The Chapter began as the Washington, DC Chapter of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE) on 24 September 1935. An organizational meeting of the ASHVE Washington Chapter was held on 9 October 1935 and Lt. Col. Wilmot A. Danielson was elected the first president. Later, the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE) formed the Baltimore-Washington Section in 1939.
These two organizations existed side-by-side for the next twenty years, until they joined together in 1959 to form the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
The name of the Chapter became the National Capital Chapter of ASHRAE after the merger of the two former Societies in 1959. Thanks to its location at the seat of the U. S. Government, and to the hard work of its membership committees, the Chapter has grown to become one of the largest in the Society.
The National Capital Chapter hosted successful Society meetings in August 1971 and June 1983. In September 1985, the Chapter celebrated its 50th Anniversary and hosted the Region III Chapter Regional Conference (CRC) in Alexandria, Virginia. The Chapter hosted the CRC again in September 1997.
The National Capital Chapter has been fortunate in having many distinguished members; among them are Society Past Presidents Clint Phillips and Jim Hill. Numerous Chapter members have been honored with the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award and/or have been designated as Fellows of the Society.
The one outstanding characteristic of the Chapter has been the willingness of so many members to support and work for goals of the Chapter throughout its long history.