Foreign Relations

REHVA is the leading professional organization in Europe, dedicated to the improvement of health, comfort and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities. It encourages the development and application of both energy conservation and renewable energy sources.

It was in the early sixties that the idea of some form of co-operation between technical associations in the field of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning would be extremely useful was recognized by leading professionals who met each other in international meetings and conferences. On 27 September 1963 representatives of technical associations of nine European countries met in The Hague, The Netherlands, at the invitation of the Dutch associations TVVL. These associations were ATIC (Belgium), AICVF (France), VDI TGA (Germany) , IHVE (United Kingdom), CARR (Italy), TVVL (The Netherlands), Norsk VVS (Norway), SWKI (Switzerland) and Swedish VVS (Sweden).

An impressive list of subjects about which further co-operation was essential, was brought for discussion. Ways of exchanging technical knowledge was at the top of the list, together with the promotion of European standardization and regulations, education and co-ordination of congress and conferences. In this first meeting it was decided that it was unnecessary to draft written rules for these activities. The only organizational arrangements were that the meetings would take place twice a year, hosted in turn by the participating countries. The host country would chair the meeting and organize the technical and social part. Consequently the second meeting took place in London on 21 April 1964. It is not surprising that our present honorary members, Henry Meijer, Neville Billington, Erik Erichsen and Mario Costantino took an active part in these first meetings.

Gradually the number of participating countries increased. It became necessary to ask a financial contribution of the members associations to pay the expenditures of the Clearing Centre, later to become the secretariat and to have written rules, laid down in Articles of Associations and in Bylaws. After 1970, the delegates met once a year and growth of REHVA clearly appears from the list of Assemblies:

Belgium

Brussels: 1970, 1997

Denmark

Copenhagen: 1966, 1971, 1976, 1985

Estonia

Tallinn: 2011

Finland

Helsinki: 1972, 1990, 2007

France

Paris, La Rochelle: 1965, 1967, 1991, 2003

Germany

Düsseldorf, Aachen: 1965, 1984, 2008

Hungary

Budapest: 1967, 1973, 1980, 1996

Italy

Milano, Bologna, Naples: 1966, 1986, 2001

Latvia

Riga: 2002

Lithuania

Vilnius: 2004

Netherlands

Amsterdam, The Hague: 1963,1975,1988,2009

Norway

Oslo: 1968, 1974, 1994

Poland

Warsaw: 1970, 1987

Romania

Sinaia: 1995

Russia

Moscow: 2006

Slovakia

Bratislava: 1999

Spain

Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Torremolinos, Sevilla: 1978, 1983, 1992, 1998

Sweden

Stockholm, Gothenburg: 1964, 1981

Switzerland

Zürich,Bern, Lausanne: 1969, 1982, 2005

Turkey

Istanbul, Antalya, 2000, 2010

United Kingdom

London: 1964, 1979, 1993

Yugoslavia

Belgrade, Zagreb: 1977, 1989

The original name of REHVA, "Representatives of European Heating and Ventilating Associations" was changed to "Federation of European Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning Associations. From a public relations point of view, it was decided to maintain the acronym "REHVA".

As mentioned above the first meetings were chaired by a delegate of the host associations. After the acceptance of the Articles of Associations, REHVA was managed by a Board, chaired by a president. It was a logical development, that the first President of REHVA was Henry Meijer, who took such an active part in the creation of REHVA. He was president for six successive years (1970-1975) and was succeeded by:

Neville Billington

United Kingdom (CIBSE)

(1976 - 1978)

Erik Erichsen

Norway (NORVAC))

(1979 - 1981)

Mario Costantino

Italy (AICARR)

(1982 - 1984)

Walter Knoll

The Netherlands (TTVL)

(1985 - 1987)

Branko Todorovic

Yugoslavia (Yugo KGH)

(1988 - 1990)

Bendt Jacobsen

Denmark (DANVAC)

(1991 - 1993)

Ken Dale

United Kingdom (CIBSE)

(1994 - 1996)

Nicolas Gomez Gil

Spain (ATECYR)

(1997 - 1999)

Per Rasmussen

Denmark (DANVAC)

(1999 - 2002)

Dušan Petráš

Slovakia (SSTP)

(2002 - 2005)

Olli Seppänen

Finland (FINVAC)

(2005 - 2008)

Francis Allard

France (AICVF)

(2008 - 2011)

Michael Schmidt

Germany (VDI)

