Industry News & Announcements

>>EPA Proposes to Replace and Reduce Harmful Greenhouse Gases 
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to prohibit the use of certain chemicals that significantly contribute to climate change where safer, more climate-friendly alternatives exist. This is the agency’s second action aimed at reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases, under President Obama's Climate Action Plan

This action is estimated to reduce greenhouse gases by up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 5 million homes. 

Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program evaluates substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer. The proposed action would change the status of certain high-global warming potential (GWP) HFCs that were previously listed as acceptable under the SNAP Program to be unacceptable in specific end-uses based on information showing that other alternatives are available for the same uses that pose lower risk overall to human health or the climate.

The HFCs and HFC-containing blends affected by the proposal are used in aerosols, motor vehicle air conditioning, retail food refrigeration and vending machines, and foam blowing. 

EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Learn more about EPA’s SNAP Program and the proposal: 

>>International Societies Form Indoor Environmental Quality – Global Alliance
A newly formed alliance seeks to serve as a global source for information, guidance and knowledge on indoor environmental quality. A memorandum of understanding creating the Indoor Environment Quality Global Alliance was signed June 29, at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference in Seattle, Wash. Other groups joining the Alliance are the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA).

The Alliance was formed by an ad hoc committee appointed by ASHRAE 2013-14 President Bill Bahnfleth to explore ways in which industry groups could work together to address all aspects of indoor environmental quality and health.
>>ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference Announces Preliminary Schedule
A preliminary schedule has been announced for the 2014 ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference, Sept. 10-12, 2014, Atlanta, Ga. The Conference merges the ASHRAE Energy Modeling and IBPSA-USA SimBuild Conferences.  In addition, the schedule of pre-conference courses has been finalized, and applications are now being accepted for student scholarships to attend the event.

"The Conference theme of ‘BIM, BEM and SIM – Integrated Building Design and Modeling’ focuses on workflow and integration," Dennis Knight, Conference chair, said. The papers and presentations are organized around the following topics: Urban Modeling, State of the Art BIM, Design Firms, New Simulation Approaches, BIM in the Cloud, Codes and Rating Systems and Life Cycle Cost Analysis.

Early bird registration closes on July 24.  For more information or to register, visit

In addition, 12 courses and software training are scheduled prior to the Conference on Sept. 8-9.  Student scholarships are available to students and recent graduates to apply for support for registration, hotel and travel (application cut-off is July 25, 2014)A post-conference ASHRAE Building Energy Modeling Professional certification exam will be administered on Sept. 12.
>>21 Businesses Receiving Funding from EPA to Advance Their Innovative Products/Research 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that 21 small businesses in 15 states are receiving funding from the EPA to develop and commercialize innovative, sustainable technologies to address current environmental issues. The agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is providing $2 million in funds to advance these innovative products and research. Read more here.
>>ASHRAE, IAQA to Join Forces to Grow Resources for Indoor Air Quality Professionals
ASHRAE and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) have agreed in principle to join forces, combining resources to improve indoor air quality in the built environment. Pending a three to six month period of due diligence, IAQA will become a part of the ASHRAE organization while maintaining its own brand and Board of Directors. IAQA will operate independently within ASHRAE’s organizational structure. Plans call for IAQA headquarters to relocate from Rockville, Md., to Atlanta, Ga., home of ASHRAE’s international headquarters. The agreement was reached between the leadership of both associations and confirmed at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference that concluded earlier this month in Seattle, Wash. Read more here.
>>Green Power Communities
Leading local governments across the nation are partnering with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to become Green Power Communities (GPCs). GPCs are towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively use green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements. Read more here.

>>American Chemistry Council Publishes 2014 Comprehensive Economic Profile of $812 Billion Business of American Chemistry
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued its 2014 edition of the Guide to the Business of Chemistry, a detailed economic profile of the chemistry industry and its contributions to the U.S. and world economies. Prepared annually by ACC’s Economics and Statistics Department, The Guide to the Business of Chemistry divides the $812 billion business into more than 30 categories of production, ranging from inorganic chemicals to plastic resins; from adhesives and sealants to oilfield chemicals; and from fertilizers to pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Within each segment the report highlights distinct characteristics, including growth dynamics, markets, new developments, and other issues affecting each sector. Read more here.
>>Registration for Race to Zero Student Design Competition Opens Sept. 2
The Race to Zero is an annual competition, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution in the U.S. and Canada. The competition is based upon a real-world scenario where a builder needs to update an existing product line (house plan) to a high-performance house design or is developing a new high performance home product line. Participants in the 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition will have the opportunity to provide creative solutions to real-world issues in our nation’s housing industry. Finalist teams will be invited to attend the competition’s judging day and present their proposals to a panel of judges at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The winning teams will be recognized at a national conference and the winning designs will be made available on the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes website. Registration for the Race to Zero will open on September 2, 2014 and will be accessible via the Race to Zero website.