Press Releases




2014 AIRAH Award winners

A biomimicry expert, a mentor to young colleagues, an innovative split-ducted air conditioner, a new approach to healthcare engineering, a micro urban power station, and a building that jumped an astonishing five NABERS stars after refurbishment were among the winners announced at the glittering AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner held last night in Brisbane. 

Matthew Webb, M.AIRAH, won the Student of the Year Award; Alex Baidjurak, Affil.AIRAH, was named the AIRAH Future Leader Award winner; the ActronAir ESP Platinum won the gong for Excellence in Sustainability; and WSP earned the Excellence in Innovation Award for its work on the Echuca Regional Health redevelopment.

The Denis Joseph Award for Innovative Use of Solar Energy in HVAC&R was claimed by NEP Solar for its work on the micro urban power station at the new UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Building; NDY won the Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Upgrade Award for its project that brought 247 Adelaide St, Brisbane up to speed; and the CSIRO won the Excellence in HVAC and Refrigeration Research Award for its work on the Residential Building Energy Efficiency Study.

Sean Badenhorst, M.AIRAH, picked up the prestigious WR Ahern award for the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says the eight victors are worthy inclusions to the pantheon of AIRAH Award winners past.

“I’d like to congratulate our fantastic 2014 AIRAH Award winners, who are all – whether a project, person or product – continuing a great tradition stretching back to AIRAH’s origins almost a century ago, and that is of striving towards technical excellence,” Wilkinson says. “Well done one and all.

“Recognising these achievements falls into AIRAH’s remit of promoting and leading the HVAC&R industry towards best practice, which is something I’m proud to be part of.”
Award sponsors were Heatcraft (Student of the Year); A.G. Coombs (Future Leader); Air Change (Excellence in Sustainability); and NABERS (Best HVAC and Refrigeration Retrofit or Upgrade).

A full description of the 2014 AIRAH Award finalists is available in November Ecolibrium.
A comprehensive 2014 AIRAH Awards wrap will feature in February Ecolibrium.


HVAC&R's future leaders recognised by AIRAH


At the glittering AIRAH Awards 2014 Presentation Dinner to be held November 27 in Brisbane, AIRAH will acknowledge outstanding achievements in the HVAC&R industry.
  
“Once again, the projects and individuals nominated for the AIRAH Awards have truly set the standard on innovation, leadership, and performance,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH. “It highlights the importance of recognising and encouraging outstanding work, in the hope that others in the industry will also strive for excellence.”

The five finalists in the AIRAH Future Leader Award, sponsored by A.G. Coombs, are among the industry’s brightest emerging leaders, each with an impressive tally of achievements, involvement and contributions. 

Chris Fontana, Affil.AIRAH, Degree C 
Based in Tasmania, Chris Fontana, Affil.AIRAH, is service manager of Degree C.

Fontana’s leadership is evident in Degree C’s service department – in four years, staff numbers jumped from six to 14, and the monthly budget doubled. His colleagues attribute this to Fontana’s leadership in securing new business and introducing innovative work practices.  

A member of AIRAH’s Tasmanian division committee, Fontana is involved in industry training and development workshops and seminars. 

Brett Saunders, Affil.AIRAH, HiFlow Industries
HiFlow Industries managing director Brett Saunders, Affil.AIRAH, has led his business through improved growth and financial performance. 

Through new initiatives and a continued focus on a sustainable business, he has seen HiFlow Industries become more efficient, with an aim of becoming the number one service delivery company in Australia.

According to HiFlow Industries’ Gideon Bosman, Saunders demonstrates self-motivated leadership through his drive to improve the business and be a market leader in the HVAC&R industry. 

Alex Baidjurak, Affil.AIRAH, Arup
Arup senior mechanical engineer Alex Baidjurak, Affil.AIRAH, was nominated for demonstrating self-motivated leadership throughout his role on projects, and by championing a range of development and mentoring initiatives within Arup. 