(2011 - )

In the first years it was practice, that the activities of the Clearing Centre, later to become the Secretariat, were executed by the country of the President. Soon it became evident that moving the Secretariat every three years, after each election of a new President was not very practical. It was decided to establish a permanent secretariat in The Netherlands, executed by the Dutch association TVVL. The name REHVA became widely known in the HVAC profession all over Europe by the publishing of a Newsletter and a Yearbook, later to become the REHVA Directory. The first edition of the multilingual REHVA Dictionary was published in 1982, giving the translation of thousands of words, used in the HVAC profession, in 10 languages (Dutch, French, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish). The second updated edition was published in 1994 with the additional languages of Danish and Finnish. Responsible for these publishing activities was one of REHVA´s two Standing Committees, viz. the Publishing Committee. Richard Eaves, Chairman of this committee during many years, played an important role. He was succeeded by Franco Stanzani under whose chairmanship the Newsletter was improved and the second edition of the Dictionary was published. Another project of the Publishing Committee was to collect abstracts of technical articles, published in the journals of the REHVA member associations. These summaries were published bimonthly on behalf of REHVA in the international Building Services Abstracts (IBSA) by the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA). The co-operation with REHVA was terminated after several years because it appeared too difficult for the majority if the member associations to produce abstracts in the English language regularly. However the abstract service of BSRIA still exists in printing and as an online computer service. The second standing committee is the former Technical Program Committee, later to become Technical Committee. This Committee advises associations in organizing REHVA seminars and organises the technical part of the annual Assembly. A technical (and social) event of global importance is the series of international congresses, named "CLIMA 2000". At first held every four years, this congress is now held every three years. This international congress is organized on behalf of REHVA by one of the member associations of REHVA and is attended by professionals from all over the world. The CLIMA 2000 congresses were held in Milan (1975), Budapest (1980), Copenhagen (1985), Sarajevo (1989),London (1993), Brussels(1997), Naples (2001), Lausanne (2005), Helsinki (2007) and Antalya (2010) attended by some 1000 HVAC professionals and presenting almost 500 papers.

In the Assembly of 1992 in Torremolinos, it was decided that under specific conditions, REHVA associations could co-operate as a special interest group to achieve given goals. The first interest group to be created was the Co-Operation Group with the aim to improve contacts with the European Commission. Specific goals of this Group were:

  • Formal recognition of REHVA by the European Commission.
  • Harmonization of Design Guidance the HVAC practice in Europe
  • Alignments views on CEN draft Standards.

These activities required financing out of special funds and seven countries were willing to provide these funds. However, participation in the Group was and is open for all REHVA members associations. Contacts with Directorate General XVII (Energy) were established and several REHVA projects obtained financial support to the benefit of the HVAC profession and REHVA.

At this moment REHVA has 26 associations' members of REHVA of which the names and addresses are given in this homepage and in the Directory. Looking back on the past, REHVA through its activities, improved the contacts between the European Technical HVAC associations and with many related organizations and institutions, such as ASHRAE, IIR, Eurovent, AIVC, CEN, etc. Since 2007, REHVA a new category of membership was created to include the industrial players in REHVA as well. 20 private companies and other organisations have joined REHVA as "Supporters" in 2007 and many more are expected to join in the coming years, given the success already experienced. The companies must be companies of good reputation, pursuing the same objectives as REHVA. The benefits offered to REHVA Supporters are multiple: they range from an increased European exposure, to networking opportunities with the most well-known experts and HVAC organizations and to having access to the most recent technical and education material in the HVAC field. By becoming REHVA Supporters, private companies also join the "reHVAClub", which is a meeting place between the industry and European HVAC experts, enabling networking and the exchange of experience and knowledge between market and R&D.

In this rapidly changing world and the challenges we are facing, REHVA thrives to work on the improvement of health, comfort and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities. It encourages the development and application of both energy conservation and renewable energy sources. In these areas, REHVA has a significant impact on National and International strategic planning and research initiatives, as well as on the associated educational and training programmes. REHVA also provides networking and cooperation opportunities for both member associations and companies (REHVA Supporters), with European and International organizations, which have similar goals in the building sector. This is achieved through the exchange of technical information, practical experience and research results etc , by REHVA's working groups, seminars, publications and journal. As the world around us becomes increasingly complex, with rapid changes taking place, new points of contact are needed where different types of expertise can meet in order to create new solutions and goals.

For further information www.rehva.eu