2017 Press releases

Tuesday, June 20

AIRAH’s inaugural Building Physics Forum pushes the envelope

Discussions on air movement, thermal performance, and the control of moisture across building envelopes were brought to the fore at AIRAH’s first-ever Building Physics Forum, held last week at Brisbane’s Stamford Plaza Grand Ballroom. 

With close to 80 delegates from across Australia in attendance, AIRAH’s Building Physics Forum provided an in-depth exploration into the ways of controlling flows across a building’s fundamental architectural elements and assemblies.

“Supported by a compelling line-up of expert speakers, I can say with confidence that the inaugural Building Physics Forum in Brisbane was a bona fide success,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. 

“Everyone in attendance was treated to the latest developments on topics relating to air movement and building envelopes, as well as air tightness, ventilation and thermal bridging. And, as always, there was plenty of thought-provoking discussion between presenters and delegates throughout the day – a hallmark of AIRAH’s conferences.”

Headlining the event was a keynote address from the founding director of the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC), Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH.

In his presentation “Pushing the envelope: Building physics and improved indoor environments,” Cooper provided a comprehensive overview on the recent developments and efforts to improve the envelope and ventilation performance of buildings to better control our indoor environment.

Cooper also showcased the recent research findings on natural and mixed-mode ventilation systems and associated control systems, together with the latest research on thermal comfort in residential and high-performance buildings. Innovations and research on building envelope systems, such as innovative wall and façade systems, were also discussed. 

“Energy efficiency and health go hand in hand,” says Cooper. “It’s a real issue in Australia. And, while we’ve come a long way in building physics in just a few decades – we still have a long way to go.”  

A fellow speaker on the day, Mahmudul Hasan, M.AIRAH, from Certis Energy, presented on the NCC Section J Assessment and Compliance of residential aged care in hot and mild temperate climates. As another expert in the building physics space in Australia, Hasan believes the Forum should become an annual staple on the AIRAH conference calendar. 

“The Forum provides a significant insight to practitioners regarding what we do based on Codes, Standards and practices,” says Hasan. “It shows what we need to change and what needs more attention in the future. There is a lot happening in the industry, and many practitioners are not aware of these. Rather than just ignoring the issues, we must be more proactive and educate the building practitioners so they can make things right.”

Also providing their expert insight and expertise to the Building Physics Forum on the day were presenters Brett Beeson, M.AIRAH, from Lehr Consultants International; Dr Mark Dewsbury, M.AIRAH, from the University of Tasmania; Sean Maxwell, AM.AIRAH, from Efficiency Matrix; Andy Russell, M.AIRAH, from Proctor Group; Dr Clyde Anderson from Anderson Energy Efficiency; Jessica Hogg from Inhabit Group; and Chris Killoran from Arup.

Providing MC duties on the day was AIRAH executive manager – government and external relations Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. He says that conferences such as the Building Physics Forum are ultimately about informing and educating the industry.

“At the end of the day, we want to deliver better indoor and outdoor environmental quality, and improve the overall comfort, wellness, and performance of people,” says Wilkinson. “It was important to hear from those at the forefront of local research, but it was also enlightening to get an international perspective. The inaugural Building Physics Forum provided everyone in attendance with a smorgasbord of technical information, but it also outlined a pathway to a healthier built environment overall.”

AIRAH thanks major sponsors Architectural Window Systems Ventient, as well as supporting sponsors the Australian Passive House Association, Bradford, Kingspan and Pro Clima.

To read more about AIRAH conferences, go to www.airah.org.au/Conferences

Ends

Wednesday, June 14

AIRAH’s inaugural Building Physics Forum debuts this week

Brisbane’s Stamford Plaza Grand Ballroom will provide the backdrop for AIRAH’s first Building Physics Forum this week. This new event will bring to the fore air movement, thermal performance, and the control of moisture across building envelopes. 

Taking place this Thursday, June 15, AIRAH’s one-day Building Physics Forum will explore ways of controlling flows across a building’s fundamental architectural elements and assemblies. 

“We’ve managed to put together a compelling line-up of speakers for our inaugural Building Physics Forum in Brisbane,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. 

“Attendees can expect to get the latest developments on a truly broad range of topics relating to air movement and building envelopes. Everything from air tightness and ventilation to thermal bridging will be covered. We’ll also have an international perspective via case studies from the UK and Japan.” 

Attendees will be treated to an extensive line-up of presentations featuring some of Australia’s leading minds in the building physics space.

Headlining the event will be a keynote address from the founding director of the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC), Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH.

Bringing 35 years of experience to the table, Cooper has been involved in a wide range of research on sustainable buildings, renewable energy systems, energy efficiency and fluid mechanics. His current research interests include net-zero energy buildings, retrofitting existing dwellings, IEQ in aged-care facilities and apartments, automation of natural ventilation systems, innovation in building management systems, photovoltaic-thermal, and cool roof and other innovative building envelope technologies. 

In his presentation “Pushing the envelope: Building physics and improved indoor environments,” Cooper will provide an overview of recent developments and efforts to improve the envelope and ventilation performance of buildings, in order to better control our indoor environment.

“Energy efficiency and health go hand in hand,” says Cooper. “And it’s a real issue in Australia. Recent research suggests Australians suffer greater rates of morbidity as a result of cold than people in much colder climates such as Sweden. While this research is in its infancy, the thinking is that this may be due to the poor thermal performance of housing here.”

Cooper will also showcase the recent research findings on natural and mixed-mode ventilation systems and associated control systems, together with the latest research on thermal comfort in residential and high-performance buildings. Innovations and research on building envelope systems, such as innovative wall and façade systems, will also be covered. 

