With the theme “Reaching New Heights,” a nod to host New York City's skyscraper-filled skyline, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will hold its 2008 Winter Meeting Jan. 19-23 at the New York Hilton.

The technical program features more than 130 sessions and the presentation of 59 papers.

Sessions of special interest include a roundtable featuring two of New York's best-known owner/developer firms and the engineering designers who make their visions reality. The session will take place Jan. 22 at 11 a.m.

New York City's sustainability plan, plaNYC 2030, will be discussed Jan. 20 at 9:45 a.m. A goal of the plan is the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 30 percent by 2030.

Steve Rizzo, author of “Becoming a Humor Being,” will be the keynote speaker for the plenary session, which will be held Jan. 19 at 3:15 p.m. Rizzo will discuss choosing a healthy attitude both professionally and personally, succeeding, and enjoying one's life in the midst of challenging and changing times.

“Concerns about climate change and the need to reduce energy consumption has created numerous challenges — or make that wonderful opportunities — for the built-environment engineering community,” ASHRAE President Kent W. Peterson, PE, said. “Rising to the challenge will require equal parts of perseverance and innovation. Steve Rizzo illustrates how to embrace change as ASHRAE turns its technology engine against the daunting challenge of creating market-viable net-zero-energy buildings.”

ASHRAE's free public session, “HVAC System Design for Security and Sustainability,” will be held Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. at the Javits Convention Center, site of the ASHRAE-co-sponsored International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, which will be held Jan. 22-24.

The ASHRAE Learning Institute will offer seven professional-development seminars and 14 short courses at the New York Hilton and Javits Convention Center. New sessions will include “Compliance with ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007” and “Energy Management in Existing Buildings.”

Buildings to be toured include Four Times Square, One Bryant Park, the Time and Life Building chiller plant, the Helena Apartment building, 7 World Trade Center, and Time Warner Center.

For more information, go to www.ashrae.org/newyork.