committee at [email protected]
Time to Advance!
There are multiple ASHRAE membership grades geared towards the members employment and experience level. The majority of members are Associate grade which grant them the full privileges and benefits we all enjoy. However, it is worthwhile advancing your membership to Member grade (Capital “M”, soon to be renamed “Full”). The primary benefit to advancement is opening the possibility of serving beyond the chapter level (Ex. Regional Vice Chair).
The main qualifications for advancement are.
- Be a member in good standing.
- Twelve or more years’ experience in the built environment which also includes credit for education and work experience.
Advancement is simple and free.
- Update ASHRAE Bio Online to ensure that 12-year requirement is met.
- Send an email to [email protected] indicating interest in advancing.
CRC 2021 Theme Ideas
The CRC is coming back the Minneapolis in the spring of 2022 and we are looking for ideas about what the theme should be. If you have an idea use the link below to submit it and you could win registration to the event.
2021 MN ASHRAE Golf Outing - 54th Annual
Please join us on June 9, 2021 for the 54th Annual Minnesota ASHRAE Golf Outing! Registration is now live, click here for more details.
Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Corner
The MN ASHRAE Government Affairs Committee is seeking members to join our state-wide outreach and up-coming Day on the Hill (DOH) efforts. As representatives of ASHRAE’s policy positions on technical subjects, previous experience in ASHRAE and engineering leadership is recommended. Interested parties should contact GAC Chair, Elizabeth Tomlinson at [email protected]
Minnesota Legislative Bills to Watch:
- HF164 - Energy Conservation and Optimization Act of 2021
- HF831 - Energy code adoption for new commercial buildings modified
- HF751 - Beneficial building electrification goals established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health.
- HF252 - Nuclear generated hydrogen use feasibility study funding provided, and money appropriated
- HF070 - State building energy conservation revolving loan fund established, and money appropriated.
COVID-19 Relief Update
Last week, the House of Representatives began constructing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package, setting up a potential vote on the House floor the week of February 22. The House Ways and Means Committee completed the largest portion of the House package, totaling $941 billion, on party-line votes. The Ways and Means title included checks of up to $1,400 for all but the wealthiest American households, expansions of the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, and a provision boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over five years.
It is unclear whether the Senate will develop its own reconciliation bill and go to conference with the House or simply take up and amend the House bill after negotiations between the two chambers. Either of these paths would mean that the Senate would only need 51 votes to pass the legislation. Congress is not in session this week, with most members spending time in their home states or districts.
House Democrats Reintroduce GREEN ACT
On February 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a 35-page guide for the reopening of K-12 schools for in-person instruction. The operational strategy focuses on phased mitigation and is intended to complement the CDC’s guidance, tools and resources that have already been published. The CDC still lists ASHRAE’s guidance, including ASHRAE’s guidelines for schools and universities as a resource for ventilation. To learn more, click here.
National Climate Task Force Holds First Meeting
On February 11, President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy held the first meeting of the National Climate Task Force, which is a newly formed group under President Biden. During the meeting, a new Climate Innovation Working Group was announced along with a $100 million Department of Energy grant program that aims to support transformational low-carbon energy technologies. More information on these initiatives can be found here.
New Study Highlights Issues with U.S. Cities’ Reporting of Carbon Emissions
A new study published in the journal Nature Communications assessed the self-reported carbon dioxide inventories in 48 U.S. cities and concluded that these cities under-reported emissions by an average of 18.3%. The study was conducted by cross-checking cities' emissions reports with atmospheric measurement data, which showed this discrepancy. Worldwide, cities are responsible for about 75% of total carbon dioxide emissions. Importantly, however, discrepancies in reporting are often due to a lack of guidance about how to conduct these analyses, along with a lack of resources. More details on the study can be found in Nature Communications here.
Legionella Conference Virtual Special Session
On March 9-10, NSF Health Sciences and the National Environmental Health Association will be presenting a virtual special session on preventing disease and injury from waterborne pathogens in an emergent health crisis. This two-day session will focus on how managers in health care, water utilities, manufacturing, cultural institutions, and hospitality, as well as health departments and regulators, can better respond to water-related challenges during a pandemic or major health crisis. Since prolonged closures or low occupancies of industrial, commercial, educational and other types of facilities can significantly increase the risk of pathogen growth in plumbing systems, it is important that attendees understand how to develop emergency plans and adapt water safety practices to prevent avoidable public health hazards.
The Legionella Conference website contains more detail on speakers and topics.