Thursday, June 16, 2011

Letter from Lynn Bellenger, ASHRAE President

Dear ASHRAE Members:

Today building owners and occupants are demanding that their buildings provide better performance than has been delivered in the past. Government and private owners have mandated that new buildings and building retrofits be designed, constructed, tested, commissioned and operated to a high performance standard. To date, the industry has not been able to consistently deliver on this mandate. This situation creates a unique opportunity for our organization to provide a solution that will successfully deliver on this high performance building mandate.

Over the last two years, ASHRAE has worked to address the needs of the industry and deliver high performance buildings; simultaneously, the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB – was conducting the same investigation for delivering high performance buildings. In 2010, ASHRAE and NEBB began discussions to determine if collaboration between the two associations could provide a solution to delivering high performance buildings by influencing the design, construction, testing, commissioning and operations of buildings to a high performance standard as a normal building delivery process.

Through these discussions, the NEBB Board of Directors and the ASHRAE Board of Directors have determined the following:
• NEBB is a premier international certification association for firms that deliver high performance building systems. NEBB brings unique strengths to the building performance discipline.ASHRAE is a world leader in the arts and science of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration and promotes high performance buildings through standards, guidelines, design manuals, and educational courses. ASHRAE brings unique strengths to the building performance discipline.
• ASHRAE and NEBB believe that building performance is evolving as a new standard by which our industry will be measured in the future.
• ASHRAE and NEBB believe that combining their strengths would produce an approach to building performance that would be far superior to any that could be produced by their individual efforts.

Our discussions have centered upon consolidating the organizations in a way that creates a separate organization under the ASHRAE umbrella that concentrates upon performance of the built environment and the associated education, training and certifications for building performance professionals. This organization would encompass all activities that provide the end performance desired by the industry, including design, construction, testing, commissioning, operation and ongoing performance verification. The organization could also align with other industry groups that have similar goals, and ultimately create a significantly enhanced resource for those that seek to deliver high performance buildings.

Accordingly, on May 10, 2011, President Bill Neudorfer of NEBB and I formed negotiating teams to determine if a consensus can be achieved on consolidating the two organizations. The opportunities that exist for the consolidated organization are immense. At the same time, much needs to be done to ensure that any consolidation would optimize the strengths of the two organizations. We value your input on the process and assure you that the negotiation process will be fair, thorough and transparent.

As talks continue between the two organizations, it is expected that more information will be available on outlining any consolidation proposals. As an ASHRAE member, you are encouraged to send your comments and questions to (or simply reply to this email). President Neudorfer is also reaching out to the NEBB membership to seek their thoughts through a letter similar to this one.

Personal regards,

Lynn G. Bellenger
2010-11 ASHRAE President

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