Also, providing their expert insight and expertise to the Building Physics Forum will be presenters Brett Beeson, M.AIRAH, from Lehr Consultants International; Dr Mark Dewsbury, M.AIRAH, from the University of Tasmania; Mahmudul Hasan, M.AIRAH, from Certis Energy; Sean Maxwell, AM.AIRAH, from Efficiency Matrix; Andy Russell, M.AIRAH, from Proctor Group; Dr Clyde Anderson from Anderson Energy Efficiency; Jessica Hogg from Inhabit Group; and Chris Killoran from Arup.

AIRAH executive manager – government and external relations Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says even though the Forum is rather technical in nature, in the end it’s really all about people.

“By controlling flows across the building envelope,” Wilkinson says, “we can deliver better indoor and outdoor environmental quality, thereby improving the comfort, wellness, and performance of people.” 

AIRAH thanks major sponsors Architectural Window Systems and Ventient, as well as supporting sponsors the Australian Passive House Association, Bradford, Kingspan and Pro Clima.

To view the full program and to register, go to www.airah.org.au/buildingphysics

Ends

Thursday, June 8

AIRAH's response to the USA leaving the Paris climate change agreement

Much has been written over the past couple of days regarding the Paris climate accord. This global discussion serves as a great opportunity to reinforce AIRAH’s commitment to create a more sustainable world.

AIRAH is committed to reducing the environmental impact of buildings and associated services by making them more energy efficient. In fact, the Paris climate accord makes the critical role of AIRAH members in reducing the environmental impact more important than ever before. AIRAH's vision is focused on creating  “safe, sustainable, healthy and efficient environments”.

The Institute continues to establish best-practice standards for the design and operation of buildings that have lower environmental impacts. AIRAH's advocacy position of these matters are clear (please visit the Advocacy page to read more).

AIRAH's work is critically important, and via its dedicated volunteers and committed staff the Institute will continue to work to a more sustainable world.

Ends

Thursday, June 1

PRIME leads Innovation Hub Summits in Sydney and Melbourne

PRIME has held summits on its Innovation Hub (iHub) for Affordable Heating and Cooling initiative in Sydney and Melbourne. Supported by AIRAH and the CSIRO, the iHub is being proposed as a key mechanism for facilitating the HVAC&R industry’s transition to a low-emissions future, stimulating jobs growth, and showcasing HVAC&R innovations.

Attracting participants from all facets of the industry, the iHub Summits presented an overview on the initiative, and provided those in attendance with a chance to provide much sought-after feedback.  

The iHub concept has bold aims, aspiring to create more than 200 jobs from new products and services, retain Australian entrepreneurs in Australia, have innovative low-energy designs applied in at least 10 major construction projects, and establish Australia’s only dedicated undergraduate degree in Building Services.

Both virtual and physical spaces where a community of industry innovators, designers and educators can easily access knowledge and research infrastructure, the iHubs will make it easier to incubate ideas and reshape industry practice to our future needs. 

“The Innovation Hub has the potential to revolutionise the industry, and these Summits are essential if we want to spread the word and gather feedback,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. 

“We attracted a great spread of attendees, who included architects, engineers, facility managers, contractors, and those in the manufacturing space. We also had representatives from universities, Sustainability Victoria, and the Department of Environment and Energy. To see these sectors from the built environment represented at the Summits was tremendously encouraging.” 

The morning session of the Summits kicked off with an “Introduction to the iHub” presentation from Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH, from the CSIRO, followed by a workshop discussion on “Integrated Building Design Studios”. 

“The Innovation Hub aims to incentivise industry to collaborate across disciplinary silos, encourage innovation, share learnings and inspire the next generation of students,” says AIRAH executive manager – government relations and technical services Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Having workshops like this help us understand how we can have more stakeholders involved and ensure its success.”

The Summit’s second session was reserved for a workshop on “Research and Innovation toward Net-Zero Energy Buildings”. Buoyed by a theme of “collaborate to innovate”, the iHub proposes research and innovation in targeted areas, aiming to focus R&D within the HVAC&R sector where it can be of most benefit.

Says Wilkinson: “How can we make research on longer-term net-zero energy building transformation attractive and valued by typical Australian HVAC&R companies? And, if not attractive to all, then what niches should we target? How do we build a culture of research collaboration rather than research silos? These are the issues we’re trying to address with PRIME and the initiation of the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling.”     

In collaboration with AIRAH and the CSIRO, PRIME plans to continue to engage with industry, HVAC&R professionals and educational institutions among others to explore the next steps in implementing specific iHub projects across the country this year. 

PRIME is a whole-of-industry pathway to a low-emissions future, established over five years of industry consultations and visioning work. 

For more information about the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling, go to www.airah.org.au/ihub.

Ends

Thursday, May 25

Nominations open for 2017 AIRAH Awards

Acknowledging the HVAC&R industry’s outstanding achievements, AIRAH is seeking nominations for its coveted annual accolades. 

The HVAC&R industry’s night of nights – the 2017 AIRAH Awards – will take place November 2 at Sydney’s Doltone House. The AIRAH Awards presentation dinner honours the industry’s high achievers, stand-out projects, and ground-breaking research. 

“The ever-evolving nature of the HVAC&R industry is testament to the passionate, hard-working individuals who continue to innovate and push boundaries,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “Now established as a marquee event on the industry calendar, the AIRAH Awards are an opportunity to give kudos to those who have shaped the industry for the better – the HVAC&R trend-setters and go-getters.” 

