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    Welcome to ASHRAE Fort Worth Chapter

    Letter from the president

    Greetings Fort Worth HVAC&R professionals!  I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start.  I want to take this month to shine a spotlight on ASHRAE’s efforts related to standards and guidelines. 

    Did you know that ASHRAE has over 200 standards and guidelines that are active or in development?  ASHRAE is also one of a select group of technical organizations that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for quality standards development.  Each year ASHRAE members spend thousands of hours volunteering in the standards development process to further our industry and profession. 

    Here are a few other facts on ASHRAE standards and guidelines that might be new information:

    - ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is the model energy code in the United States for commercial buildings and is written into Federal law.

    - ASHRAE Standard 62.1 heavily influences the mechanical building codes that we use day-to-day and sets the standard for commercial building ventilation.

    - The USGBC LEED rating system references several ASHRAE documents including: standards 52.2, 55, 62.1, 90.1, 170 and 209 and guidelines 0 and 1.1. 

    - ASHRAE Standards 15 and 34 are the industry gold standard regarding the classification and safe implementation of refrigerants in HVAC&R.

    - ASHRAE Standard 135 defines the BACnet open controls protocol and is now ubiquitous throughout the US commercial HVAC industry.

    - ASHRAE Standard 189.1 provides the sole technical basis of the International green Construction Code (IgCC).

    This is just a taste of the influence that ASHRAE standards and guidelines have on the HVAC&R industry and the overall built environment.  Next, let’s do a little Question and Answer.

    Q:  I’m confused by the numbering system of standards and guidelines.  How are we supposed to keep it all straight?

    A:  If you ever encounter an ASHRAE standard or guideline and you have no idea what it pertains to, I recommend the following web page as your first stop.  It lists the Title, Purpose and Scope of all active standards and guidelines. 


    Regarding the numbering scheme, the numbers of a particular standard or guideline is just based on when the standard was first developed chronologically.  As standards or guidelines are withdrawn, primarily due to obsolescence, they are simply removed from the numbering system.  This is why several numbers are missing from the list of active standards/guidelines.  There are also a few oddball documents like Guideline 0 or Standard 514P that were numbered outside the traditional convention for special reasons, but these are the exception rather than the rule.

    Q:  Okay, but what about standards that include decimal numbering, such as Standard 90.1?

    A:  It’s true that certain standards and guidelines include additional decimal numbering which can be a source of confusion.  This is done in situations where a standard or guideline needs to be further sub-divided.  For instance, Standard 90 was the original energy standard developed in the 1970s and it was later split into 90.1 for commercial buildings and 90.2 for low-rise residential.  There are also several decimals under Guideline 1 which focus on different sub-categories of building commissioning, for example commissioning HVAC systems or conducting operations and maintenance training. 

    Q:  Is there are way to view ASHRAE standards and guidelines that I don’t already own?

    A:  It’s not well publicized, but several standards and guidelines are available in free read-only versions on the ASHRAE web page.  The list is not exhaustive, but this includes some of the greatest hits.  Check out the following web page if you want to see what’s available.


    Q:  It seems like my work is heavily influenced by ASHRAE standards and guidelines.  Is there a way where I can have a say in the content of these documents?

    A:  Absolutely.  Any member of the public can comment on proposed changes to standards and guidelines.  The ANSI standards development process requires submitting new content for public review to help ensure that all stakeholders are considered. 

    Most standards and guidelines are considered one-time publications and are revised, re-affirmed or withdrawn every 5-years.  A subset of standards and guidelines are on what is called Continuous Maintenance.  This means that addenda are periodically up for review and the standard or guideline is constantly evolving.  Standard 90.1 is an example of a continuous maintenance standard. 

    For those wishing to review and make comments on proposed new standard or guideline content, they can be accessed at the following web page.


    New standard and guideline content hits the public review site on a weekly basis.  If you want to keep up with exactly what is under public review at any given time, I highly recommend subscribing to the ASHRAE Standards Actions Listserv which will send you weekly email updates on public review drafts.  Here is a link to sign up:


    Q:  What if I want to get more involved than just commenting on public review drafts?  How do I get involved in helping write standards and guidelines? 

    A:  Joining a standard or guideline committee is a great way to stay on the cutting edge of your chosen topic.  You could be involved in determining what represents best practice in our industry and you’ll likely hear about important developments related to your topic before the rest of the industry. 

    There are many things to consider when joining a standard or guideline committee.  Some committees are more active than others and require a bigger time commitment.  You also have to consider the timing.  Some committees are difficult to get onto and require a certain balance of industry participation (e.g. a certain number of users, producers, general interest, etc.).  So be on the lookout for when different committees have what’s called a “call for members”.  The Standards Actions Listserv will notify readers when committees are looking for members. 

    Even if you find it difficult to join a committee officially, meetings are generally open to those wishing to listen-in or participate.  This is also a great way to test the waters to see if you want to get more involved.  The following web page gives the info required for formally joining an ASHRAE committee.  If you think you want to join but you’re not clear on how to do this, please feel free to reach out to me or a fellow chapter officer and we’ll see if we can pull some strings. 


    Thanks for tuning in about ASHRAE standards and guidelines.  I hope that you’ll find a way to get involved, or at least stay abreast of the evolving standards and guidelines affecting our industry.   As always, please let us know if there’s anything you want or need from ASHRAE.  Thanks!


    Scott West, P.E., President
    ASHRAE Fort Worth
    [email protected]

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