ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has been recognized by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) for the Society’s educational efforts related to sustainability.


ASHRAE received a Best Sustainable Practice Award in the Educational Initiatives category, which recognizes the best products, processes, educational tools, and outreach initiatives.


The award centered on the presidential challenge made by Terry Townsend of ASHRAE’s promise for a sustainable future. To fulfill that challenge, ASHRAE is using its expertise and tools to provide cost-effective solutions in designing, operating, and maintaining energy efficiency and sustainable buildings.


“The sustainability initiative is stimulating conversation inside ASHRAE about what it means to be sustainable and the importance of protecting today’s natural resources for future generations,” Townsend said. “We are pleased to be recognized by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council for our efforts.”


“The Best Sustainable Practice category recognizes the excellent innovations and unique contributions SBIC members are making toward building a sustainable future in America,” said Douglas K. Schroeder, associate director of SBIC. “This year''s competition was exceptionally competitive, but for the second consecutive year, the SBIC jury recognized the valuable contributions ASHRAE is making to the buildings industry."


Realizing that sustainability cannot be accomplished without measurable goals, ASHRAE has put in place some 35 specific challenges, ranging from a proposed water conservation standard, development of building performance metrics, research and design guidance resulting in net zero energy use buildings, and greening of ASHRAE meetings.


To increase member awareness, ASHRAE created a three-part DVD, featuring a video of Townsend fishing with his grandchildren illustrating the importance of sustainability, Townsend’s recorded presidential speech, and a short video highlighting why ASHRAE is taking on this challenge.


The DVD is part of a total communications package from ASHRAE to inspire members and the industry about the challenges and opportunities related to sustainability.


Other aspects include a promotional slide chart explaining the benefits of sustainable design measures, a Website,, featuring sustainability guidance from ASHRAE; creation of a page on ASHRAE’s site,, focusing on ASHRAE’s planned renovation of its headquarters building as sustainable; and use of ASHRAE publications and other outreach vehicles to spread the word about the Society’s work.


The award is the second for ASHRAE from SBIC. Last year, the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings published by ASHRAE and the ASHRAE Journal supplement, “Building for the Future,” were recognized with honorable mention in the educational initiatives category.


Publication date: 12/25/2006