Artificial intelligence (AI) policy: ASHRAE prohibits the entry of content from any ASHRAE publication or related ASHRAE intellectual property (IP) into any AI tool, including but not limited to ChatGPT. Additionally, creating derivative works of ASHRAE IP using AI is also prohibited without express written permission from ASHRAE.

logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

Certified HVAC Designer (CHD) Eligibility Requirements Announced

Certified HVAC Designer (CHD) Eligibility Requirements Announced 

From eSociety, February 2019

The eligibility requirements for the Certified HVAC Designer (CHD) certification exam have been finalized by the ASHRAE CHD Exam Subcommittee following an industry-wide job analysis study in 2018.  Data was gathered from more than 1,200 respondents from over 60 countries.

The CHD exam blueprint and eligibility requirements, which have been approved by the ASHRAE Certification Committee, can be found in the CHD Candidate Guidebook

World-wide computer-based testing launches June 3.

Here is an overview of the certification.


The Certified HVAC Designer (CHD) certification validates competency of the HVAC Designer, working under the responsible charge of an engineer, to do the following:

Design HVAC systems to meet building/project requirements, including load calculations, equipment selection and sizing, mechanical equipment room design, duct and piping design and layout for the development of HVAC plans for permit and construction.

Certification Requirements

1. Education and Work Experience

2. Code of Ethics

3. Pass CHD Certification Exam

FAQs from Employers & Designers

During the job analysis study, we received some very good questions from P.E.s, HVAC designers and employers. Here are someexcerpts with responses.

Q. I wonder if this industry doesn’t already have enough certifications?  

The Certification Committee determined that while many P.E.s do HVAC design work, there are no certifications for the non-P.E. HVAC designer.  While we expect many P.E.s will apply for the CHD, the certification validates competency of the HVAC designer, working under the responsible charge of an engineer

Q. Is there need for this new certification?

In an “Industry Need” survey, ASHRAE Member respondents who work with HVAC designers wholeheartedly agreed (95%) that “the level of competence among HVAC designers varies greatly.” Respondents who influence the HVAC Designer hiring decision said the HVAC Designer certification would be “a worthwhile professional development goal” (82%) and “a tool to identify competent new hire prospects” (74%).

Q. Isn’t it actual experience in the industry that makes you competent, not passing a certification? 

Exactly. The purpose of certification is to validate competency. With its mix of recall, application and analysis questions, only a competent HVAC designer could pass the exam. The pass rate on ASHRAE’s other six certification exam ranges from 49% to 80%.  We expect employers will use the CHD as a professional development goal for their company’s HVAC designers and make it the must-have credential for new hires.

Q. How can an exam adequately validate a person’s real capability and aptitude?  Aren’t some folks just good multiple-choice exam takers?

With its mix of recall, application and analysis questions, only a competent HVAC designer with real-world experience will be able to pass the CHD exam.  The “wrong” answers on an exam are called “distractors,” because they have to be plausible enough for weaker examinees to select them, which is often the case. 

  • What’s Coming Up Next?
    • March 1: CHD application to open
    • May 1: CHD Practice Exam to launch (projected date)
    • June 3: CHD examination as a computer-based test to launch worldwide