By Daniel Coakley
In February of this year, ASHRAE Ireland held its’ first annual event in Dublin Castle, with speakers from across industry and academia. The event was well attended and received positive feedback from those present. Afterwards, we requested attendees to fill out a brief anonymous survey, and we want to share some of the responses with you here, as they are relevant to how we plan future events and training in Ireland.
If you wish to contribute to this feedback, and participate in future training/events, please take our new survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/Q1zxZhxQ2A1T32mp1
We will be hosting ASHRAE President Prof. Timothy Wentz at Engineers Ireland HQ next month (10th October) and will be specifically discussing the topic of relevant CPD, training and certification for Irish Engineers, so this is a great opportunity to register your feedback in advance of that event.
Subsequent to the February event, we received detailed feedback from 27 out of ~80 attendees (approx. 33% response rate). This gave us some useful insights into participant profiles and interests.
Of the responses, received, only 25% came from current ASHRAE members, which is expected given the relatively low number of existing members in Ireland. However, it was encouraging to see that after the event, we had 33.3% of responders who were interested in joining. If you want to learn more about membership of ASHRAE, or just want to join the ASHRAE Ireland mailing list, please see details here: http://ashrae-ireland.org/membership/
Furthermore, we asked members specifically what types of events they were interested in (Seminars, training courses, webinars etc.). We got a pretty even distribution of responses here, indicating users would probably prefer a mix of options.
In terms of event frequency, respondents voted overwhelmingly in favour of quarterly events (>70%) indicating there is an interest and a need to have more regular events to keep up to date with industry developments. This is possibly something which is lacking at present, specifically for the building services sector in Ireland, and an area which ASHRAE Ireland may be able to help address the gap.
In terms of topics for future events, we gave participants a list of possible themes for future events, broadly based around current ASHRAE Technical Committees:
- General topics and Fundamentals;
- Environmental Quality;
- Materials and Processes;
- Load Calculations and Energy Requirements;
- Ventilation and Air-Distribution;
- Heating and Cooling Systems;
- Building Performance;
- Building Communications and Controls (Currently covered in ASHRAE TC 1.4 – Fundamentals);
- Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration System Components;
- Refrigeration Systems;
- Building Application / Real-world studies.
We got a fairly broad response here again, but there was a strong response for the 4 areas in particular:
- Building Performance (63%);
- Environmental Quality (55.6%);
- Ventilation and Air-Distribution (51.9);
- Building Application / Real-world studies (51.9%)
In collaboration with Engineers Ireland, we were able to offer CPD credits for our last event, but this is something we were particularly interested in getting feedback on. It’s seems there is a tendency to prefer CPD-approved events, but it is not seen as essential (majority of responses giving it an importance level of 3/5). Perhaps this is due to a lack of stringent auditing of CPD credits for events? This is something which will be covered in more detail in discussions at our next event, hosted by Engineers Ireland with representations from all major CPD-accredited event providers in Ireland. See here for more details (and to register your place): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adapting-today-to-shape-tomorrow-address-by-ashrae-president-timothy-wentz-tickets-27304190569
As we have a pretty diverse membership base across Ireland, we want to be able to serve the needs of all members effectively, by rotating event locations, setting up regional events, and enabling remote attendance for future events. Unsurprisingly, given that most of these responses came from members attending our Dublin event, the preference was overwhelmingly in favour of future events to be held in Dublin, with Cork a distant second. In case you are wondering, the only ‘Other’ response came from a non-Ireland based ASHRAE member who did not specify a preferred location.
Lastly, following on from the point about CPD accreditation and training, we asked members which ASHRAE certifications they were interested in. The top 2 were:
- Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP);
- Building Energy Modelling professional (BEMP).
If we have sufficient interest, we hope to organise training sessions and examinations in Ireland. If you are interested, please contact me for further information – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again for your continued interest in ASHRAE Ireland, and we look forward to welcoming you at future events.
ASHRAE Ireland Secretary