The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) was formed by the merger of two societies, the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE), known after 1954 as American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE) and the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE). The two merged in 1959. The first ASHRAE chapter formed after the ASHAE and ASRE merger was organized in Nashville, TN

What is ASHRAE?

ASHRAE is an international voluntary organization for people involved in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or refrigeration (HVAC&R).logo_ashrae

The society promotes the general sciences of HVAC&R. The main Society headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia with local chapters located across the United States and throughout the world.

ASHRAE publishes a four-volume Handbook that serves as a resource for members, with one of the four volumes updated each year. ASHRAE also publishes a well recognized series of standards and guidelines relating to HVAC Systems. ASHRAE Standards are often referenced in other model building codes and in the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) green building rating system.

ASHRAE and LEED: How do They Work Together?

A brief summary of select ASHRAE standards that are referenced in LEED is included below (in no particular order):

ASHRAE Standard 62.1: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality

The purpose of this standard is to specify minimum ventilation rates and indoor air quality that will be acceptable to human occupants and are intended to minimize the potential for adverse health effects. This standard considers chemical, physical, and biological contaminants that can affect air quality. Thermal comfort requirements are not included in this standard. Standard 62.1 applies to all indoor or enclosed spaces that people may occupy, except where other applicable standards and requirements dictate larger amounts of ventilation. In addition, release of moisture in residential kitchens and bathrooms, locker rooms, and swimming pools is included in the scope of this standard. Additional requirements for laboratory, industrial, and other spaces may be dictated by workplace and other standards, as well as by the processes occurring within the space.

ASHRAE Standard 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings

The purpose of this standard is to provide minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of commercial buildings (with the exception of low-rise residential buildings). This standard also provides minimum requirements for the design and construction of new buildings and their systems, new portions of buildings and their systems, and new systems and equipment in existing buildings. It also provides criteria for determining compliance with these requirements. The provisions of this standard apply to the energy-efficiency of the building envelope, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, service water heating, electric power distribution, motors and drives and lighting.

ASHRAE Standard 34: Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants

This standard is intended to simplify the referencing of common refrigerants as opposed to using the chemical name, formula, or trade name. It also provides a system for numbering refrigerants and assigning composition-designating prefixes for refrigerants. Safety classifications based on toxicity and flammability data are included. This standard does not imply endorsement or concurrence that individual refrigerant blends are suitable for any particular application.

ASHRAE Standard 55: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy

This standard specifies the combinations of indoor space environment and personal factors that will produce thermal environmental conditions acceptable to 80% or more of the occupants within a space. Because it is not possible to prescribe the metabolic rate of occupants, and because of variations in occupant clothing levels, operating set-points for buildings cannot be practically mandated by this standard. The environmental factors addressed are temperature, thermal radiation, humidity, and air speed; the personal factors are those of activity and clothing.

For more information about ASHRAE and the LEED Exam, visit Poplar Network.


imageJill Bellenger, ASLA, LEED GA, CPH

Jill Bellenger, ASLA, LEED GA, CPH is a founding principal at 3 Design Consulting LLC. She is a Landscape Designer and Certified Professional Horticulturist, with a focus on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative and LEED. She is an experienced Green Business advocate, with core expertise including conservation landscaping, LEED, graphic design, professional development programming and green building practices.

She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY and is currently enrolled in the Sustainable MBA program at Green Mountain College. Jill is also an instructor at the Monteverde Institute Sustainable Futures semester in Costa Rica.

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