The Atlanta-based ASHRAE, formerly known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc., is trying to keep up with the times. On Saturday, Jan. 21, at the group's winter meeting in Chicago, the society's 2011-12 president, Ron Jarnagin, launched ASHRAE's new logo and announced its revamped, more user-friendly website, http://ashrae.org/.
The old logo, which I'm told represented an ice crystal, is history. The new one, which retains the familiar hexagon, is blue in outline except it morphs into a green corner on the right side, much like an arrow. The green arrow stands for forward movement toward sustainability and high-performance buildings, says the group. The tag line is "Shaping tomorrow's built environment today."
The message is that ASHRAE is not just about HVAC and refrigeration. With more than 50,000 members, including 8,000 outside North America, ASHRAE has become a global group that focuses on developing standards for sustainable environments, including high-performance buildings and transportation facilities.
"We are way beyond consulting engineers," said Tom Watson, the on-deck 2012-13 ASHRAE president. ASHRAE's members include contractors, lawyers, design engineers, architectural engineers and more.
Perhaps more important than the rebranding is the broader mission of ASHRAE--supporting and promoting the design and construction of high-performance buildings. The group moved into certification a couple of years ago, including certifying building commissioners and operations and maintenance personnel. And currently, ASHRAE is developing a smart-building standard, which focuses on controls.
Going forward, the group will do business as ASHRAE but will retain the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc., as its legal name. Few said the full name—a mouthful—anyway, or said it correctly.
The question remains: will anyone, outside of those already in the know, know what the group does, without an explanation? ASHRAE by itself gives no clue at all, even with the tag line. Ergo, at least for now and for the foreseeable future, the change will result in four more words, at least in ENR articles: "The Atlanta-based ASHRAE, formerly known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, etc., etc.