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 By-laws. After 1970, the delegates met once a year and growth of REHVA clearly appears from the list of Assemblies:


Brussels: 1970, 1997

Czech Republic

Prague: 2013


Copenhagen, Aalborg: 1966, 1971, 1976, 1985, 2016


Tallinn: 2011


Helsinki: 1972, 1990, 2007


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


Düsseldorf, Aachen: 1965, 1984, 2008, 2014


Budapest: 1967, 1973, 1980, 1996


Milano, Bologna, Naples: 1966, 1986, 2001


Riga: 2002,2015


Vilnius: 2004


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


Oslo: 1968, 1974, 1994


Warsaw: 1970, 1987


Sinaia, Timisoara: 1995, 2012


Moscow: 2006


Bratislava: 1999


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


Stockholm, Gothenburg: 1964, 1981


Zürich,Bern, Lausanne: 1969, 1982, 2005


Istanbul, Antalya, 2000, 2010

United Kingdom

London: 1964, 1979, 1993, 2017


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 - 2013     

Karel Kabele

Czech Republic (STP)

2013 - 2016

Stefano P. Corgnati

Italy (AiCARR)

2016 - 2019

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 publication 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 bi-monthly 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 Programme Committee, later to become Technical Committee. This Committee advises associations in organizing REHVA seminars and organizes 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), Antalya (2010) and Prague (2013) 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 27 associations' members of REHVA of which the names and addresses are given in this page. 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 new category of membership was created to include the industrial players in REHVA as well. More then 40 private companies and other organizations have joined REHVA as "Supporters" 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.