ASHRAE welcomed visitors to its hometown of Atlanta for its 2015 Annual Conference where several major actions were accomplished. This included a research promotion campaign, accreditation of a certification program, approval of a new chapter, two sections and several student branches, and release of a long-awaited industry standard. Some 1,500 people attended the conference, held June 27-July 1, in Atlanta.

During the conference, the society continued to expand its global presence with approval of a new chapter in Bangladesh and sections in Ireland and Faisalabad, Pakistan. Chapters in South Korea, Japan, and Chile and a section in the United Kingdom Midlands were chartered earlier this year. In addition, 17 new student branches, including 11 from outside the United States and Canada, were approved in Atlanta. Earlier in 2015, 11 new student branches were chartered, of which four were outside the United States and Canada.

In other news, it was announced that ASHRAE’s 2014-2015 RP campaign reached a new high of $2.53 million donated by members, chapters, and companies. ASHRAE RP Campaign funds are used to support ongoing research projects, ASHRAE Learning Institute, Young Engineers in ASHRAE (YEA) Leadership activities and scholarships. The 2014-15 RP Campaign also celebrated the first ASHRAE chapter to raise more than $100,000 in a single year. The Rocky Mountain Chapter raised a total of $100,003 to support research and start a new chapter scholarship.

Other major news included the announcement that ASHRAE’s High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP) certification received accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), becoming the first certification from the society to earn the recognition. All six of ASHRAE’s certification exams were offered at the conference.

ASHRAE also made available long-awaited industry guidance on legionellosis via ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems. The document establishes minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. The society said the standard was a popular purchase at the conference bookstore.

The new president for 2015-16 is T. David Underwood, P.Eng., Fellow ASHRAE, Life Member, CPMP, from Oakville, Ontario. His theme, “Making Connections,” focuses on the first goal in ASHRAE’s Strategic Plan, which calls for connecting as a way to foster vibrant, informed, and engaged ASHRAE and industry communities. His presidential speech can be read at

Some 300 sessions were offered as part of the Conference Technical Program. Well-attended sessions included seminars Field Performance Results of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), Ground-Source Heat Pump (GSHP), and Ground Source-VRF Systems: The “Living LAB” Results Are In.

The conference featured two Professional Development seminars and seven short courses from the ASHRAE Learning Institute. The most popular courses were Complying with Standard 90.1-2013: HVAC/Mechanical and Laboratory Design: The Basics and Beyond.

The ASHRAE 2016 Winter Conference takes place in Orlando, FL, Jan. 23-27. Held in conjunction with the Winter Conference is the ASHRAE co-sponsored International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, Jan. 25-27, at the Orange County Convention Center.