Open to individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, the 2017 AIRAH Awards recognise work carried out during 2016. 

“In 2017, we will also announce the inaugural Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion winner,” says Gleeson. “This new award recognises and celebrates organisations that have shown leadership in diversity through their efforts, initiatives, policies, programs and practices. We need to encourage inclusive levels of representation within HVAC&R’s ranks – we hope the addition of this new award will help the industry in working towards that goal.” 

The 2017 AIRAH Awards encompass the following categories:
James Harrison Medal: the highest honour AIRAH can bestow upon an individual (nominations not required); 
Future Leader award: recognising emerging leaders in any facet of the HVAC&R industry;
Student of the Year award: recognising outstanding student achievements at any level in the HVAC&R industry. This accolade is awarded to two recipients, a trade sector winner and a higher education and research winner; 
Product of the Year: manufacturers of the best Australian HVAC&R products compete against each other for a coveted AIRAH gong;
Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade award: recognising excellence in the retrofit or upgrade of an HVAC system, and can address the complete delivery of projects; 
Denis Joseph Award for Innovative Use of Solar Energy in HVAC&R: recognising Australian initiatives that through the innovative use of solar energy significantly improve the performance of HVAC&R systems; 
Excellence in Sustainability award: recognising Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry; 
Excellence in Innovation award: recognising substantial Australian improvements in the areas of HVAC&R achieved through innovation. 
This can include new or significantly enhanced products; or new or significantly improved systems, plant and equipment, or processes; 
Excellence in HVAC&R Research: recognising outstanding achievements in Australian research; 
Excellence in Refrigeration: this award recognises excellence in the retrofit or upgrade to existing refrigeration systems or the development of new systems, or in the industry’s delivery of services.
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: This new award recognises and celebrates organisations that have shown leadership in diversity, and embraced and fostered inclusive levels of representation within their ranks; and
The W.R. Ahern Award: awarded annually and recognises the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium in the preceding year. Nominations are not required in this category.

2017 AIRAH Awards key dates
Nominations open* – Monday, May 29 
Nominations close – Friday, July 14 
2017 AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner  Thursday, November 2
* Please contact Bettina May via awards@airah.org.au to advise that you will be nominating.

2017 AIRAH Awards presentation dinner
What:  AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner 2017
When: Thursday, November 2, 7pm
Where: Doltone House, Sydney
Cost: Ticket: $190; table of 10: $1,800
For nomination forms, go to www.airah.org.au/AWARDS
To book a table email awards@airah.org.au

Awards sponsors
Event sponsor
Daikin
Student of the Year – Trade
LG Electronics
Student of the Year – Higher Education and Research
ActronAir
Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade
NABERS
Future Leader Award
A.G. Coombs
Excellence in Innovation
Standards Australia
Excellence in Refrigeration
Heatcraft

 
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Email awards@airah.org.au for more information.

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Friday, May 19

AIRAH’s AGM welcomes new Directors to Board and makes changes to Constitution

Following its AGM held last week in Melbourne, AIRAH has welcomed Dr Paul Bannister, F.AIRAH; and Liza Taylor, M.AIRAH, onto its Board of Directors. A number of changes have also been made to AIRAH’s Constitution, facilitating a change to the Board’s number and make-up.

“I’m delighted to welcome Paul and Liza to the AIRAH Board,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “They both bring unique skill sets that add to and complement the Board’s present capacity, and will help shepherd the Institute as we navigate the next challenging yet exciting stages of our development.”

Bannister and Taylor officially joined the board at the AGM. They replace President Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, who stepped down due to ill health earlier this year, and Nathan Groenhout, F.AIRAH, who retires as a director, having served the maximum number of years on the Board, including as President.

One of the world’s leading authorities on energy efficiency, ACT-based Bannister is responsible for the Projects & Advisory Services division of energy management services consultancy Energy Action.

“It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the operation and direction of an organisation that I have been working with for more than 10 years,” says Bannister of joining AIRAH’s Board. “AIRAH is central to advancing the industry both in a technical sense and a political sense, and I’m looking forward to being able to contribute to this.”

A regular contributor to the Institute’s training courses, seminars and publications, Bannister has also chaired two AIRAH conferences committees. He’s a member of the ESD Special Technical Group.

Hailing from Sydney, Taylor has considerable experience in the HVAC&R industry, having held senior leadership roles before establishing her own consultancy, Global IQ Group.

Since joining the Institute, she has been involved in the NSW division committee, and was founding co-chair of the Resilience Special Technical Group. She’s looking forward to helping to raise the profile of Women in AIRAH.

“Making the industry more visible is one of my objectives,” says Taylor of her focus as a Director. “As an industry of quiet achievers, we play such a pivotal role in enabling life, the economy and our environment. 

“By celebrating diversity and raising the profile of the good work we do, I hope that this will encourage future generations of HVAC&R leaders. 

“AIRAH is in a really strong position, and I’m looking forward to building on the strengths of its almost-100-year history.”

At the AGM a number of changes to AIRAH’s Constitution were passed. These are broadly summarised as follows:
• The Institute to increase the number of Board Directors from five to six. 
• To remove the limitation of the number of Directors that may come from Special Technical Groups.
• To allow for three Directors to stand for election each alternative year.
• To clarify the appointment and tenure terms of Directors and President.

More information about changes to the Constitution can be found at www.airah.org.au/AGM

Ends

Tuesday, May 16

PRIME instigates an Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling

PRIME, supported by AIRAH and the CSIRO, is proposing to establish the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling as a key mechanism for facilitating the HVAC&R industry’s transition to a low-emissions future, stimulating jobs growth, and showcasing HVAC&R innovations.

