The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE, pronounced as 'ASH-ray') is an American professional association seeking to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems design and construction. Despite having 'American' in its name, ASHRAE is a global organization with more than 57,000 members in more than 132 countries. Its members are composed of building services engineers, architects, mechanical contractors, building owners, equipment manufacturers' employees, and others concerned with the design and construction of HVAC&R systems in buildings. The society funds research projects, offers continuing education programs, and develops and publishes technical standards to improve building services engineering, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainable development.