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ASHRAE membership is open to any person associated with heating, ventilation, air conditioning or refrigeration. ASHRAE is unique because its membership is drawn from a wide range of disciplines relating to the HVAC&R field. Approximately 51,000 individuals from more than 100 nations belong to the Society.

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Presidential Member Richard Charles Dies



OAKLAND, Calif. – Presidential Member Richard A. Charles, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Life Member, has died.

                Charles, 81, lived in Oakland, Calif., and joined ASHRAE in 1969.

He served as president of ASHRAE in 1992-93 with a focus on Sharing Resources Globally. Throughout his presidential year, Charles encouraged members to share their knowledge and experiences with others. He also believed strongly in the diversity of the Society: “I believe that one of ASHRAE’s secrets to success has been the diversity of its membership, which includes educators, engineers, design professionals, manufacturers, service people, contractors and salespeople.”

            During 1992-93, ASHRAE began activities related to the pending 1996 deadline for the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons – hosting an open forum on the topic, as requested by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, at its Winter Conference; incorporating two of the most common alternative refrigerants in its refrigeration standards; and writing new position papers addressing refrigerants and their impact on the environment.

Charles also led the Society in responding to industry needs related to energy efficiency, spurred by enactment of Energy Policy Act of 1992 into law, which contained many provisions related to Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. In response to a request from the U.S. Department of Energy to help states meet the requirements of the 1992 Act, ASHRAE wrote and approved a codified version of the standard.  He was an early proponent of the need to model and monitor energy performance in buildings and was an active member of the Society’s Energy Management Committee, which operated in the 1970s and 80s.

            Charles most recently served on the Advocacy Committee and was a member of the Foundation Trustees.

He was slated to receive the Andrew T. Boggs Service Award at the 2013 Annual Conference. He received a Distinguished 50-Year Member Award in 2012 and is a recipient of an Exceptional Service Award and a Distinguished Service Award.