ATLANTA - A new roadmap adopted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will help members lead the march toward a sustainable built environment through use of advanced technologies, says the organization. ASHRAE's new Sustainability Roadmap was adopted at the Society's 2006 Winter Meeting in Chicago. The roadmap can be viewed at

"By implementing the goals in this roadmap, buildings employing sustainable technologies will flourish, the critical need for contributions by ASHRAE members will be better understood, and the quality of life will be enhanced in the present and long into the future," said Lee Burgett, P.E., ASHRAE president.

Ron Jarnagin, who chaired the committee that wrote the roadmap, agreed.

"Implementation of the roadmap will help propel ASHRAE into a leadership position in sustainability, energize our members, raise our spirits, attract and retain young members, and contribute substantially to the well being of our world," he said.

Jarnagin noted that sustainability has become a strong focus for ASHRAE and the industry with the growing realization of the impact on future generations.

"Efficient energy use is of prime importance but so are the materials used, what is emitted and disposed of, and how we impact existing ecosystems," he said. "We cannot do these things at the expense of human health and well-being. As an organization of professionals responsible for the total life cycle cost of the building, ASHRAE has expertise that impacts elements related to sustainability."

These elements include energy use, atmospheric emissions, building materials, indoor environmental quality, engineering design and architecture, land use, water use, and waste management and disposal.

As part of the roadmap, ASHRAE will explore making its meetings greener, developing a standard for recycling used equipment, and funding more sustainability-related research projects.

Recommendations in the roadmap include:

  • Develop and maintain productive relationships with other organizations in the sustainability field;

  • Raise public awareness of ASHRAE's contributions to sustainability;

  • Aggressively market ASHRAE's sustainability profile in the industry;

  • "Walk the talk" by practicing what we preach;

  • Develop educational products that assist in sustainable building design, building operation, and evaluation;

  • Implement the sustainability-oriented objectives in the Society's Research Strategic plan;

  • Accelerate development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide series;

  • Consider sustainability certification programs.

    Publication date: 02/06/2006