ASHRAE is reporting that its membership has now exceeded more than 56,000 members.

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

In 2016, ASHRAE reached 56,105 members, its highest in 14 years. ASHRAE currently has 181 chapters, 41 sections, and 234 student branches around the globe with members in 130 countries.

Seventy nine percent of ASHRAE’s total membership is based in the U.S. and Canada, while 21% is from other countries, an increase from 18% from two years ago.

ASHRAE’s Region-at-Large, which encompasses the Middle East, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Africa and Europe, had the largest percent gain in membership in the society year of 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 databank of innovative and successful technologies that will serve the built environment community.”

ASHRAE currently has more than 130 published standards and guidelines and is one of only six standards-developing organizations in the U.S. that can self-certify that its standards have followed American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) standards development procedures.

The society is also one of the only HVACR organizations that maintain its own research program, which currently has 56 active research projects with a combined value of more than $9 million. That research is overseen by some 100 technical committees representing 4,200 people.