ASHRAE’s Advocacy Program Continues to Build Momentum

Since its launch in July 2005, ASHRAE’s government affairs team has greatly expanded its presence in Washington, D.C., through such activities as World Standards Day, organizing a roundtable for related organizations, sponsoring a Washington Fellow, and taking part in Congressional Visits.


ASHRAE’s Advocacy Program Continues to Build Momentum

ASHRAE’s advocacy program, designed to provide technical input to government in developing programs related to the built environment, is continuing to gain ground.

Since its launch in July 2005, ASHRAE’s government affairs team has greatly expanded its presence in Washington, D.C., through such activities as World Standards Day, organizing a roundtable for related organizations, sponsoring a Washington Fellow, and taking part in Congressional Visits.

“The ASHRAE Government Affairs Office and the Advocacy Committee have been working hard to position ASHRAE as a leading source of expertise in the built environment and a resource for policymakers in developing legislation and regulations affecting the public, the HVAC&R community, and the engineering profession,” Kent Peterson, chair of the Advocacy Committee, said.

As part of those efforts, ASHRAE is helping to administer World Standards Day on Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C. Standards are essential to modern society because they provide a common basis for communication among diverse groups and conserve resources by providing solutions to frequent problems.

The goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government and consumers worldwide. The event, which consists of a reception and dinner, was first held in 1970 and is co-chaired in the United States by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

At this year’s event, Jim Hill, past ASHRAE president and the acting deputy administrator for NIST, will serve as this year’s honorary chairman and recipient of the Ronald Brown Award.

ASHRAE also is participating in Congressional Visits Day May 1 and 2.Sponsored by the Science, Engineering and Technology Working Group, of which ASHRAE is a member, the event brings together engineers of all disciplines to meet with Congressional members and staff and officials from the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to help improve scientific policies within the federal government. ASHRAE is hosting the event’s Capitol Hill breakfast at which Rep. Bart Gordon, chairman of the House Science Committee, will preside.

Other ASHRAE Washington activities include:

  • Participation in the Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE) program, which allows engineering students to spend nine weeks in Washington to learn about government policy-making and the workings of Congress and prepare a research paper. Eight engineering societies participate, and ASHRAE’s participant for 2007 is Anatoly Zeltser, Kansas State University. For more information, visit .

  • Sponsorship of a one-year fellowship in Washington, D.C., that will allow the participant to work in the federal government in a technical advisory role.


  • Creation of the High Performance Building and Energy Efficiency Roundtable, which provides opportunity for professional and technical societies, trade groups, government agencies, and other interested organizations involved in “the built environment” to explore opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.


  • Support of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition, which supports STEM programs for teachers and students at the U. S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM-related programs.


  • Hosting of Congressional briefings, such as one held in December 2006 focusing on Commercial Building Tax Incentives and one held last month regarding opportunities to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Representatives Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Judy Biggert (R-IL), of the House Science and Technology Committee, were featured speakers.

For more information on ASHRAE’s government affairs activities or to receive the government affairs updates, go to .

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