“The Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling will provide virtual and physical spaces where a community of industry innovators, designers and educators can easily access knowledge and research infrastructure,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH.

“This will make it easier to incubate ideas and reshape industry practice to the needs of the 21st century. The Innovation Hub will enable Australian small to medium enterprises to accelerate product development, including through access to cutting-edge intellectual property, independent technology validation, and interfaces with venture capital investment.”

The Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling is aimed at supporting industry – such as manufacturers, product entrepreneurs, designers and consultants – to deliver the low-carbon buildings of the future. 

Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH, from the CSIRO, says the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling will create a connected HVAC innovation community in Australia with a shared IP platform, a streamlined and flexible research environment, Living Laboratories and design studios.

White says the design studios will help developers and asset owners to work with the design industry to explore new high-performance building solutions in more detail, and provide access to international networks and knowledge.

“‘Collaborate to innovate’ is the key theme, with low-emission heating cooling solutions for buildings the primary focus,” White says.

White says a Living Laboratory is a real-life place that is made available to flexibly trial HVAC&R innovations in products and services, in an environment of collaboration. 

“In a Living Laboratory all interested stakeholders – owner, suppliers, users, and researchers – can participate, collaborate, co-create and reflect on improvements and alternative solutions,” he says.

The Innovation Hub has bold aims, aspiring to create more than 200 jobs from new products and services, retain Australian entrepreneurs in Australia, get innovative low-energy designs applied in at least 10 major construction projects, and establish Australia’s only dedicated undergraduate major in Building Services.

“The Innovation Hub will support the broader HVAC&R industry with knowledge dissemination, skills development and capacity building,” White says. “We want to help Australian SMEs compete on the world stage. We encourage companies to join up as members to gain access to all these resources and free testing infrastructure.”

AIRAH is the leading specialist membership association for air conditioning, refrigeration, heating and ventilation professionals.

CSIRO is Australia’s national research agency and innovation catalyst.

PRIME is a whole-of-industry pathway to a low-emissions future, established over five years of industry consultations and visioning work. 

For more information about the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling, go to www.airah.org.au/ihub

Ends

Thursday, May 11

Infrastructure-focused Budget offers plenty for the HVAC&R industry, says AIRAH

A 2017–18 Federal Budget predicated on infrastructure spending and skills growth offers considerable value for the HVAC&R industry, according to the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH). 

AIRAH Chief Executive Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, says the government’s plan to spend $75 billion on key infrastructure projects over 10 years offers plenty for Australia in general, and the HVAC&R industry in particular.

“A Budget focused on rail, road and airport spending is obviously a boon for the construction sector, and for trade opportunities,” Gleeson says. “As an integral component of the industries that assemble our built environment and also provides health and comfort, the HVAC&R industry will benefit too.

“And with the establishment of the Skilling Australians Fund, the HVAC&R trade sector is getting quite a leg-up, which we tentatively support while we await more detail. The Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices program, which has had $60 million set aside for it, is another excellent initiative.”

In place of the now scrapped 457 visa for foreign workers, the government plans to create a new temporary skills shortage visa that has stricter conditions. Employers wishing to hire foreign workers through the new visa will be required to make contributions to the new Fund.

Gleeson says the government’s $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility to remove impediments to developing new homes is one of a number of positive elements included in the Budget.

Another was the establishment of a $10 billion National Rail Program to create better connectivity and productivity. 

“We also applaud the directive for researchers to engage more closely with industry than has occurred in the past,” Gleeson says. “Indeed, we are already seeing this happen, where academics have come down from their ivory towers and actively engaging with industry and with AIRAH itself to kick-start some fantastic initiatives. This will help Australia build skills and capability for the jobs and industries of the future.”

Gleeson says it’s disappointing that, pending various policy reviews that are in progress, the Federal Budget appears to defer new funding for policy responding to climate change.

As participants in some of those reviews, AIRAH will continue to voice the view that it’s important to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions via the adoption of appropriate refrigerants, and through resilient design.

“Although there are some very admirable elements in the 2017–18 Federal Budget, the Institute will continue to talk to those in power about those things important to us and our members,” Gleeson says.

“We will continue to be the leading independent voice for our industry on resilience, sustainability, compliance, innovation, and the transition to low-GWP refrigerants.”
For more information about AIRAH’s advocacy positions, go to www.airah.org.au/advocacy

Ends

Tuesday, April 4

AIRAH to host the Sydney Mid-Tier Forum

Leveraging off the successful Melbourne Forum series, the Sydney Forum is the latest addition to AIRAH’s 2017 events schedule. It will focus on the uptake of sustainability initiatives in mid-tier buildings in New South Wales. 

Curated in collaboration with the City of Sydney, the Energy Efficiency Council, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, NABERS, and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the Sydney Forum will take place at the Aerial UTS Function Centre on Tuesday, June 13.

“An enormous amount of progress has been made in recent years in optimising the premium component of the built environment,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “We’re now at a stage where most owners of premium and A-grade buildings understand the importance of energy efficiency, resilience and sustainability. 

“Unfortunately, the mid-tier has been left lagging behind. The average NABERS Energy rating in this sector is just 2.4 stars, while many don’t have a rating at all.

“The rationale behind the Sydney Forum is to increase the relationship between all stakeholders in the mid-tier supply chain. All parties need to collaborate and work towards common objectives to achieve energy-efficient buildings. Facility managers need to know their building and occupants, and the contractors must fully understand their systems.”

