Ties that bind

Last month, CIBSE and its American counterpart ASHRAE celebrated their 40th anniversary of working together at a ceremony in London, and also signed an agreement to work closer together. This week, CIBSE Communications Executive Matt Snowden (MS) and ASHRAE President Tim Wentz (TW) examine what that deal means in practice

TW: On the 40th Anniversary of ASHRAE/CIBSE collaboration, the two world-leading engineering organizations signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement. The agreement’s purpose is to provide a framework through which ASHRAE and CIBSE can work collaboratively to leverage each other’s strengths and accomplish organizational goals which best serve their respective members, the profession and society. 

The basic tenets of the agreement include:
  • Development of joint training and educational programs in Europe.
  • Exploring development of new conferences that accelerate technology dissemination.
  • Collaboration on research that will advance mutual member interests.
  • Coordination of research programs.
  • Mutual endorsement of conferences and exchange of technical expert speakers. 
  • Connecting of aligned membership demographics, such as Young Engineers in ASHRAE and the CIBSE Young Engineers Network.
  • Exploring opportunities to collaborate on technical publications and standards.
  • Commitment to annual volunteer or staff leadership meetings.
  • Annual staff exchanges.
ASHRAE President Prof Tim Wentz and CIBSE President John Field
 sign the agreement

What does this deal mean to the two organisations?

TW: Collaboration and sharing of knowledge are key to advancing the built environment industry. ASHRAE’s partnership with CIBSE over the last 40 years has proven to be an invaluable collaboration for our respective members and the industry at large. Our joint work through conferences, publications and education has greatly added to the worldwide best practices databank of innovative and successful technologies. I am pleased to celebrate this milestone and look forward to many more

MS: CIBSE and ASHRAE are two world-leading engineering organisations who bring many positives to the global building services industry, but at the same time have significant and positive differences. There are some instances where the task of tackling the problems which face the engineering industry will require us to work together, and times when it is better suited for us to work separately.

The worthy winner of CIBSE's graduate of the year award will attend this
year's ASHRAE winter conference in Las Vegas

Will this impact the way ASHRAE and CIBSE work with other organizations?

TW: No. ASHRAE and CIBSE both have unique relationships with organizations around the world, and that will continue. Additionally, the ASHRAE CIBSE strategy encourages working collaboratively with other organizations.

MS: One of the biggest strengths of the two organisations is their global reach, unaffected by borders, and their global network of collaborating partners. This agreement will not affect any of these relationships, and both CIBSE and ASHRAE will continue working in unique ways with these partners. In fact, this new agreement will help strengthen global collaboration with different partners, and emphasise collaboration as part of its strategy.

How will this impact members?

Members will benefit from the combined global
reach of both organisations
TW: How will members be impacted? Positively! Combining resources for common member goals and encouraging a global exchange of ideas and technologies will benefit all members. There are no immediate changes to benefits provided to either organization’s members. CIBSE and ASHRAE members already take advantage of a membership reciprocity agreement. The potential is enormous!

MS: As the only two organisations in our field with a global reach, CIBSE and ASHRAE have significant common ground and shared interests since the start of their excellent relationship 40 years ago.This new agreement will strengthen that relationship, and help spread the benefits it bring to both CIBSE and ASHRAE members, global partners and to the engineering industry as a whole. By finding opportunities to utilise and deploy both organisations separate resources, skills and expertise, CIBSE and ASHRAE will find new ways to tackle the issues facing the industry, expand our common goals and strengthen the synergy between the two.

Will joint programs be implemented in the U.S. and the UK? 

TW: There are no geographical boundaries on the collaborative programming. CIBSE and ASHRAE will align goals and resources wherever it best serves our respective members to do so. 

MS: One area of improvement will be in communication: Both organisations will ensure that the other is informed on major initiatives, and will work together to develop strategies to deploy these initiatives around the world. There will be an annual staff exchange, as well as an annual vision meeting to ensure that the two organisations become more closely aligned.

Collaboration will also benefit. Team working outcomes are normally better than working as individuals, and the agreement will pave the way for greater. This will benefit members, both societies and society in general. Collaboration between chapters and groups will ensure that those with similar remits in their respective regions will communicate closely and share knowledge, both organisations will work together in advocating building services related policies in their respective territories’ legislatures, and both organisations will create and cross-promote publications of mutual benefit in each other’s memberships.

Better communication and knowledge sharing between the two organisations
will benefit members
One of the two organisations’ great strengths is in their work within the engineering communities, and their existing network of relationships and collaborations through which they are able to make positive contributions to the industry. This agreement is the start of creating that framework to serve society and the profession more effectively in the future.

How can I get involved?

TW: ASHRAE and CIBSE are driven by volunteer expertise and leadership. There will be many opportunities for members to get involved as joint programs are implemented. Those interested in volunteering should send an email to ASHRAEPresident@ashrae.org or msnowden@CIBSE.org


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