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Conference overview

Now in its fifth year, the Future of HVAC Conference has become the must-attend conference of the year. Industry leaders 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 advances in future design processes, HVAC and smart grids, net-zero buildings, big data, and several other topics. The two-day event will give all in attendance the opportunity to gaze into our industry’s future, and contemplate the challenges, technology, and bright new ideas that await.  



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Note: early bird prices close on August 4, 2017.

 Cost      Member     Non-member
Conference early bird    $790     $950
Conference rate (after early bird)             $890     $1,050
Day registration      $450     $550
Cocktail function (September 13)    $75    $95
 Student*    $350    $450

*Must provide evidence of full-time study. Please send copy of student card and/or a copy of your current student enrolment to conferences@airah.org.au 

Your payment must be received prior to the commencement of the event. Unpaid tentative bookings do not guarantee a position in this event. Engineers Australia members can choose to record CPD hours for attendance at this event in their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia’s CPD policy for details of requirements and conditions.

Cancellation policy
Registration may be cancelled up to five working days prior to the commencement with participants either transferring to another course/event or receiving a refund less a 20% administration fee. No refund will be given where cancellation is 24 hours or less. In all other cases of cancellation the extent of any refund will be at the discretion of AIRAH. You maybe substitute another participant at any time prior to commencement should the nominated person be unable to participate. Where a non-member replaces a member the difference between the member and non-member rates will be charged. Requests for refund can be made by email to accounts@airah.org.au

Please note: the event organisers retain the right to alter or amend any of the details of the event, or any other matter associated with the event. Personal insurance for injury or loss of property or baggage is the responsibility of the attendee


Paul Bannister, F.AIRAH, Energy Action

Proposed fan and pump-system measures for NCC2019     

Section J of Volume 1 of the National Construction Code is due to be updated in 2019. As part of this process, Energy Action were commissioned by the Australian Building Codes Board to undertake a study into opportunities to increase the stringency of Section J.   

The existing fan and pump measures are based on W/m2 and W/(l/s) provisions that are intended to provide flexibility in design but carry several disadvantages in terms of the level of rigour they apply to an individual system.  

As a result, it has been proposed to replace these provisions with component-based measures that balance the need to provide design flexibility and the need to reflect a useful level of stringency.

Bannister will discuss proposed measures affecting fan and pump systems derived from this study, and demonstrate the overall impact of these approaches using examples based on real systems to show the extent to which the proposed measures impact on fan and pump energy consumption.

Bannister is one of the world’s leading authorities in energy efficiency. As manager of the research programs of New Zealand’s consultancy Energy Group, he played a key role in the development of New Zealand’s standard for energy efficiency in large buildings. 

He is an expert in energy efficiency, building and property industries, developed through the provision of realistic and effective technical advice coupled with his central role in the development of energy efficiency innovations such as the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme (now renamed NABERS energy).  

Peter Barry, M.AIRAH, BHP

Lessons for the Future of Australian HVAC from Pilbara Mining     

In future, many Australian HVAC systems will be required to deal with harsher environmental conditions. This is due to the possibility of increased extreme climatic conditions and a push to increase population centres in more northern and central regions of the country.

For many years, BHP has maintained a large operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to extract, process, and transport iron ore for seaborne transportation to its customers. This includes numerous office and other air-conditioned buildings for its operations. 

The extreme nature of the ambient environment due to dust, heat, and high humidity have caused issues including problems with equipment failure, mould, operator discomfort, condensation, high operating costs, and damage to building fabric and furniture. In many cases these problems have arisen due to poor understanding of how to deal with the difficult ambient conditions by system designers and architects, or failure to maintain adequate standards during construction. 

The many lessons learned in these facilities provide an insight into how HVAC designs in general should be developed to meet future requirements in Australia’s potentially more challenging environmental future. 

This presentation will present case studies from BHP facilities across the Pilbara and address the difficulties for HVAC systems posed by the harsh mining environments, and the measures used to rectify these issues. The design requirements which the company will mandate in future designs will also be discussed.

Barry is a Lead Projects Engineering specialist within BHP Iron Ore Projects in Perth, WA. His responsibilities include overseeing designs submitted on projects for non-process infrastructure including buildings, workshop facilities, and mechanical utilities.  

A highly qualified and experienced engineer, Barry is registered as a Chartered Engineer in the UK and is also a member of CIBSE, ASHRAE, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He has had over 21 years of career development within major consultancy and contracting organisations where his responsibilities have included leading building services design teams on specialist pharmaceutical, biotechnological, industrial, and commercial projects.  

Tiffany Cheung and Johanna Trickett, Aurecon

Case study – Australian education building seeks passive house standard 

Cheung and Trickett will discuss the challenges the Passive House standard introduces to the Australian HVAC industry, and how it can be met through the comparison of three different HVAC strategies.

Cheung is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Aurecon with over 5 years’ experience in the building services industry. Throughout her career, she has worked on a wide variety of projects across commercial and residential sectors, new builds and refurbishments. Her experience working in the United Kingdom allowed her to experience working with a diverse range of older, unconventional HVAC systems.

Trickett has over 13 years’ local and international industry experience as an architect, sustainability advisor, and ESD consultant. She is a certified Passive House Designer and a Green Star Accredited Professional. Trickett is currently an ESD Consultant at Aurecon.  

Jonathan Clarke, M.AIRAH, Norman Disney & Young

Intelligent (smart) buildings – Whatever that means?     

The term “intelligent” or “smart building” has been bounced around over the last 30 years, but what does it mean by today’s standards? 

Integrating services with a common building network could contribute to being smart, but only if there are smart outcomes.

