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ASHRAE and Educational Institutions: Shaping Tomorrow’s Built Environment Today


ASHRAE universities and colleges recognize that enhancing our base of knowledge in all disciplines leads to a better world for everyone. This is particularly important in the areas related to the built environment industry given that, as the industry that makes the biggest impact on the environment, we have a greater opportunity to reduce that impact.

We already have the technology available to drastically reduce that impact in buildings – the time has come to take the existing technology, build upon that by embracing change, pushing the boundaries and engaging all of the stakeholders in building design, construction and operation.

That’s why the role of universities and colleges is so important – you bring together the leaders of today with the leaders of tomorrow to share their knowledge, work together, share ideas and advance the standards of practice to improve the built environment.

Through its varied resources, including researchstudent branches and publications, ASHRAE supports your efforts. These resources support your professors, researchers and other staff in their day-to-day work, guiding students as they learn about the environment in which they live.

Here are a few ways in which ASHRAE helps you shape tomorrow’s built environment today.

  • Research

    ASHRAE Research Today to Improve Tomorrow


    ASHRAE research plays an important role behind the scenes at your workplace, in your home and throughout your life. From keeping us comfortable through research into human physiology and the materials used to build buildings to protecting our health with research into the parameters and guidelines for food refrigeration and cooled environments. Utilizing research to improve worker productivity and creating and maintaining the industrial environments for manufacturing processes, ASHRAE discovers new information upon which all manufacturers, designers, system installers and operator rely.

    ASHRAE has been sponsoring research to advance the arts and sciences of HVAC&R for the benefit of the public since 1919. It is a unique program that depends on voluntary funding and the many volunteers who plan and monitor the research. ASHRAE research has grown steadily over the years to the current commitment of more than $10 million for over 100 projects.

    • ASHRAE supports some $3 million of new research annually through contributions made by nearly 7,000 individuals and companies.
    • Approximately 10 percent of ASHRAE’s annual research budget is allocated to grants and awards that directly benefit graduate students and recent Ph.D. recipients starting their first full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty position who are pursuing an HVAC&R related education or area of research through the ASHRAE Graduate Student Grant-in-Aid Program ($10,000/grant) and through the ASHRAE New Investigator Award (up to $150,000 in funding for one recipient per year).
    • ASHRAE research uncovers new information about material properties and building physics and, just as important, promotes the application of innovative technologies for commercial use.
    • ASHRAE research finds practical application by serving as the basis of Society standards and through updates to the ASHRAE Handbook.

    By serving as an investigator on ASHRAE-funded research projects, you have an opportunity to share your work with the Society’s 55,000 plus members around the world. Results of ASHRAE research projects are made available at no cost to members.

    ASHRAE maintains a listserv of research project potential contractors who have expressed interest and expertise in various fields of research interest to ASHRAE. To join that listserv and learn when potential projects are open for bid, visit

  • Publications

    Preparing for the Future with ASHRAE Publications

    The expertise of its worldwide membership and the results of Society-funded research give ASHRAE publications a depth and breadth unmatched by commercial publishers. Your students will appreciate the depth of information and low prices of these texts. Instructors of universities, technical institutes and vocational schools may request an examination copy.

    Fundamentals of HVAC Control Systems provides a thorough introduction and a practical guide to the principles and characteristics of HVAC controls. It describes how to use, select, specify and design control systems.

    Air-Conditioning System Design Manual serves as an excellent resource for seniors or graduate-level students in HVAC system design, this manual fills the void between theory and practice, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired in the typical academic course or textbook and real-world design practices.

    HVAC Simplified provides an understanding of fundamental HVAC concepts and extends these principles to the explanation of simple design tools used to create building systems that are efficient and provide comfortable and healthy environments. Includes a CD-ROM with spreadsheet tools. A Solutions Manual is available to instructors.

    The ASHRAE Handbook–Fundamentals covers basic principles and contains essential data for HVAC&R design, including sections on theory, general engineering data, basic materials, load and energy calculations, and duct and pipe design. It includes a CD-ROM with all the volume’s chapters in both I-P and SI units.

    Principles of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning is a textbook based on the ASHRAE Handbook–Fundamentals. It contains the most current ASHRAE procedures and definitive yet easy-to-understand treatment of building HVAC systems, from basic principles through design and operation. A Solutions Manual is available to instructors.

    ASHRAE GreenGuide shows students of HVAC&R how to participate effectively on design teams, from the earliest stages of the project through the resulting structure’s construction, operation, maintenance and eventual demolition.

    Load Calculation Applications Manual provides the latest information on load calculations and is a perfect companion to the ASHRAE Handbook–Fundamentals. Heat transfer processes in buildings are discussed, as well as their co-analysis to determine the cooling load.

    Science and Technology for the Built Environment (STBE) is ASHRAE’s archival research journal. Each 100+ page issue offers comprehensive reporting of research in the fields of environmental control for the built environment and cooling technologies for a wide range of applications and related processes and concepts, including underlying thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer. Only works reporting on research that is original and of lasting value are accepted for publication. Included in the ISI Web of Science and Current Contents database, the journal is published by Taylor and Francis Group.

  • Group Learning

    Group Learning Packages


    Well-designed course material doesn't have to cost a fortune. These group learning packages include texts, examination questions, answer sheets and PowerPoint presentations for instructors. Visit for pricing and purchasing.

    Fundamentals of Air System Design
    Learn the basics of air movement, the components of air distribution systems, considerations of human comfort, load and occupancy demand, duct system design, sound and vibration and how codes and standards affect the design of air systems.

