As the new editor in chief of HPAC Engineering, I am at once proud and humbled to be associated with a magazine with such a long and rich history, a history dating all of the way back to 1929. And I am excited, excited to have the opportunity to help further the magazine's reputation as the publication of record for the mechanical-systems-engineering industry.

Over the last 15 years, I have gained valuable insight covering the design and application of commercial and residential HVAC systems for a variety of excellent trade magazines. I plan to utilize that insight to help find solutions to the challenges buildings professionals face every day.

These are exciting times for the buildings industry, as, in recent years, green building has re-emerged as a market force following a few false starts.

When I started in this business, "green" was viewed as almost avant-garde. Today, it is more than a buzz word; it is a smart way to do business. In 2000, when the U.S. Green Building Council launched the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, 46 projects were registered and 13 certified. By September 2006, those numbers had grown to 4,339 and 562, respectively. While those numbers may pale in comparison with the more than 5 million nonresidential buildings in the United States, they show a strong trend that will only continue to gain momentum. Volatile energy costs and the drive to reduce operating expenses are increasing the demand for green buildings. There is no turning back this time.

This month, HPAC Engineering is pleased to formally announce the dates and location of its fourth annual Engineering Green Buildings (EGB) Conference and Expo, which will be held Sept. 17 and 18 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

A city so associated with excess may seem an odd choice to host an event dedicated to conservation. But Las Vegas is a greener city than many think and getting greener all of the time, a fact likely to be reflected in the session schedule, which is being assembled as of this writing. Stay tuned to HPAC Engineering and check www.egbregistration.com for further details.

Yes, these certainly are exciting times. I am looking forward to working with you to put innovation and the solutions it offers to the best use possible. In the process, perhaps we will make a little history of our own.

Send comments and suggestions to jeff.ferenc@penton.com .