The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers has more than 56,000 members — the society’s highest membership since 2002.

“This growth reflects ASHRAE’s influence on building standards and best practices around the world,” said ASHRAE President Tim Wentz. “Our members recognize that the society increasingly provides opportunities to network with the global built environment’s best and brightest.”

ASHRAE reached a total of 56,105 members this year, and has 181 chapters, 41 sections and 234 student branches around the world with members in 130 countries. Seventy-nine percent of the society’s membership is based in the United States and Canada, with 21 percent from other countries — an increase from 18 percent two years ago, officials say. The society’s Region-at-Large, which includes the Middle East, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Africa and Europe, had the largest gain in society membership for 2015-16.

“From expansion into residential markets to providing resources for the quickly changing refrigerant industry, ASHRAE will continue to use the expertise of its members to further the technology of tomorrow,” Wentz said. “At the same time, ASHRAE is partnering with other organizations dedicated to working toward a more sustainable environment, creating a worldwide best-practices data bank of innovation and successful technologies that will serve the built environment community.”