Baidjurak created self- and company-improvement initiatives such as the Arup Knowledge Mentoring program and Arup Youth Forum events. He is also involved in the development of junior staff at Arup, providing technical training and career development mentoring. 

Baidjurak takes a proactive role in development of the industry, sharing knowledge through his participation in journal articles in publications such as Ecolibrium, along with being a speaker at national events, such as AIRAH’s Preloved Buildings Conference.

Katherine Hay, Affil.AIRAH, A.G. Coombs
A project engineer at A.G. Coombs, Katherine Hay, Affil.AIRAH, is an active member of AIRAH’s Queensland division committee, as well as being a member of Engineers Australia, a Green Star Accredited Professional, and NABERS-accredited. 

Hay continually develops her technical and interpersonal skills through formal and informal training events, and work-based activities. She plays a key role as part of the A.G. Coombs Engineering Continuous Improvement program, identifying ways to improve efficiency within the engineering department.

Leigh Graham, Affil.AIRAH
According to his colleagues, Leigh Graham, Affil.AIRAH, has shown outstanding skills, both as an engineering practitioner and as a mentor and leader to younger, less experienced staff members. 

Graham shows initiative and leadership through introducing improved work practices and communication among team members. 

In his former role Graham was responsible for implementing a mentoring system where young engineers or graduates are teamed with senior engineers to work on projects. 

A Chartered Professional Engineer, Graham holds a number of industry accreditations. 


AIRAH's Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2015 calls for abstracts


AIRAH is calling for abstracts for the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2015, which will be held at the University of Wollongong on Thursday, April 23 next year. 

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says hosting the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop next year helps the HVAC&R and wider industry push forward with innovation.

“We saw with the Solar Cooling Workshop 2014 that the one-day intensive format really suits this fledgling industry’s stakeholders,” Wilkinson says.

“And solar cooling and heating have incredible potential to help Australia deal with some our electricity grid issues such as reducing greenhouse gases and infrastructure costs.”

AIRAH is calling for 200–300 word abstracts. Topics must be relevant to solar heating and cooling, and may include, but are not limited to: 
  • Case studies and industry applications
  • Australian and international market developments
  • State-of-the-art facilities and lessons to be learnt
  • Innovations in components and mechanisms
  • Related technologies such as direct and indirect evaporative cooling
  • System design and climate categories
  • Construction to minimise heating/cooling loads
  • Industry development/capacity-building.
Workshop committee chair Jeremy Osborne, M.AIRAH, says the addition of solar heating to the Workshop agenda provides a point of difference from the 2014 event.

“Solar Cooling is very cool,” Osborne says. “Solar heating is a hot topic, and has a thriving market in countries such as Demark, where it is used for district heating and industrial heating processes.

“Understanding when and how to apply this technology will be key to developing a strong industry in Australia.” 

Osborne says that to date, financial issues have impacted the development of solar cooling. 

“A technology jump is really necessary to lower costs, and create a substantial solar cooling industry here,” Osborne says. “We’re see some of these jumps being developed in Australia and internationally. It is important for the industry to know about and understand the issues, so we can create a strong industry base. 

“That’s where events such as AIRAH’s Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2015 have a huge role to play in helping to disseminate information and grow the industry.”

Abstract submissions must include a brief author biography and a high-resolution author photo. Abstracts should be sent to AIRAH conference organiser Laura Atkinson by Monday, December 8. Email: conferences@airah.org.au

Visit the Solar Cooling and Heating Workshop webpage for more information: www.airah.org.au/SolarWorkshop2015




Calculating Cool online HVAC tool officially launched



Imagine if there was a way of ranking different HVAC systems during design, installation and operation. And what if this method was freely available online and able to be used to drive improvement?

