Formation of ASHRAE Singapore Chapter

The history of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ) in Singapore began when the first member from Singapore joined ASHRAE in 1955. However, this pales the history of ASHRAE as it was originally founded in 1894 when the American Society of Heating & Ventilating Engineers was first chartered. The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers was chartered in 1904 and in 1959 the two societies merged to form ASHRAE. Over the years, the number of ASHRAE members in Singapore grew and at present there are about 388 assigned members and 199 student members. From these members, there are about 174 who joined the Singapore Association of ASHRAE Members, (SAAM) also know as ASHRAE Singapore Chapter.

In December 1980, a survey among the ASHRAE members was conducted to establish whether there was any interest in the formation of a local organisation. Encouraged by the response of the survey, a meeting of ASHRAE members was held on April 9, 1981. The function proved successful and a Pro-Tem Committee was drawn from the members present to initiate the formation of a Singapore Association of ASHRAE Members.

The first Annual General meeting was held on March 13, 1982 when the membership was 46 strong. The late Bill Sundberg was elected the first SAAM President and thus launched the beginning of our Association.

SAAM as an ASHRAE Chapter

On January 30, 1984, ASHRAE President P.R. Perry presented the Charter to our then President, the late Bill Sundberg and witnessed by our George Lim and P.S. Loh, at ASHRAE's Winter Meeting in Atlanta thus chartering SAAM as ASHRAE's first international and their 142nd Chapter.

SAAM's Activities

From inception, SAAM has been active in organising regular activities usually in the form of technical talks or seminars and on occasions, technical visits. The yearly activities would be climaxed by the Annual Installation Dinner and Dance during which the new incoming President and his Board of Council would be installed.

Since SAAM's formation, there was the obvious increased local interest in ASHRAE as can be seen by the increase of ASHRAE members here in Singapore. SAAM continues to welcome members from the tertiary institutions, the consulting and practising engineers as well as those in the ventilating and air-conditioning industry. SAAM can provide and serve as a forum for those in the academia to meet each other and the members in practice and from the industry.

Internationalisation of ASHRAE

After Singapore, more overseas Chapters have been chartered in Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (but subsequently dissolved), Malaysia, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Western India and the latest addition Kuwait. However, SAAM, as the first International Chapter, will always have to strive and maintain high performance and to continue to improving organised activities and meeting attendance and raising money for ASHRAE Research Fund.

To advance the arts and sciences of heating, refrigeration, air-conditioning and ventilation, the applied arts and sciences and related factors for the benefit of the general public.

Towards this goal, SAAM will continue to participate and organise activities on issues to protect the external environment, improve indoor quality, conserve energy, providing continuing education to our members and others in the HVAC industry and to offer career guidance to students at the local junior colleges and tertiary institutions.