Innovation Showcase

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Three days. 65,000+ HVAC and building systems professionals. 2100 vendors. 100 on-site seminars. An 86-year industry legacy. This is the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) and it is impressive. I am one of the 65,000 professionals who poured into McCormick Place in Chicago January 22-24, 2018. The energy was palatable as ideas, innovations and new products converged into 2.6 MM square feet.

Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone just over 10 years ago, and, if you’re like me, it is hard to grasp the technological strides that have been made in the past decade. I still remember my flip phone and thinking that Nextel’s two-way communication was high tech.

The smart building technology within the HVAC industry has followed the pace of innovation in the consumer space as evidenced by the state-of-the-art exhibit on display by ASHRAE, co-sponsor of the AHR Expo. Many of our partners were in attendance –Distech Controls, Dwyer Instruments, Onicon, BAPI and Tridium – evaluating new technologies and trends in an effort to predict where our industry is heading. To paraphrase the great Wayne Gretzky, we have to skate to where the puck is going.The fact that we can now control just about every aspect of a building’s comfort systems from our phone is a pretty remarkable evolutionary step, but what’s next?

I am encouraged and energized by the entire experience. I also feel validated in the Conexus approach to open-sourcing and our focus on environmental transformation through comfort, safety and efficiency. I would love to hear what was your most valuable take-away from AHR Expo.