Following the official launch of the Calculating Cool online benchmarking tool it’s now possible for building owners and operators, HVAC industry professionals, facility managers and other stakeholders to measure the efficiency of a variety of HVAC systems.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says Calculating Cool is a world-leading initiative, and has enormous potential to reduce the usage of HVAC systems in Australia.

“Calculating Cool provides the metrics and rules our industry has been crying out for to measure HVAC system effectiveness,” Wilkinson says. “With its balanced combination of quantitative and qualitative measures across the design, installation and operational phases of the HVAC life-cycle, Calculating Cool is practical, effective and cost-beneficial. It is set to have a profound impact on the reduction of energy use in Australian HVAC systems.”

Designed to sit alongside the Green Star and NABERS ratings tools, Calculating Cool is easy to apply.

“Our HVAC systems are designed to provide comfort, health and safety,” Wilkinson says. “But we also know that 22 per cent of all electricity used in Australia is in operating air conditioning systems, and that HVAC systems can be responsible for more than 40 per cent of the energy used in our commercial buildings. 

“So given this, Calculating Cool can be expected to deliver considerable cost savings. By providing a dynamic assessment tool, it can rate, reward and encourage best-practice HVAC systems in buildings.”

A range of industry bodies – AIRAH, the PCA, FMA, and AMCA – worked with government to progress the Calculating Cool project. 

A.G. Coombs strategic development director Bryon Price, M.AIRAH, is a non-executive director of AIRAH and the FMA, sits on the PCA’s National Regulation Review Roundtable, is a member of the PCA’s Victorian Sustainable Development committee, and is chair of the PRIME Steering Council. 

“Calculating Cool,” Price says, “is the measure of quality our industry has been looking for.”

Team Catalyst is the contractor responsible for developing the rating tool, including conducting a pilot study in which five commercial office buildings – three in Sydney and two in Melbourne – participated.

Wayne McManus is an associate director of CBRE Asset Services, a participant in the study.

“There are always opportunities to improve a building’s operations and efficiency,” McManus says. “Calculating Cool has shown how our building compares, and the areas where there is particular potential to improve the efficiency of our HVAC system.”

The Calculating Cool project forms part of the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) HVAC HESS strategy, comprising 20 complementary measures expected to save industry about $320 million a year in energy costs.

The Calculating Cool initiative was unanimously agreed upon as a high-priority project by PRIME, an initiative developed by a coalition of stakeholders from within the Australian HVAC&R industry. 

Visit www.calculatingcool.com.au to see how your HVAC system stacks up.



Preloved conference offers creative content



Existing buildings may by their very nature impose constraints on the HVAC designers who work on them, but these very limitations also offer opportunity for novel solutions to be applied. This was one of the recurring themes of AIRAH’s Preloved Buildings Conference, held this week in Brisbane.

AIRAH chief operating officer Neil Cox says the two-day event boasted all the elements of a typical AIRAH conference: robust technical information complemented by real-world applications, held in a convivial atmosphere.

“Never before has the performance of our buildings been more important to our country,” Cox says. “How timely then, that the Preloved Buildings conference presented a diverse and comprehensive program, all focused on getting the most out of our existing building stock, whether that be an iconic heritage building such as Old Parliament House, or a 10-year-old commercial office tower failing to live up to its potential.

“And the beauty of a conference such as this isn’t just the eclectic array of stories you hear, but that they are being related by the engineer who worked on the project, with hard data to back it up.”

Boasting a program of 20 presenters delivering 14 hours of content over the course of the event, the conference was the eighth in the popular long-running series.

“The conference had a very collaborative, knowledge-sharing atmosphere,” says conference committee chair Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH. “A diverse range of topics were presented, covering all aspects of preloved building projects.” 

AIRAH president Nathan Groenhout, M.AIRAH, opened the conference by saying the value of the event lay in the sharing of stories – both good and bad – and discussing the many complex issues surrounding existing buildings, from the simple (renovate or detontate?) to overcoming the problem of split incentives for landlords and tenants.