    Fundamentals of Building Operation, Maintenance, and Management
    Addresses current issues related to the operation, maintenance and management of buildings. This dual-unit (I-P/SI) course provides an indispensable introduction to these topics and an invaluable instructional resource for both experienced building professionals and individuals entering into the field.

    Fundamentals of Heating and Cooling Loads
    Develop an understanding of heat transfer as it applies to buildings and various factors that must be considered when calculating the heating and cooling loads of a building.

    Fundamentals of Heating Systems
    Learn the various types of heating systems available for commercial and residential buildings and the three basic components of every heating system: the fuel source, the energy conversion plant and the energy distribution system.

    Fundamentals of Refrigeration, I-P, 2nd ed.
    Learn the process of refrigeration and how refrigeration systems operate, as well as the types of refrigeration systems.

    Fundamentals of Thermodynamics
    Learn the basic concepts of thermodynamics. Topics include properties of a system, processes and cycle, Ideal Gas Law, the laws of thermodynamics, refrigeration cycles and thermochemistry.

    Fundamentals of Water System Design
    Learn the basic concepts of hydronic system operation and design including piping systems, pipe materials and fittings, centrifugal pumps, terminal units, expansion tank and water chillers.

  • Student Resources

    ASHRAE Student Activities Brochures | Posters | Videos

    All resources listed are free of charge; however, some are available on a loan basis (i.e. videos). Please contact the Assistant Manager of Student Activities at to ensure the availability of loan items meets your scheduling needs. 


  • Student Courses

    New ASHRAE Course: Benchmarking and Assessment of Building Energy Performance

    ASHRAE Building EQ rating system

    ASHRAE has developed a new university course on building energy auditing and analysis using the ASHRAE Building EQ rating system as a learning framework. Unlike other ASHRAE educational products that focus on continuing education of industry professionals, this course is designed as a traditional three-credit college course for upper-level undergraduate or graduate students. It seeks to offer a project-based learning experience through hands-on engineering in real buildings under the guidance of both academic instructors and industry professionals.

    The course involves ten weeks of classroom instruction followed by five weeks of hands-on field work in teams under the guidance of local industry mentors. The course is intended to revolve around a representative campus or community building for each student team that will provide the focus for the underlying technologies and techniques and the practical field studies.

    The course is intended to be a partnership between local ASHRAE organizations and an academic department and instructor. Through its local chapters and student branches, ASHRAE can provide professional mentors for student teams as well as a potential co-instructor with extensive domain knowledge for the course. The academic institution is expected to host the course within its normal offerings and promote the course as a project-based learning experience. Buildings for energy auditing could be provided through the institution’s Facilities Management organization or could be drawn from local community facilities (e.g., homeless shelters, public housing, food banks).

    It is expected that the students will have previous coursework in both thermal sciences (or building physics) and building mechanical/electrical systems. Potential students could be in engineering, engineering technology, architecture, construction management, or environmental studies.

    Course content is available by clicking the button below. Access to sample course material in PDF format requires a simple registration, while access to all material in native format requires agreement to licensing terms. The following documents offer introductory information:

    pdf_icon.png One-page course description

    pdf_icon.png Sample syllabus (Updated June 2017)

    pdf_icon.png Course outline with learning objectives (Updated 2017)

    Course content is offered free of charge, though students will be expected to purchase some resources through ASHRAE with student discounts.


    For more information, please email

    Free Coronavirus University Course

    Walid Chakroun, a Professor from Kuwait University, who also serves on the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force, developed a presentation covering COVID-19 from an Indoor Air Quality Perspective. The free university lecture can be used by professors, students and ASHRAE Student Branch Advisors.

    Free Refrigerant Management for Future Engineers Course


    ASHRAE has been chosen to distribute a university level course developed by UN Environment on Refrigerant Management for engineering students.

    There is no cost to access the course and use the course materials.  Instructors are provided with lecture notes, activity sheets, and course presentations.

    Over the last two decades UN Environment has been involved in training programs offered to field engineers and service technicians on refrigeration good practices including emissions reduction with a focus on hands-on practices.

    This new course is first of its kind by UN Environment to offer comprehensive scientific information at the academic level. Future engineers will be offered the skills required to manage refrigerants soundly, as well as, technical and policy aspects associated with the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry.

    UN Environment is especially interested in encouraging instruction of the course in developing countries.

    Click the REGISTER button to request sample course materials. After your review of sample course materials and approval of use, return to the REGISTER button to download complete course materials.


    For questions about the UNEP University course, contact Steve Comstock at

  • ABET

    ABET accreditation process

    Students are the next generation of HVAC&R practitioners and ASHRAE has an interest in ensuring that education programs meet the needs of the industry. Like other professional societies, ASHRAE supports accreditation of educational programs to assure confidence that graduates are prepared to serve our industry.

    ASHRAE is one of thirty-five professional societies that comprise ABET, which accredits over 4000 educational programs in 32 countries in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor and master degree levels. Within ABET, ASHRAE is the lead society for HVAC&R engineering technology programs and is a cooperating society for architectural engineering and environmental engineering programs. Less formally, ASHRAE partners with ASME on accreditation issues for mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology programs.

    More specifically, ASHRAE participates in the ABET accreditation process in two ways. First, through the Student Activities Committee, ASHRAE helps develop accreditation criteria for engineering and engineering technology programs. Second, ASHRAE members serve as ABET Program Evaluators, the experts who visit schools, meet with educators and students, review curricula and student work, and assess whether the programs are meeting the accreditation criteria.

    For more information on becoming an ABET Program Evaluator, please visit