Our vision is to create a better world through the safe and sustainable use of natural refrigerants.


Our mission is to provide advocacy, education, and standards for the benefit of the global community in the safe and sustainable design, installation and operation of ammonia and other natural refrigerant systems.

The Story of IIAR
  • In 1970, the ammonia refrigeration industry faced a big problem.  A proposed change to the National Electric Code (NEC) would have required the use of explosion - proof equipment in ammonia refrigeration engine rooms — a measure that would have proved ruinously expensive for the industry while doing little if anything to improve industry safety.
  • A group of industry representatives from about 35 companies met in Philadelphia to develop a strategy for defeating this code change.
  • Four leaders from the Ammonia Refrigeration Industry spearheaded the effort: George Briley, who was later to become IIAR’s first president, Bill Richards, Charles “Chuck” Hansen and Don Niederer. many of the people who were to become the future leaders of IIAR served on ASHRAE’s Refrigeration Committee.
  • These four individuals establish a Not For Profit Corporation in the State of Illinois.  The new organization was named The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration. 
  • On June 7, 1971 Its Documents of Incorporation were signed .  They stated that the IIAR’s mission was to “promote education, information and standards for proper and safe use of ammonia as a refrigerant.” 
  • IIAR’s first headquarters as 401 S. Rohlwing Road, Addison, IL.  The signers of the Articles were Don Niederer, Bill Richards and Chuck Hansen.  The articles listed the members of the first Board of Directors as George Briley, Chuck Hansen, Don Niederer, Gilbert Powers and A.W. Ruff. 
  • By 1972, IIAR had 48 member companies.  Since then, IIAR membership has grown to almost 1,900 members from 38 countries.  IIAR solidified its position as the industry code setter by becoming an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standards developer. 
  • The first IIAR standard (IIAR-2) was approved in 1974.
  • In 1994 IIAR published the PSM Guidelines creating a starting point for members to create PSM programs that enabled them to comply with new regulations quickly and effectively.
  • Since its conception IIAR has published 9 Standards, countless bulletins, more than 500 Technical Papers, and has developed a new certificate education program.  IIAR continues to be the leader in Ammonia Refrigeration Advocacy, Education, Safety, Efficiency.