Brief History of ASHRAE Hong Kong Chapter


1. Introduction

ASHRAE Hong Kong Chapter was founded in year 1984, initiated by several ASHRAE members among the leaders of the HVAC&R industry in Hong Kong who had the vision, the enthusiasm, and the great minds of serving.

Nurtured by the efforts of the chapter staff who all served as volunteers and with the support from the members and from the Society throughout these years, the Hong Kong Chapter has now grown to become one of the largest Chapters of ASHRAE.


American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Hong Kong Chapter Limited was established since 2009 by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Hong Kong Chapter.


In 2012, as part of a rebranding, ASHRAE began doing business as “ASHRAE” vs. using its full legal name of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Use of ASHRAE reflects the Society’s worldwide membership and that services will continue evolving globally. Therefore, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Hong Kong Chapter was also rebranded as ASHRAE Hong Kong Chapter.

2. Official Formation

The Charter of the Hong Kong Chapter was presented to Dr. Edwin H C Tao, its first Chapter President, at the Annual Meeting of ASHRAE held at Kansas City, USA, on Monday, June 18, 1984. One week later, on June 25, 1984, formal certification for approval of its formation, issued by the Hong Kong Government under its Societies Ordinance, officiated its legal existence in Hong Kong. The official charter date of the Hong Kong Chapter was on October 18, 1984.

3. The First Chapter Staff

  • President: Dr. Edwin H. C. TAO
  • Vice President: Dr. Samuel P. W. WONG
  • Secretary: Mr. Bryce D. E. HUNTER
  • Treasurer: Mr. T. A. BERRECLOTH
  • Committee Chairs: Mr. James WU, Mr. Philip CHIEN, Mr. C. O. SYNN, Mr. C. A. THOMPSON

Among these founding members, Dr Edwin Tao and Mr C O Synn are both still actively supporting the activities of the Chapter and are serving as members of the current Board of Governors.

4. The Chapter’s Organization

5. Chapter Past Presidents

Name Society Year
Edwin Tao 1984-85
Samuel Wong 1985-86
Terry Berrecloth 1986-87
Brian Hunter 1987-88
Chun-on Synn 1988-89
Alan Thompson 1989-90
Vincent Tse 1990-91
Rick Kroos 1991-92
Daniel Chan 1992-93
Wong, Wai-Kwong 1993-94
Roger Chu 1994-95
Francis Pang 1995-96
Philip Yu 1996-97
Wai-Keung Pau 1997-98
Alan Ying-wai Lam 1998-99
T T Chow 1999-00
Edward Tsui 2000-01
Victor Yiu 2001-02
Raymond Yau 2002-03
Vincent Chu 2003-04
Tim Cheng 2004-05
Chan, Tsz Kin 2005-06
Sam C.M. Hui 2006-07
Li, Siu Lam 2007-08
Chan, Ka Lung Raymond 2008-09
Tang, Chi Hang Calvin 2009-10
Mo, Cheung Ying Eagle 2010-11
Lin, Wan Fuk Albert 2011-12
Lo, Chan Kit Albert 2012-13
Pang, Ching Man Tracy 2013-14
Chan, Hei Kin Thomas 2014-15
Wong, Chun Sing 2015-16
Tung, Sin Lok Dennis 2016-17
Sung, Ka Leung Michael 2017-18
Wong, Shu Hung 2018-19
NG, Chun Kei Jacky 2019-20
TAM, Tsz Lung Tenny 2020-21

6. From Chapter-at-large to Member of Region X, to Member of Region XIII

The Chapter had a status of “chapter-at-large” for the first three years since formation, which means that it did not belong to any Region.

In Society Year 1987-88, the Chapter was assigned to Region X. Hong Kong Chapter, represented by Dr Edwin Tao in the CRC in California, had a voice and a vote in the Society for the first time.

During those early years when members were much fewer, the chapter staff would have to somewhat finance the operation. In year 1989, after the AGM when Mr C O Synn finished his term as Chapter President, he hosted a dinner to thank the outgoing and to welcome the incoming Chapter staff. Since then, this has become almost a tradition of the Hong Kong Chapter.

In year 1992, an ASHRAE Far East Conference was organized by ASHRAE headquarters to take place in Hong Kong. It was in this Conference that the idea of forming a new Region for the Far East chapters was proposed. The process of how it eventually evolved into the present Region XIII is recorded in the Region’s History of Region XIII.

The first Student Branch of HK Chapter was initiated in year 1993 by Mr. Daniel Chan who was then the Secretary of the Chapter. That was Hong Kong Polytechnic Student Branch in year 1994.