The question is, what outcomes do we need to achieve smart? Big data, analytics, metadata, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, BIM and gaming engines are all entering our world adding a complex layer of technology to a building being constructed using traditional methods and constrained timeframes. 

Clarke will uncover the smart from not-so-smart, and showcase buildings and technology from around the world, providing an insight to smart design and delivery and the latest tenant expectations of an operational Smart Building. 

Clarke has been in the control and automation industry for over 30 years, with many of those as a systems integrator and designer. He has also consulted to HVAC manufacturers and building portfolio owners and with a focus on integrated solutions and energy reduction. Clarke is currently the Controls Group National Manager at Norman Disney & Young.  

Alan Fok, M.AIRAH

Fok is a senior sustainability consultant at WSP, with over 13 years’ experience in the HVAC and sustainability industries.  He is also an AIRAH NSW Committee member and the secretary for the AIRAH Resilience Special Task Group.  

As a chartered engineer, he has worked on a wide range of projects from hospital development to multi residential, office towers to retail designs.  He now focuses much of his time in working with asset managers in commercial assets.  

Anthony Harrigan, M.AIRAH, CAREL

Benefits of the integration between heat pumps and food refrigeration systems for commercial applications

The optimisation of energy consumption and the necessity to decrease CO2 emissions are driving the research of higher-efficiency systems for HVAC and refrigeration markets.
Harrigan will discuss building management and heat-pump management to underline background and benefits of both digitalisation and flexibility in the context of smart grids and demand/response strategy. 

He will outline a case study that looks at how the integration of commercial heat pumps equipped with new-generation environmentally friendly refrigerants like R-744, and the optimisation of the whole system are the key factors for an efficient energy recovery system with low consumptions and higher efficiency. 

Harrigan has over 25 years’ experience in the HVAC&R industry, both nationally and internationally. His current focus is on the global movement of further refrigerant changes, system enhancements with new technologies, and striving to achieve improved energy efficiencies with lower environmental impacts.  

Joe Scholz, M.AIRAH, QED Environmental Services

NABERS Indoor Environment vs. Energy – how to excel in both      

Building owners are increasingly being asked to certify the quality of the office space they provide, resulting in the uptake of indoor-environment-quality rating schemes such as WELL Building Standard, Green Star Performance, and NABERS IE. 

NABERS Indoor Environment ratings are set to proliferate in Australia, due to its simplicity, low cost when compared to Green Star and WELL Building Standard, and impact on Office Quality Grade (under Property Council of Australia guidelines), Green Star Performance and thus GRESB. 

So, how can we provide better indoor environments of more fresh air, better thermal comfort and better filtration of pollutants, without impacting the energy efficiencies we worked so hard to achieve?

How can HVAC professionals provide better ratings in both Indoor Environment and Energy?

Scholz provides an insight into how this can be achieved, by utilising BMS monitoring to track performance of a NABERS IE rating, in tandem with energy rating performance.

Scholz is an environmental engineer and director at QED Environmental Services where he has been responsible for technical development of QED’s national indoor air-quality management programmes for the commercial property industry. Recently, Scholz has been investigating the link between the indoor environment, health and wellbeing, and how these may be rated and then improved in buildings around Australia.  

Speaker TBC, QED Environmental Services

Creating a better indoor environment through innovative technologies     

The indoor environment for air-conditioned buildings plays a huge role in the productivity and wellbeing of building occupants. It is also well-understood that the indoor environment is heavily influenced by the effective management and maintenance of the HVAC system, as well as its initial design and installation.  

There have been many advances in technology and theory for the HVAC industry that when applied can greatly reduce the potential for indoor-air quality issues or health and safety problems. These include using the internet of things and big data, mobile applications, improved indoor-air quality sensors, advanced filtration systems, improved corrosion control, and innovative microbial prevention.

These are just some areas that have undergone advancement and will have an impact on HVAC design and maintenance considerations now and into the future, while improving the indoor environment for building occupants. 

These innovative technologies and how they can be applied to HVAC operation and maintenance systems will be explored, with relevant case studies discussed to reaffirm the positive outcome from their implementation.  

Oberix – Speaker TBC

Smart buildings            

Integrated buildings have moved beyond simple SCADA level integration where extra-low voltage systems (ELVS) such as building automation, energy management, security and lighting are integrated on a common user interface. Smart Buildings integrate building system data into a real-time 3D-rendered virtual model that allows the user to “walk” through their virtual building, clicking on assets and equipment as they go. 
This 3D model is built from the BIM file and is a single storage point for technical data, service information, commissioning records, and any relevant information associated with that asset. This data and document management benefits the construction teams and is tied to that asset for the life of the building, also benefiting the facility managers through the buildings lifecycle.  





Conference information


Dates: September 13–14


Doltone House Darling Island Wharf
48 Pirrama Road 
Sydney NSW 2009
Accenture Building (opposite the Star), 
Waterfront Promenade entrance.

Please see the map for further details.



Sponsorship opportunities for the Future of HVAC 2017 Conference are now available. Contact the AIRAH office on (03) 8623 3000 or email sponsorship@airah.org.au to be sent information on the conference sponsorship packages.

Conference committees

Technical organising committee

Alex Harrington, M.AIRAH, The Warren Centre
Chris Fontana, M.AIRAH, Degree C
Peter Phillips, F.AIRAH, PCES Consulting
Shane Esmore, App.AIRAH, Umow Lai
Mark Hams, M.AIRAH, Airchange

Organising committee

Emily McLaughlin, AIRAH
Brendan Pejkovic, AIRAH


For further information about The Future of HVAC 2017 Conference please contact the AIRAH office on (03) 8623 3000 or email conferences@airah.org.au