ASHRAE RAL & RAL CRC History
ASHRAE Region at Large, is the fourteenth and largest Region of the ASHRAE Society, with more than 6000 members of the 57,000 total ASHRAE membership in the world; and which is spread over 25 chapters in approximately 34 countries, from Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent.
Thirty years ago, in 1987, the first petition for a Chapter in India was put forward to ASHRAE; but it took another three years before the charter for the ASHRAE India Chapter was finally approved and officially inaugurated on March 29th 1990, by ASHRAE President, Mr. David S Butler.
ASHRAE India Chapter was a Chapter at Large, but in 1992, during a mini Chapters Regional Conference (CRC) held at Hong Kong, a proposal was made to include it, and the four Chapters of South East Asia, in Region X, located in California USA. Thereafter and for the next 4 years, all Overseas Chapters attended CRC’s of Region X, during which time ASHRAE saw the formation of the Saudi Chapter, chartered in 1993, the Cairo, Lebanon & Western India Chapters, in 1995, and the Kuwait chapter in 1996. The first CRC for the Overseas Chapters, in Region X, was held at Riverside California, in April 1993, and the last was held at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in May 1996.
From the 1st July 1996, all Overseas Chapters were assigned to the ASHRAE International Committee, with the South East Asian Chapters subsequently forming Region XIII in 1998. The ASHRAE India & the Middle East Chapters believed that being part of the International Committee was not an optimum solution, as it did not have the provision of conducting CRCs, Business Sessions & Chapter Training Workshops, and thus did not give any opportunity for developing an effective leadership from this region. The push for a proposed Region XIV began at the ASHRAE Society Winter Meeting in Dallas in February 2000. All Chapters were advised to submit petitions along with their recommendations for nomination of Regional Officers, followed by a Training program that was arranged in Kuala Lumpur at the Region XIII CRC, on August 2000. A final review of the RAL formation, with eight Chapters, was made at ASHRAE Society Meeting in Cincinnati, 2001, finally resulting in the first Region at Large (RAL) Planning Committee meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, along with Region XIII CRC in September 2001. It was there that elections of RAL Regional Officers for Society year 2001-2002 were made.
The first Region At-Large CRC was held at the University of Reading in the UK in September 2002, with all nine Chapters of the Region in attendance. Since then a RAL CRC has been held every year and has been hosted by half of the twenty-five Chapters currently in RAL. The 15th CRC, last year in 2016, was the first time a Joint CRC was arranged and co-hosted with Region XIII. This was a huge endeavour which met with great success, and that simultaneously hosted the first ever International ASHRAE Board of Directors Meeting.
RAL CRCs are generally held over two to three days with the first day dedicated to a technical seminar/conference and the second and third days reserved for the Caucus, Executive and Business Sessions, as well as Training and Workshops. Social Events include a Welcome Dinner on the first day and an Awards Lunch the next day, oftentimes with a special dinner hosted with local entertainment, which has seen everything from cruises to desert safari trips and flamenco nights, to name a few. With a great attendance of ASHRAE RAL members and their families, the diversity and energy of this Region truly come alive during the ASHRAE RAL CRC!