Keynote speaker Professor David Cropley from the University of South Australia set the tone for the event by posing the question, “Is constraint the enemy of creativity?”

By discussing the virtues of examining an issue from a holistic perspective, Dr Cropley made the point that a project’s limitations can help redefine a problem, leading to a diversity of solutions.

“I really enjoyed our keynote speakers,” Holz says. “Bruce Precious and Dr Robert Riddel gave us the economic and architectural underpinnings for pre-loved projects, which assisted in keeping the big picture and end goals of the client in mind as we explored technical issues.” 

The buildings examined over the course of the conference represented an array of types and uses. Each had unique problems to be explored, defined and rectified.

Case studies covered an aquatic centre with a condensation issue, a suburban corporate headquarters that opted for trigeneration in a quest for energy efficiency, and a country council building that implemented geothermal and cut its HVAC energy use by 80 per cent.

Other presentations explored the ground-breaking Calculating Cool online rating tool, Soft Landings, a “common sense” framework for shepherding building projects from the inception and briefing stages through to extended aftercare, and an update on NABERS.

“I really enjoyed the conference’s format and content this year,” says Carlos Flores, App.AIRAH, a NABERS team leader. “It was a great balance between established and emerging technologies, between practical case studies and big-picture ideas.”

Each of the conference’s 60-plus delegates left the Moda Events Portside venue with their own version of wisdom accumulated and lessons learned.

For conference committee member Mark Jacobson, M.AIRAH, the lessons related to building commissioning and tuning.

“Without this approach, we end up with modern but inefficient systems,” Jacobson says.

“Communication across all levels of the design, build, construction and commissioning process will deliver far superior building that those approached with a traditional method.”

For Flores, the take-away message was an uplifting one: “That our sector is really moving towards a more sustainable future, and how each person in the room is playing a key role in helping that happen.”



Preloved poised for purposeful presentation program



Slated for October 28–29 at Moda Events Portside in Brisbane, the 2014 AIRAH Preloved Buildings conference is set to deliver a compelling and eclectic array of speakers bound by a common theme: optimising the existing building stock.

In addition to three keynote speakers – architect Dr Robert Riddel, innovation expert Dr David Cropley from the University of South Australia, and Bruce Precious, M.AIRAH, from The GPT Group – the conference will host presentations on subjects as diverse as updates on NABERS, Soft Landings, and Calculating Cool, through to case studies about the refurbishment of an aquatic centre, commercial office buildings and government buildings.

“Over time the Preloved Buildings conference has proved to be one of AIRAH’s most popular and most enduring,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. 

“With 20 presentations on offer over two days, covering a broad swath of topics, the 2014 Preloved conference promises to continue with those characteristics that define AIRAH events: valuable technical HVAC&R content offered in a value-for-money format.” 

Presentations cover research, technology, design, construction, and more.

Industry doyen Dr Paul Bannister, M.AIRAH, will demonstrate how recent advances in building simulation models have made it possible to test a number of common building tuning strategies, and predict potential energy savings. 

Bannister’s presentation will explore the use of an IES simulation model to assess the impacts of a number of common control algorithm adjustments. 

“Combined scenarios are used to show that the difference between best practice and poor control can range as high as 50–90 per cent,” says Bannister, “demonstrating the fundamental importance of control.” 

Managing director of Erbas and Associates, Ken Gurcan Erbas, M.AIRAH, will draw on 32 years’ experience in mechanical services design to deliver his presentation, “Mechanical services challenges in preloved buildings”. 

Erbas will provide examples of post-occupancy problems and successes in refurbishing and retrofitting mechanical services into existing buildings. These examples will provide insight into some of the pitfalls, challenges and achievements that can be an outcome of good, bad and ugly HVAC design in existing buildings. 

“The mechanical challenges in preloved buildings are not limited to the mechanical services,” says Erbas. “Quite often it is the managing contractor and sub-contractor that takes on significant risk associated with the installation and commissioning of HVAC systems into buildings that were not designed to originally accommodate such systems.”