According to a report prepared by the GBCA for the federal government in 2015, about 80,000 buildings in Australia classify as “the mid-tier”. These buildings are estimated to represent as much as 84 per cent of the 64 million square metres of commercial office space in Australia.

Recognising the need to address the barriers to mid-tier energy efficiency, AIRAH manager – government and external relations, Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says the Sydney Forum will provide the ideal springboard for improvement. 

“Energy performance and sustainability are generally low-priority concerns for mid-tier building owners,” says Wilkinson. “Unfortunately, energy-efficiency outcomes have not been pushed strongly enough to impact the mid-tier. However, the launch of AIRAH’s Sydney Forum series will work to lay out a pathway to sustainability in this space, not just in Sydney, but throughout New South Wales.”   

Confirmed speakers for the June Sydney Forum are Dr Paul Bannister, F.AIRAH, from Energy Action; Anthony De Francesco from Real Investment Analytics (RIA); Shauna Coffey from the Energy Efficiency Council; and Rachael Scott from Eureka Real Assets.  

For more information about the Sydney Forum, email events@airah.org.au or go to www.airah.org.au/SydneyForum.

Ends

Thursday, March 30

AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2017 Conference attracts record attendance

Taking place March 27–28 at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) held its first major event for the year – the Refrigeration 2017 Conference. Headlined by a brace of international keynotes speakers, the two-day conference attracted a record-breaking number of delegates.  

Now established as the leading gathering place for the Australian refrigeration industry’s leading minds and trendsetters, the Refrigeration 2017 Conference looked at the state of the industry, how it may respond to the challenges initiated by COP 21 and the global HFC phase-down, and how this will impact upon educators, legislators, regulators, end users, engineers, consultants and technicians.

Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium provided an eye-catching the backdrop for the two-day event, which attracted a record 150-plus delegates. 

Labelling the event a bona-fide success, AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, says Refrigeration 2017 highlights AIRAH’s commitment to help shape an efficient, productive and resilient industry.  

“Although we didn’t quite reach Etihad Stadium’s 50,000 capacity, we’re still extremely pleased with the turnout and reception from all delegates at Refrigeration 2017,” Gleeson says. “At a key juncture for the refrigeration industry, the conference organising committee led by Stefan Jensen, F.AIRAH, was committed to curating a program that addressed the most critical issues from both an Australian and international perspective. 

“Those in attendance have the capability to shape the refrigeration space for years to come. So to have these influencers gathered in the one space, and to witness so much robust conversation throughout the two days was wonderful to see.”  

Opening proceedings on day one, vice-chair of European natural refrigerant initiative Eurammon Monika Witt outlined the role of natural refrigerants in the future. 
Providing an update on the situation in Europe, Witt outlined the status of refrigerants, the steps required to meet climate targets, and other aspects to consider for a sustainable future.

“Using HFOs is simply ‘quick fix’,” says Witt. “The future is natural. The smartest decision is to leapfrog other refrigerant options and turn to the natural choices.” 

President of US-based Colmac Coil Manufacturing, Bruce Nelson, M.AIRAH, headlined day two with a rousing keynote presentation on the “Donald Effect”. 

Nelson, vice-chair of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR), discussed the developments in low-charge ammonia refrigeration systems in light of an uncertain and shifting political environment following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

“We need to make ammonia great again!” says Nelson. “The politics of climate change has driven the phase-out of HFCs via the EPA SNAP rule. However, the politics of public safety still limits application of ammonia and hydrocarbons. The “Donald Effect” on regulations and enforcement is unclear, but low-charge technology has expanded applications for ammonia.”   

Day two also provided arguably the most insightful session of the conference, as a panel consisting of Witt, Nelson, Robert Kebby from Honeywell, and Jan Dusek from

Shecco discussed the international implications from COP21 and the future of the refrigeration industry.

With questions opening up to the delegates, the session provided a platform for passionate – and at times, intense – discussions regarding training, licensing, and the participation of women in the industry. 

“There’s evident concern surrounding the industry and its attractiveness as a career for those entering the workforce,” says AIRAH executive manager, government relations and technical services Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Yet many in the room felt that now was an exciting time to get involved in refrigeration, as the uptake of CO2 and ammonia technologies becomes more commonplace. AIRAH looks forward to working with the key stakeholders in the space to promote this, and ultimately boost the number of skilled apprentices.”

Wilkinson says two of the exciting facets of the conference were its decidedly international flavour, and its future focus.

“One of the fantastic things about the conference was its distillation of the brilliant ideas and new technologies coming through,” Wilkinson says. “For example non- refrigerant apparatus such as magnetic refrigeration was raised in discussion. 

“It’s incredibly exciting that the vapour-compression cycle may not be the only option available to us.”    

AIRAH thanks the sponsors of Refrigeration 2017: A-Gas, Bitzer and Heatcraft.

The Refrigeration 2018 Conference is slated to be held in Sydney in March 2018.

Ends

Thursday, March 23

Now calling for abstracts: AIRAH’s 2017 Pre-loved Buildings Forum

Last held in 2014, AIRAH’s Pre-loved Buildings Forum is back and taking place in Sydney on August 3. The committee is now calling for abstracts.

The Pre-loved Buildings Forum advocates that a strong focus on HVAC&R in the existing built environment can achieve dramatic effects when it comes to reducing energy use, conserving water, and improving the occupied space.

The Forum is being held at Sydney’s Doltone House on August 3.

“The Forum will offer an insight into understanding the drivers behind the decision to reuse a building, as well as the unique constraints of a retrofit, adaptive reuse or refurbishment project,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “This forum will be the place to hear updates from government, case studies, lessons learnt, and an overview of the latest research.” 

