ASHRAE and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA) have formalized a longtime relationship through signing of a new memorandum of understanding, which calls for increased cooperation between the two associations.

“The challenges of the insecure energy situation and the public’s request for better and more secure buildings are huge,” Olli Seppänen, president of REHVA, said. “ASHRAE and REHVA must work together to find the best sustainable technology for superior indoor environment for buildings. Coordination and cooperation is needed so that duplication of efforts is avoided and that the limited resources are used most efficiently.”

Europe is committed to a strong energy policy, Seppänen noted. The goal for energy saving is set at 20% by the year 2020 in Europe. Steps toward this goal include an energy efficiency and energy services directive from April 2006 that sets the goal for energy savings in the member states at 1 percent per year during the next nine years, and requests national energy efficiency plans in June 2007. The European commission also prepares a directive for minimum energy performance standards for 14 priority energy products in 2007.

ASHRAE is pursuing a similar goal, with hopes of achieving net-zero energy use by the year 2020. “This agreement strengthens the long-time relationship between ASHRAE and REHVA,” Terry Townsend, president of ASHRAE, said. “We must continue to work together to gain technical knowledge and to share it. The engineers who belong to ASHRAE and REHVA are searching for new technology and guidance to develop safe, comfortable, healthy energy-efficient buildings. This agreement encourages our organizations to work together to ensure more sustainable environments all around the world.”

REHVA represents 30 national engineering associations in Europe representing more than 100,000 experts in the area of HVACR. It is based in Brussels, Belgium. ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of 55,000 persons from 130 countries.