Japanese Association of Building Mechanical and Electrical Engineers Overview


An amendment of the Licensed Architects/Building Engineers’ Law of 1983 established credentials for building mechanical and electrical engineers who advise licensed architects/building engineers about the design and supervision of building construction. Since 1986, many engineers have qualified. The formation of this new association, whose membership mainly consists of qualified engineers, was promoted by individuals from organizations concerned with building equipment. When the Minister of Construction gave approval to set up a non-profit organization, the Japan Building Mechanical and Electrical Engineers Association was inaugurated November 6, 1989.

Along with the qualified engineers mentioned above, the association’s regular membership covers members from the existing building engineers of The Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan. Also included are the entire range of air-conditioning, sanitation, and electrical engineering professionals.


In recent years there has been a rapid increase in buildings equipped with advanced, diversified facilities and the importance of such building equipment has grown steadily. The association’s goals are to contribute to the public welfare by improving the quality of the nation’s building equipment, engaging in activities designed to advance, improve, and disseminate building equipment technology, as well as making efforts to improve the quality and social of engineers.


The association’s five membership categories are shown in the chart below. Membership is divided into first and second c]ass members, in accordance with qualifications, but membership privileges are the same. The association distributes its journal to members each month and also affords special benefits such as incentives related to association projects and activities.

Membership Categories and Fees

Categories: Membership is open to the following:
First Class Regular Member Qualified building, mechanical, and electrical engineers who join Lo support the association’s goals
Second Class Regular Member Non-first class members who, having passed the building engineer examination of The Society of Heating Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan, join to support the association’s goals
Associate Member People who, while not possessing the qualifications to became first or second class member, but possessing skills related to building, join to support the association’s goals
Supporting Member People or organizations who join to support the association’s operations
Honorary Member People commended by the association’s general assembly because they have served the association meritorious learning and experience

Total membership (as of March 2013)

  • Regular members: 8,675
  • Supporting members: 219 companies

The regular membership is widely distributed among design firms, the construction and building equipment industries, electric, gas, and telecommunications utilities, real estate developers, machinery manufacturers, public agencies, and schools. A]so included are air-conditioning, sanitation , and electrical engineers


  1. Registration of qualified building mechanical and Electrical engineers
  2. Studies and research related to building equipment technology
  3. Cooperation with and proposals to building administration organizations
  4. Association journal and publications
    1. Publication of the monthly association journal Building Mechanical and Electrical Engineer
    2. Publication of the annual association journal Building equipment Almanac
    3. Technical publications (listed below)
      • Building Standards for Air-Conditioning and Plumbing Works
      • Design Manual for Buildings Equipment (air-conditioning version and plumbing version)
      • Renewal Manual for Building Equipment
      • Introduction to the Calculation of Heat Loads in Air-Conditioning Equipment by Dynamic Method
      • Building Electrical Equipment: Overview and Data


    5. Preparatory reference materials for examinations
      • Comprehensive Course for the Building Mechanical and Electrical Engineer Examination
      • Examination of the Building Engineer, SHASE: Questions and Answers
  5. Lectures and field trips
    1. Practical design courses on air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical equipment
    2. Practical courses on construction works of air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical equipment
    3. Various technical lectures
    4. Field trips
    5. Correspondence course: Practical Course on Building Equipment
  6. Computer programming and other services
    1. Programs for heat load calculation by dynamic method in air-conditioning equipment
    2. Air conditioning systems simulation programs
    3. Standard meteorological data for Japan (used to calculate heat loads)
  7. International exchanges of building equipment technology
    1. Communication with related associations in other countries
    2. Surveys of technical qualifications and business systems related to building construction in other countries
    3. Dispatch of overseas building equipment study tours


Trustees: 48 (including president and vice-president)
Auditors: 2

President: Kawase Takaharu
Vice-President: Sato Daizo, Fujita Keiichi, Tanabe Shinichi, Ishigami Tetsushi, Hanai Takafumi