The Forum’s technical organising committee is now calling for abstracts on an array of subjects, including but not limited to:  
Energy efficiency, building tuning and optimisation
Updates from government and a review of rating tool systems
Lessons learnt from improving the performance of existing buildings
Retrofit and refurbishment case studies
The impacts of digitisation on existing buildings
Latest research and technologies
Architectural, environmental and financial drivers.  

By submitting an abstract, speakers are also agreeing to submit a PowerPoint presentation before the conference, should their application to present be successful. 

The technical committee has the final say on accepted presentations. All submissions must also include a 100-word author biography and high-resolution author photo. Abstracts should be emailed to conferences@airah.org.au by April 17. 

The Pre-loved Buildings Forum technical organising committee is Gary Whatling, M.AIRAH, A.G. Coombs; Craig Roussac, M.AIRAH, Buildings Alive; Gary Knox, M.AIRAH, Daikin Australia; and Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH, Aurecon. 

AIRAH thanks supporting sponsor Magnetite, Australian retrofit double-glazing specialists. 

For more information and to register, go to www.airah.org.au/conferences

Ends

Wednesday, March 15

AIRAH takes the TAKE2 pledge

AIRAH is a proud supporter and founding partner of TAKE2, Victoria’s collective climate change program to help the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

In June 2016, the Victorian state government committed to fight climate change, setting an ambitious target for Victoria to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. To help achieve this goal, with the help of founding partner AIRAH, Sustainability Victoria is delivering the TAKE2 initiative – a world-leading climate change pledge program.  

TAKE2 is a Victorian government initiative that is applicable to all Australians. It aims to assist individuals, business, government, educational and community organisations to take meaningful action to reduce climate change and keep global temperature rise under 2°C, the point at which scientists say harm to the planet can be reasonably contained.

“There is considerable scientific data published that suggests temperatures around the world are rising because of the pollution produced by human activity,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “AIRAH is all about promoting safe, sustainable, healthy and effective environments. And by taking collective action through TAKE2, all Australians can make a difference to climate change.” 

As part of AIRAH’s pledge, it has consulted with industry leaders (via PRIME, Special Technical Groups (STGs), AIRAH conventions and division events). Five key issues requiring AIRAH thought leadership have been identified. They are:

Resilience – the ability for buildings to operate during, and to recover quickly from, adverse events. 

Sustainability – building sustainability aligned to energy use and emissions reduction.

Compliance – addressing undiscovered and discovered compliance issues across all elements of the supply chain. 

Transition to low global-warming-potential refrigerants – addressing the move to appropriate-level GWP refrigerants and the training needs of the industry.

Innovation – leading the drive for continuous improvement through innovation and research.

“The HVAC&R industry has some key challenges at a local level, including skills and compliance issues, right through to the global stage, where extreme and disruptive weather events are increasingly prevalent,” says AIRAH’s manager for government relations and technical services Phil Wilkinson, F. AIRAH. “By taking the TAKE2 pledge,

AIRAH acknowledges that the need for greater energy efficiency and reduction in harmful emissions are a key imperative for government and industry.” 
For more information, go to www.take2.vic.gov.au

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Friday, March 3

AIRAH’s Future of HVAC 2017 Conference calls for abstracts

Preparations for AIRAH’s marquee conference series, The Future of HVAC, are well under way for 2017. The committee is now calling for abstracts for this not-to-be-missed two-day exploration of the industry’s present and future. 

Held at Doltone House Darling Island Wharf in Sydney from September 13–14, The Future of HVAC 2017 Conference will explore the advances, ideas, and innovations that are driving our industry’s future. The discussion will encompass not only new HVAC technologies and materials, but developments in future design processes, HVAC and smart grids, net-zero buildings, big data, and many other topics. 

“Year on year, the HVAC&R industry continues to evolve, and it’s vital that those involved stay up date,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “The Future of HVAC 2017 Conference will once again provide the platform for our industry’s leading thinkers to collectively discuss and unpack the most important issues, technologies and ideas confronting the HVAC&R landscape.” 

The conference committee is now calling for abstracts on an array of subjects, including but not limited to:
Advances in the design process 
BIM
Building simulation
Heading towards net-zero buildings
How HVAC should be managed in the future
The impact of advanced façade designs on HVAC
Overseas trends
Big data
Analysis techniques
How to get the most out of data
Case studies (but not limited to)
Dehumidification
Commissioning
Innovative HVAC designs
Advances in HVAC design
Data centres
Advanced dehumidification design
Retail
HVAC and smart grids
HVAC in demand response
Latest HVAC research

Abstract submissions must not exceed 300 words and should also include a separate 100-word biography and high-resolution photo (300dpi). By submitting an abstract, speakers are also agreeing to submit a technical paper and a PowerPoint presentation before the conference, should their application to present be successful. 

The conference committee has the final say on accepted presentations. Abstracts should be emailed to AIRAH (conferences@airah.org.au) by Friday, April 7, 2017.

The Future of HVAC 2017 Conference is sponsored by ActronAir.

For more information about The Future of HVAC 2017 Conference and sponsorship enquiries, go to www.airah.org.au/future2017

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Thursday, March 2

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science looks forward to AIRAH collaboration  

AIRAH has received a letter from the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos AO, acknowledging the Institute’s contribution to the HVAC&R industry. 

Following a cabinet reshuffle in mid-January, Senator Arthur Sinodinos took the reins on the federal government’s Industry, Innovation and Science portfolios, taking over from Greg Hunt, now Minister for Health and for Sport. 