Erbas says that in these instances the understanding of the existing building and appropriate design constraints has a large impact on the success of the HVAC system during operation. 

Marco Hopman, M.AIRAH, is an associate senior mechanical engineer in Aurecon’s Brisbane building section. Hopman will provide insight into the recent upgrade of 175 Eagle Street, Brisbane, a project that took the building from a 2 star NABERS rating to 4.5 stars. 

The 22,851 sq m, 20-storey high-rise office building owned by Charter Hall is located at the junction of Queen, Eagle and Wharf streets in Brisbane’s CBD, and Aurecon provided all building engineering for the upgrade to improve the tenant amenity.

For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.airah.org.au/preloved2014



AIRAH Awards 2014 finalists named



After considerable deliberation from the judging panel, the finalists of the AIRAH Awards 2014 have been announced. The impressively high standard of nominations across all categories presented judges with the difficult task of selecting just a few finalists in each.  

“Once again, the projects and individuals nominated for the AIRAH Awards have truly set the standard on innovation, leadership, and performance,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “It highlights the importance of recognising and encouraging outstanding work, in the hope that others in the industry will also strive for excellence.”

Winners of the AIRAH Awards 2014 will be announced at a presentation dinner held at Moda Events Portside in Brisbane, on November 27. 

FINALISTS

The AIRAH Future Leader Award sees tough competition each year, with the industry’s brightest emerging leaders tallying up their achievements, involvement and contributions. This year’s finalists are Chris Fontana, Affil.AIRAH, from Degree C (Tasmania); Brett Saunders, Affil.AIRAH, from HiFlow Industries (Queensland); Alex Baidjurak, Affil.AIRAH, from Arup (New South Wales); Katherine Hay, Affil.AIRAH, from A.G. Coombs (Qld); and Leigh Graham, Affil.AIRAH, from AE Smith (Qld).

The Student of the Year Award recognises outstanding students, at any level, in the HVAC&R industry. Finalists for 2014 include Dylan Black from Umow Lai (Qld), Matthew Webb, M.AIRAH, from the University of Melbourne (Victoria), and Massimo Fiorentini from the University of Wollongong (NSW). 

AIRAH’s Award for Excellence in Innovation shines the spotlight on significant Australian improvements in HVAC&R achieved through innovation. Finalists for 2014 are ActronAir’s Hercules packaged air conditioning unit, WSP’s Echuca Regional Health (ERH) Redevelopment, and AE Smith’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) energy plant.

Recognising Australian initiatives that have improved the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the industry, AIRAH’s Award for Excellence in Sustainability celebrates a crucial area of the HVAC&R industry. Finalists for 2014 are the CBA’s Retail Portfolio HVAC Upgrade Project; Seeley International and D Squared Consulting’s Zero Carbon House; ActronAir’s ESP Platinum split-ducted technology; WSP’s Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre; and Norman Disney & Young’s National Australia Bank at 700 Bourke Street.

Finalists in the Best HVAC and Refrigeration Retrofit or Upgrade category include Airmaster Australia’s chiller plant retrofit and BMS upgrade at the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa; Cundall Australia’s 140W (140 William Street, Melbourne); GeoExchange Australia’s Riverina Highlands Building Energy Efficiency Project (RHBEEP) at Tumut; Norman Disney & Young’s 247 Adelaide Street, Brisbane; and Quik Cool Cooling Technologies’ Parilla cold storage upgrade with Thermcold thermal storage.

The Denis Joseph Award for Innovative Use of Solar Energy in HVAC and Refrigeration recognises Australian initiatives that, through innovative use of solar energy, substantially improve HVAC&R system performance. The finalists for 2014 are Energy Analysis and Engineering’s UTS micro urban power station, at the University of Technology Sydney; and committee CS028’s Sustainable Energy Transformation: The development of a performance standard for solar cooling technologies, AS 5389-2013 – Solar heating and cooling.

