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Beth Tomlinson appointed to ASHRAE Climate Change Position Document Committee

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the national society for HVAC engineers, is a leader in developing and continuously improving the standards for building designs and sustainability.

In addition to local professional networking and continuing education opportunities, the society, which was founded in 1894 and includes more than 50,000 members around the world, has a strong national research and development arm that is member supported through topic-specific technical committees. These technical committees develop and maintain ASHRAE’s 4,000-plus standards, including the code-enforceable standards on commercial and residential energy efficiency, indoor air quality and occupant comfort in the built environment.

American buildings consume 40 percent of our nation’s energy and the HVAC industry contributes significantly to that consumption. With that in mind, ASHRAE’s mission evolved to “serve humanity and promote a sustainable world” and is supported throughout the society’s research and development, education and advocacy.

As within any large organization, ASHRAE’s members hold various viewpoints on sustainability, climate change and the direction of our organization. To clearly communicate the society’s position on the public policy of climate change to its members, industry groups, governmental bodies and the public, the board approved their first Climate Change Position Document in 1992. This position document is revised and reapproved every four years to update its supporting documentation and maintain the society’s position.

As our nation continues to debate global climate change and the role we will play in international agreements, it is imperative that engineers continue to provide appropriate designs and support research towards mitigating and adapting to global climate change. Citing the National Society of Professional Engineer’s Code of Ethics: Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.

With that in mind, I’m excited to share that I’ve been appointed to the current ASHRAE Climate Change Position Document Committee. Starting this June, our seven-person committee will meet in California to begin reviewing current research, international agreements and summarize the society’s official position and recommendations. This position document will guide future research and development, standards and our national codes. It is my honor to represent TKDA among an amazing group of academics, business leaders, consultants and researchers. More to come!

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