Amid the reshuffle, AIRAH was quick to congratulate Sinodinos on his new post, while also highlighting the Institute’s strategic direction and commitment to the industry. 

“AIRAH’s continuing healthy relationship with the government of the day is of utmost importance,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “We are looking forward to the Senator’s tenure as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, and hope we can work collaboratively towards the greater good of the industry.”

In his letter, the Minister thanked AIRAH for its best wishes, and praised the continuing efforts being made to lower emissions and to elevate the industry.

“I recognise the importance of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration sector to the Australian economy, and the critical role it plays in improving energy efficiency,” wrote Minister Sinodinos. “I look forward to working with AIRAH to continue to improve our built environment.”

The Minister believes there are many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead across his remit, and hopes a collaborative approach will work to benefit all. 

“As a lifelong supporter of Australian industry and jobs, I come to the portfolio with the goal of developing an innovation ecosystem that drives productivity and creates the jobs of the future,” he wrote. “Across every sector, from small enterprises to big businesses, Australians have no shortage of ideas. Our best minds are at the cutting edge of so many industries, and have enormous potential in countless more.”

Says Gleeson: “In addition to working with Senator Sinodinos, AIRAH will continue its current dialogue with Assistant Minister Craig Laundry, who is responsible for the building industry, and with Minister Josh Frydenberg, Minster for the Environment and Energy.”

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Tuesday, February 28

The Women of AIRAH unite!  

AIRAH has established a new group, the Women of AIRAH, to help promote diversity, representation and inclusion within the ranks of HVAC&R. 

Established in late 2016 and recently ratified by the board, the Women of AIRAH (WOA) group will work to develop AIRAH’s strategy for supporting women and increasing their participation in both AIRAH and the HVAC&R industry at large. 

“It is of great importance that the women within our industry are both acknowledged and supported,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. 

“AIRAH understands that women are underrepresented in HVAC&R, and we believe that the creation of the Women of AIRAH group is an important step forward if this is to change. Women of AIRAH will not only provide women in the industry with a forum to voice issues of concern, but will also work to make HVAC&R an attractive prospect for those looking to take the next step in their career.” 

The Women of AIRAH group will work with local AIRAH divisions to run events, networking sessions, mentoring, support and other initiatives. 

AIRAH has now finalised the group’s state committee representatives, and is delighted to announce Ura Sarfejoo, M.AIRAH, as the inaugural WOA Chair. 

“The Women of AIRAH group is about improving diversity and the representation of women in the industry,” says Sarfejoo. “It’s important for women to feel included. For the sake of the profession, engineering needs more women to get involved, so this AIRAH initiative is incredibly exciting.”
The Women of AIRAH state committee representatives are: 
 
Nithiya Mohan, Affil.AIRAH – WOA Secretary (ACT division); Ura Sarfejoo, M.AIRAH – WOA Chair, Mikaila Ganado, M.AIRAH – WOA Vice Chair (NSW division); Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH (Queensland division); Jenny Smith, Affil.AIRAH, (Northern Territory chapter); Susan Tohu, Stud.AIRAH, (South Australia division); Victoria Totten, AM.AIRAH, Camilla O’Leary, Affil.AIRAH, Cara Ryan, Affil.AIRAH (Victoria division); Peta Blight, M.AIRAH, Ying Han, Affil.AIRAH, (Western Australia division).

Thank you to our sponsors: Delta Controls, GJ Walker, and Grosvenor Engineering Group. 

More information about the Women of AIRAH initiative, including sponsorship opportunities, is available at www.airah.org.au/WOA or by emailing membership@airah.org.au

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Monday, February 6

Ian Harwood named new AIRAH President   

Following a special meeting of AIRAH’s board, Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH, has been elected to the prestigious position of President. He replaces Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, who has stepped aside from the position due to ill health. 

An AIRAH board director for the past two years, Perth-based Harwood has been an AIRAH member for more than a decade. He previously served as President of AIRAH’s WA division committee, helping to re-energise its monthly seminar program and to grow its membership.

AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, says Harwood’s director experience and knowledge of the industry will serve the 97-year-old Institute very well.

“Having worked with Ian over the past 12 months, I’ve seen the passion, experience and strategic nous he brings to the board,” Gleeson says. “I have no doubt his energy, ideas and oversight will serve him and AIRAH well as he assumes this essential role.”

The first female president in AIRAH’s storied history, Hampton has reluctantly left the post. Recently diagnosed with Ross River Fever, she has stepped aside from all her official Institute duties in order to recover as quickly as possible.

“AIRAH owes Ania a debt of gratitude for her commitment, competence and enthusiasm she brought to the role, especially in the sponsorship of the new website and membership platform, and the introduction of the Women of AIRAH initiative,” Gleeson says. “The timing of her illness is really unfortunate, and we all wish her the best in her return to health.”

Boasting 22 years’ experience in the building services industry, including time spent working abroad, Harwood is an Associate Director with Norman Disney & Young, based in NDY’s Perth office. With an avid interest in the technical side of the industry, he has also been active in the design and management of high-profile projects. 

“Having been actively involved in AIRAH for the past decade, I feel extremely proud and honoured to be elected President,” Harwood says. “I know Ania is disappointed to have to step aside, but all the directors understand that the decision was made in her and her family’s best interests.

“With the backing of their respective boards, previous presidents Ania, Nathan Groenhout and Sean Treweek have worked tirelessly to set AIRAH up into the strong position we see it in today. I hope to see this position maintained while working toward addressing some of the challenges we see in our industry, and for our membership cross-section.”

