Overview of ASHRAE

commercial cooling towers

With a goal of improving the built environment through technology, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) focuses on developing human-made air control systems. The global organization sets standards for indoor air quality, building systems, refrigeration and energy efficiency that promote sustainability of the planet. Members adhere to the ASHRAE Code of Ethics that requires stewardship of financial, human, natural and energy resources.

Understanding the Organization’s History

ASHRAE-logoFounded in 1894 as the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE merged with the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers in 1959. Recognizing its role as a leader in the standards and educational aspects of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry, ASHRAE continues its leadership traditions. The organization rebranded its image in 2012 to include a new logo and tagline: “Shaping Tomorrow’s Built Environment Today.” More than 50,000 members worldwide belong to the building technology society.

Enjoying Benefits of Membership

Access to the ASHRAE community around the world opens avenues for sharing ideas and concerns with like-minded people. Members and associates receive the ASHRAE Handbook Online, a repository of technical information for the industry. Membership allows the opportunity to participate in the ASHRAE Foundation by helping fund programs and projects. Growing professionally as well as personally is a goal of lifelong learners, and ASHRAE membership offers resources that increase advancement in the industry.

  • Joining the ASHRAE Community
    Conferences occur several times each year in the United States and in other countries as well. The ASHRAExCHANGE is an online forum that promotes discussion on science and technology in the construction industry. Members can participate at the chapter level and volunteer for committee assignments.
  • Accessing Industry PublicationsMembership provides access to technical publications that include the ASHRAE Handbook, the ASHRAE Journal, and numerous publications on standards, research and technology.
  • Giving Back to Help OthersAs a proponent of education, ASHRAE accepts the financial challenge to provide tailored programs that prepare HVAC&R professionals for the demands of the future. An endowed trust provides scholarship assistance to qualified engineering students as well as funding for research and career development. A scholarship named in honor of the society’s first woman president, an energy management expert, offers support to qualified undergraduate women.
  • Growing Professionally and PersonallyOnline courses led by qualified instructors help members stay up to date with half-day short courses. Topics include best practices in energy management, compliance with HVAC/Mechanical standards, commissioning for high-performance buildings and design of heat and power efficiency among others. The ASHRAE Learning Institute offers seminars in professional development as well as short courses taught by college professors, professional engineers or ASHRAE members.

Acquiring ASHRAE Certification

building eq certified provider logoCertification assures building owners of the qualification of professionals who design essential building systems. Assisting employers in the selection of highly qualified professionals, certification increases confidence in the critical job skills of applicants. More than 20 governmental bodies recognize ASHRAE certification as the most valuable qualification for built environment professionals.