On July 1, 1998, Region XIII, the first Region of ASHRAE outside North America, was officially formed. Hong Kong Chapter, together with Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan Chapters, being its founding chapters, naturally became a member of that Region at the same time. Mr Vincent Tse, a Past President of Hong Kong Chapter, was elected to be its first Director and Regional Chair (DRC).

The friendship, the opportunities, the guidance, and the strong support that the members of Region X have extended throughout the ten years of association have greatly contributed to the maturity of the Hong Kong Chapter.

In years 1999 & 2000, Philippines Chapter and Thailand Chapter have also joined in Region XIII to share friendship and support among other Chapters in this Region.

In years 2007 & 2008, Indonesia Chapter have also joined in Region XIII to share friendship and support among other Chapters in this Region.

7. Present Membership Status (as of May 2019)

  • Members / Associate Members : 682
  • Fellow Members : 5
  • Fellow Life Members : 3
  • Life Members : 39
  • Affiliate : 8
  • Retired Members : 2
  • Student Members : 131
  • TOTAL NUMBER = 870 members

In February 1999, Mr C O Synn, a Fellow Member of Hong Kong Chapter, was invited by the Society’s College of Fellows as a member in their Advisory Committee.

8. Past Activities

Hong Kong Chapter organized different kinds of technical functions and visits in past years. The following were our regular activities in each Society year:-

  • Technical seminar : at least two times a year;
  • Technical workshop : four workshops a year;
  • Technical visit : at least one time a year;
  • Annual joint symposium which are jointly organized with the Building Services Division of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE BSD) and the Hong Kong Branch of Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE Hong Kong Branch).

The following were the themes of our annual symposia since 1990:-

Year Theme
1990 Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness
1991 Fire & Safety Systems in Buildings
1992 Energy Efficient Buildings
1993 Environmental Impact of Building Services Engineering
1994 Healthy Buildings in the Urban Environment
1995 Engineering Intelligent Buildings
1996 Electrical Services in Buildings
1997 Building. Energy & Environment
1998 Indoor Environmental Quality
1999 Building Services in 21st Century
2000 Advances in Building Services
2001 Towards Environmental Sustainability
2002 Achieving Sustainable Performance in Built Environment
2003 Innovation and Integrated Building Performance
2004 Servicing Dense Built Environment
2005 New Challenges in Building Services
2006 Efficient Built Environment for Tomorrow
2007 Building Services Engineering for a World Class City
2008 Shaping Our Future Environment – The Role of Building Services Professionals
2009 Design for Sustainable Performance
2010 Low Carbon High Performance Buildings
2011 Integrated Building Design in the New Era of Sustainability
2012 The Challenge of Building Innovation in Ecological Revitalization
2013 Innovation and Technology for Built Environment
2014 Chance in Building Services For Future
2015 Next Gen Technology to make Green Building Sustainability
2016 Building A Smarter City via Latest Technologies
2017 Smart Journey Towards Green Infinity
2018 Innovative Technology Fusion for Next Challenging Century
2019/20 Innovations for Smart Performance Buildings in Hong Kong & Greater Bay Area
2021 New Generation and Technology Application for future Engineering Challenge

The Hong Kong Chapter also actively promote the benefits of ASHRAE in neighboring areas, and assist their members to form new chapters of their own where necessary. Philippines and several cities of mainland China have so been served. In so doing, the Chapter has established harmonious relationships with the various HVAC&R professional institutions in these areas.

9. Recent Activities

Hong Kong Chapter follows the tradition of adhering to the motto of ASHRAE – “Advancing HVAC&R to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world;.”

Technical seminars, workshops, and technical visits are organized for the members so as to disseminate knowledge to serve the needs of the community.

Most of the Chapter’s technical functions are jointly organized with the HKIE BSD and the CIBSE Hong Kong Branch. Among those activities is an annual symposium with local and overseas speakers drawing an attendance of over 200 professionals each time from local and overseas participants.

Starting from Society year 1984-2019, in addition to the joint functions, the Hong Kong Chapter also organizes technical activities of its own in order to extend benefits preferential to ASHRAE members and to further promote the image of ASHRAE.

*Updated by Mr. W.K. Pau, Historian of Hong Kong Chapter. August 2019.

10. Historic Photos



ASHRAE President Terry Townsend visited HKIE, 2006-2007

ASHRAE President Terry Townsend visited HKIE, 2006-2007

Terry Townsend met past presidents of HKC, 2006-2007

Terry Townsend met young student members, 2006-2007

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