Harwood says there are changes afoot in the HVAC&R industry affecting people management, design and construction methodologies, sustainability best practice, controls and documentation practices.

“Change is the status quo, and the landscape is very different today to what it was even five years ago” Harwood says. “Assisting our industry adapt to and embrace this is a continuing challenge, but one that AIRAH is well prepared to address.” 

Originally slated to become a director in May when Groenhout steps down after serving his maximum term, Paul Bannister, M.AIRAH, now joins the board effective immediately.

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Tuesday, January 31

Two international keynotes to headline AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2017 Conference   

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has named a brace of respected industry identities to speak at Refrigeration 2017, which will take place March 27–28 in Melbourne.

Monika Witt, the vice-chair of European natural refrigerant initiative Eurammon, and Bruce Nelson, Affil.AIRAH, the president of US-based Colmac Coil Manufacturing, will address the conference. 

“Securing speakers the calibre of Monika Witt and Bruce Nelson is a real coup for AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2017 Conference,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “Their keynote addresses will set the tone for this timely and essential event.”

To be held at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, the two-day conference has a wide scope. It will look at the state of the industry, how it may respond to the challenges initiated by COP 21 and the global HFC phase-down, and how this will impact upon educators, legislators, regulators, end users, engineers, consultants and technicians.

A qualified mechanical engineer, since 1998 Witt has been the managing director of industrial refrigeration firm TH.WITT Kältemaschinenfabrik, a family-owned company founded in 1896. Witt also serves on the board of directors of Eurammon, for which she serves as vice-chair.

In her presentation “The role of natural refrigerants in the future – an update from Europe”, Witt will outline the status of refrigerants in Europe, the steps required to meet climate targets, and other aspects to consider for a sustainable future.

“The F-Gas phase-down is under way around the world,” says Witt. “The international industry will have to decide which way to go – natural and/or HFOs?”
Delivering the conference’s second keynote address will be Bruce Nelson, Affil.AIRAH. President of US-based Colmac Coil Manufacturing, Nelson serves on the IIAR board of directors and executive committee. Having authored many technical papers about refrigeration and heat transfer, Nelson also holds several US and international patents. 

In his presentation “Politics, refrigeration and the Donald effect”, Nelson will discuss the developments in low-charge ammonia refrigeration systems in light of an uncertain and shifting political environment following the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Within hours of his inauguration as US President, Trump ordered all mention of climate change removed from the White House website.

“The future application of synthetic and natural refrigerants in the USA will be determined by the politics of climate change,” Nelson says. “It will also be driven by safety concerns and regulations. There has been a shift in the political landscape, where there is an expectation that the politics of both climate change and safety regulations will be impacted by the ‘Donald Effect’.”

According to Nelson, low-charge ammonia represents inherently safer technology. He says it can be applied with significantly reduced power consumption, zero direct emissions and ultra-low indirect emissions.  

Refrigeration 2017 Conference attendees can also look forward to engaging presentations from the likes of Ben Adamson, F.AIRAH (Refrigeration Engineering International); Pat McInerney (Department of the Environment and Energy); Mike Baker, M.AIRAH (AJ Baker & Sons); and many more. 

The conference is sponsored by A-Gas, Bitzer and Heatcraft.

For more information about Refrigeration 2017, go to www.airah.org.au/conferences

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Tuesday, January 17

AIRAH unveils its complete 2017 conference schedule

Underscoring a long-standing commitment to provide the industry with best-practice HVAC&R information, AIRAH has announced a compelling 2017 conference schedule.

Included in the program are the Refrigeration 2017 conference to be held in Melbourne in March; the Building Physics Forum, which will take place in Brisbane in June; the Pre-loved Buildings Forum, a one-day event in Sydney in August; The Future of HVAC 2017 conference to take place in Sydney in September; and the Building Simulation Conference 2017, which will be hosted with the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) in Melbourne in November.

“At AIRAH, we recognise that it is our steadfast responsibility to help improve HVAC&R technical knowledge and expertise,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “We take great pride in the curation of our annual conference schedule, and I’m confident that we can improve on the successful program we delivered in 2016. With conferences taking place across Australia, the 2017 schedule will appeal to the learning needs of our members, as well as the wider HVAC&R industry.” 

The 2017 schedule kicks off with the two-day Refrigeration 2017 conference, which takes place in Melbourne from March 27–28. Featuring two renowned international keynote speakers, the conference will look at the state of the industry, and how it may respond to the future challenges initiated by COP 21 and the global HFC phase-down.

Refrigeration 2017 will also include sessions reviewing the latest technologies. The conference trade display will provide attendees with an opportunity to interact with leading industry suppliers and their latest refrigeration technology offerings. 

Now in its fifth year, The Future of HVAC Conference returns to Sydney this year from September 13–14. AIRAH’s marquee conference, The Future of HVAC 2017 will provide insight into the issues, practices, technologies, regulation and design approaches affecting the HVAC industry now and into the future.

New for 2017, the Building Physics Forum in Brisbane (June 15) and the Pre-loved Buildings Forum in Sydney (August 3) add further depth to the conference schedule. The one-day forums provide an ideal setting for the industry’s movers and shakers to discuss specialised aspects of the built environment.   

Closing out the 2017 schedule is the Building Simulation Conference in Melbourne over November 15–16. Held in cooperation with IBPSA, this conference will provide a unique forum for the exchange of ideas and information between simulation researchers, simulation developers, building designers, and government legislators. 

For more information and the latest announcements regarding AIRAH’s 2017 conference program, go to www.airah.org.au/conferences

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