Getting some time to decompress and recap an event-filled week at AHR, here are some things that I came away with from the show and its surroundings:
1. People who attended that show in particular are a tough bunch of SOBs. When I landed on Monday—the day before the show—the temperature was holding steady between 45 F-50 F. By the very next day, temperatures plummeted and nearly 10 inches of snow fell in the city, making it quite a feat to navigate around town. They attended the show, went to educational seminars and trudged through the snow to go to dinners and after-parties.
2. If you don’t want to go to work, just stay home. During that Tuesday snowstorm a good portion of the taxi drivers in New York decided to stay indoors and not go to work—not that I blame them. But who knew you could just not show up for work? And, try to get a taxi to the airport. All taxis refused rides to the airport because of the distance, time and traffic. Again, who knew the rules could be changed? Instead the Hub team got into banged-up Mercedes parked across the street driven by a guy named Guido, and headed to the airport. It seemed a little shady. “Who was that guy?” we later chuckled.
3. Thermostats, thermostats, and more thermostats. We saw plenty of these new smart thermostats on the show floor from companies such as ecobee, Emerson Climate, Honeywell, etc. The ease of installation and Internet connectivity make these new t-stats a contractor attraction. They have become so self-intuitive, I think I could install one, but I doubt it. I’ll leave that to the pros.
4. Systems approach — That seemed to be the “buzz” term at AHR this year. Instead of companies offering single components, which they do, a lot of emphasis was put on a more systems-based approach. Companies like Uponor and its commercial plumbing offering, for instance.
Xylem with its newly –launched Power of e-series pumps. “At AHR, we look forward to bringing expanded building systems capabilities, a complete set of efficient products, and applications expertise to help our customers drive down energy usage and operational costs,” said Mark Handzel, vice president, Product Regulatory Affairs and director, HVAC & Commercial Buildings Business Unit, Xylem.
Grundfos echoed the theme, “It’s time to demand more from your building,” said Dennis Wierzbicki, president of Grundfos U.S. Sales. “Our expanded integrated pump systems help building managers do just that by providing a state-of-the-art system approach that increases system efficiency performance while reducing energy and life cycle costs.The intelligent MLE motor system greatly simplifies pump commissioning and startup for each of the models where it is offered. As a pioneer of innovative pumping solutions, Grundfos is dedicated to developing the highest quality pumps and pumping systems while at the same time contributing to a better quality of life and a healthier environment.”
Taco’s new technology is all about the building system. Taco has broadly expanded the capabilities of its iWorX control platform to provide dynamic graphical interface for remote monitoring of pump and system performance in real time, complete with fully automated BAS integration. iWorX SelfSensing ProView™ control works in concert with SelfSensing ProBalance® pumps. For building owners, this means custom integration with dramatically reduced installed cost, greater system intelligence, and continuous monitoring and control of system performance, and energy management for the life of the building.
5. It left me wanting more. From the buzz on the floor to the new products and technology to the educational seminars, especially the Mechanical Town Hall, the collaborative effort of CONTRACTOR magazine and the Hub’s John Mesenbrink and Eric Aune. I look forward to another great AHR Show next year in Chicago! It’s in my backyard. I hope to see many of you there, as well.