  • Management Committee
  • General Affairs and Accounting Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Fundamental Policies Examination Committee
  • Association Journal Editing Committee
  • Operations Committee
  • Publishing Committee
  • Computer Committee
  • Overseas surveys Committee

Regarding the Building Mechanical and Electrical Engineer Qualification System

In Japan, minimum standards for building sites, structures, facilities, and construction land are in accordance with the Building Standard Law (BSL). Prior to the start of construction, the builder must file applications for certification from administrative organizations and buildings must be inspected after completion The BSL also stipulates that building design and construction supervision may only be undertaken by authorized architects possessing the qualifications delineated in the Licensed Architects/Building Engineers’ Law. Because the BSL also stipulates that building equipment are part of buildings, only licensed architects can oversee construction or design. In the past, however, the design of building equipment, such as air conditioning and plumbing, was ordinarily handled by mechanical engineers, while electrical equipment was usually undertaken by electrical engineers. For this reason there were few licensed architects designing building equipment and, in actual fact, even though a building permit might be in the name of an architect, the design work often was either subcontracted to technical specialists or carried out with outside cooperation.
Recently, building equipment have improved and diversified remarkably, to the extent that only technical specialists are able to manage them. Further, as the number of such buildings grow, it becomes difficult for the small number of engineers ― qualified as licensed architects and possessing the specialized skills required for building equipment ― to design and oversee the construction of all buildings. Thus many mechanical and electrical building engineers must participate in the planning process.
Organizations concerned with building equipment began calling for the legislation of qualifications for building equipment engineers in 1950, when the Licensed Architects/Building Engineers’ Law was promulgated. Since this did not occur, however, in 1955 The Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan was established to certify engineers (building engineers, SHASE) who design and supervise the construction of air-conditioning and sanitation equipment. Building engineer qualifications are determined by the private sector and thus have no legal authority. Still, there are more than 27,000 certified building engineers today and they have gained wide acceptance in society.
Organizations concerned with building equipment subsequently approached the Construction Ministry’s Construction Standards Committee about improving the social status of building equipment engineers and legislating their qualifications. In 1983 the Building Council, an investigative arm of the Ministry of Construction, confirmed that qualifications should be established for engineers responsible for designing and supervising the construction of building equipment and presented a report to the construction minister. The Licensed Architects/Building Engineers’ Law was amended the same year this report was received. Yet the revisions only referred to existing “qualified building mechanical and electrical engineers” with the legal credentials to advise licensed architects on building equipment design and construction supervision. It stated that “when a licensed architect needs to give particular consideration to the design and supervision of the construction of a building’s equipment for a large building or special equipment and if a equipment engineer’s advice is sought, it must be clearly indicated on the design drawings, and application( for confirmation).” Such qualifications pertained to an architect’s advisers and an architect was not necessarily required to seek opinions. As such, the rights and responsibilities pertaining to the design and supervision of the construction of building equipment remained with architects, as in the past.
As building mechanical and electrical engineers, we consider the existing situation for building equipment design credentials to be unsatisfactory and will continue our activities aimed at establishing specialized credentials that will afford rights and responsibilities regarding the design and supervision of the construction of building equipment.
Present building equipment engineer qualification examinations include primary examinations pertaining to general construction, building laws and regulations, and building equipment (air-conditioning, sanitation, electricity, and transport equipment in general), and second-level examinations devoted to equipment plans drafting and dissertations. To be eligible for these examinations the applicant must have graduated from a university in building mechanical, or electrical engineering and have eight years or more of actual work experience after graduating Further, qualified engineers are obliged to take brush-up courses every three years in order to elevate equipment’ technical standards.
Building mechanical and electrical engineers first started receiving qualifications in 1986 and as of 1993 there were 23,600 qualified engineers. A licensing system is also in place and there are now 21,500 registered engineers.

Additional Information

The building engineers of The Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan:

Qualifications are awarded in the fields of air-conditioning and sanitation.
Applicants must have three years or more of actual work experience after graduating from university.
For building engineers who possess the society’s credentials, the number of years of actual work experience is reduced to three years or more for building mechanical and electrical engineer examination applicants.