Spring is here, and with the change in seasons comes a change in life for me. After more than eight years as editor and then editor in chief of HPAC Engineering, I am moving on. I am going back into the field, where I will have an opportunity to practice what I have been preaching in these pages over the years. I will be working for Portland Energy Conservation Inc., a not-for-profit consulting and program-management firm. I will be easy to find at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until HPAC Engineering names a new editor in chief, the magazine's editorial operations will be in the capable hands of Managing Editor Scott Arnold.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with — and, in a sense, for — all of you over these last eight-plus years. Together, we have faced incredible challenges, none more profound than ensuring the health and safety of building occupants in the post-9/11 world. Other challenges have come in the form of mold and moisture problems in buildings, infection control in hospitals, networked controls, energy efficiency, water conservation, the Internet revolution, the Y2K scare, the metamorphosis of ASHRAE standards 62.1 (Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality) and 90.1 (Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings), construction and operation-and-maintenance budgets, and the degradation of engineering practice.
Though thought to be “mature,” the buildings-and-mechanical-systems industry actually is only in its infancy. We think of it as mature because change has been slow. In reality, though, it is we who have been slow to change, not devoting enough research and development to the built environment, which is where people spend more than 90 percent of their time. In short, we have been reactive, rather than proactive, to problems. But that, I am happy to say, appears to be changing.
I cannot leave without thanking all of those who helped make these last eight years such a wonderful experience: my colleagues at HPAC Engineering and Penton Media for their hard work, our authors and reviewers for their expertise, our advertisers for their support, and, of course, our readers for their inspiration. Addressing more than 56,000 of you every month has been a pleasure.