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ASHRAE and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Sign Memorandum of Understanding

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  • 01 Mar 2021
  • Partnership
  • Atlanta, GA

ASHRAE and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Sherri Simmons

ATLANTA (March 1, 2021) – ASHRAE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing the organizations’ relationship.

The MOU was signed by Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E., 2020-21 ASHRAE President and Robert P. Burns, Executive Director of the Office of Innovation and Collaboration for DHS S&T via electronic signature in January and a kick-off event took place on February 26 to further specify the path forward. The agreement defines parameters by which ASHRAE and DHS S&T will discuss and share information about emerging research results and technologies in HVAC systems, in order to support building occupant health and safety across the Homeland Security Enterprise.

ASHRAE and DHS S&T intend to explore how best to mitigate the movement of airborne pathogens through building systems, including through:

  • Ventilation for reducing the risk of exposure;
  • Effective filtration efficiencies to capture respirable particles;
  • The efficacy, safety and implementation of different air disinfection technologies and operating strategies within the DHS enterprise or in public facilities;
  • The effect of air distribution, directionality and objects within spaces on exposure risk; and
  • Reduced occupancy, and space allocation and room set-up as risk mitigation strategies.

“ASHRAE’s indoor air quality and building systems expertise are crucial in addressing the challenges of limiting the spread of infectious diseases,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. “We are delighted to partner with DHS S&T as we collaborate on key research to support the health and well-being of building occupants.”

Other areas of collaboration include sharing of data to inform models and solutions relating to SARS-CoV-2 and other biological and chemical threats to public health. This will include data related to HVAC systems, types of filters, personnel safeguarding, temperature and humidity control, outdoor air flow rates and sustainable building practices.


About the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

As the research and development (R&D) arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) focuses on providing the tools, technologies, and knowledge products the nation’s Homeland Security Enterprise needs today and tomorrow. That means S&T constantly works to bridge industry and end-user communities around the nation. S&T’s R&D focus areas cover DHS’s core mission areas and use our network of industry, national laboratory and other partners to seek solutions for capability gaps and define topics for future research.

For more information, visit


Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global professional society committed to serve humanity by advancing the arts and sciences of heating ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and their allied fields.

As an industry leader in research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE and its members are dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable built environment for all, through strategic partnerships with organizations in the HVAC&R community and across related industries.

The Society is showcasing integrated building solutions and sustainability in action through the opening of the ASHRAE Global Headquarters building in metro-Atlanta, Georgia. The state-of-the-art, high-performing net-zero-energy efficient global headquarters building is a destination venue for industry representatives, visiting from around the world, who are looking to experience cutting-edge engineering and architectural interventions.

For more information and to stay up-to-date on ASHRAE, visit and connect on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.