In the Award for Excellence in Refrigeration Research category, the CSIRO has been named as a worthy finalist for its ground-breaking Residential Building Energy Efficiency Study.

The WR Ahern Award is awarded to the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium over the previous year. Nine papers are in contention this year.

The AIRAH Awards 2014 sponsors are A.G. Coombs (Future Leader), NABERS (Retrofit), Heatcraft (Student of the Year) and Air Change (Excellence in Sustainability).





PRIME movers make progress at Implementation Workshop



As part of the recent PRIME Implementation Workshop held in Sydney, more than 30 key industry stakeholders gathered to discuss the four PRIME focus areas: energy efficiency maintenance, licensing and registration, training, and flammable refrigerants.

PRIME is an initiative developed by a coalition of stakeholders from within the Australian HVAC&R industry. PRIME aims to reduce the industry’s environmental impact through professionalism, regulation, information, measurement, and emission abatement.

“The four PRIME focus areas have been identified as issues that need whole-of-industry collaboration and support,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, who has an ex-officio role on the PRIME Executive Group.

Each focus area was assigned to a working group, which discussed the situation with these issues as it stands now, what the working group would like it to be in two years, and the proposed means of getting there.

PRIME Steering Council chair Bryon Price, M.AIRAH, says the workshop provided value in terms of offering direction and engagement.

“In two years we are aiming to have a pathway to a low-emissions future,” he says. “We have the goodwill to do it. But of course it’s about more than just a low-emissions future. It’s about achieving better outcomes and taking a holistic approach that includes legislation and manufacturing. It’s the task of PRIME to sift, sort and provide direction for the HVAC&R industry.”

For more information about PRIME, go to www.primehvacr.com.au




Acoustics Workshop 2014 resonates with delegates



The Mint Auditorium in Sydney’s CBD recently played host to the inaugural AIRAH Acoustics Workshop.

In what amounted to a dense but fascinating day for the more than 60 delegates who travelled from around Australia to attend, 14 speaker presentations were made.
“Once again the one-day AIRAH Workshop format has proved its value and attraction to attendees,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox.

“Acoustics clearly offers subject matter that resonates – if you’ll excuse the pun – throughout the industry and beyond. We heard and saw today some compelling presentations, which caught the imagination of those who attended.”

Conference committee chair Matthew Stead, M.AIRAH, opened the Workshop with an appropriately introductory presentation that defined and demonstrated acoustics nomenclature such as “sound power” and “sound pressure”.

One of themes that ran across several presentations was the somewhat counter-intuitive issue that acoustics is not simply about spaces that are too noisy; it can also be about spaces that are too quiet.

It’s a subject that ties in directly with the Workshop’s stated theme of “Acoustics and sustainability: Conflict or harmony?”

The GBCA’s Rachael Lindup discussed the updated acoustic requirements for Green Star Design & As Built, and Carlos Flores ran the ruler over the new NABERS Indoor Environment.

Arup’s Dr Chris Field provided a provocative presentation that posed the question of whether acoustic design criteria for naturally ventilated buildings are unnecessarily stringent.

Several other speakers addressed the subject of “sound masking”, the process whereby “pink noise” sound is introduced into overly quiet office spaces to improve the indoor environment for occupants.

The feedback from delegates about the AIRAH Acoustics Workshop 2014 was overwhelmingly positive, although some called for more focus on specific mechanical design issues and pointers.

Still, there was agreement that the event, its venue, content and organisation – even the room’s acoustics – were all excellent.

“Two days would be better to cover the same ground in more detail,” one delegate says. “We just scratched the surface.”


Keynote speakers named for Preloved Buildings Conference



A NABERS pioneer, an architect who specialises in the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, and an engineer whose field of expertise is innovation have been named as keynote speakers for AIRAH’s coming Preloved Buildings Conference. 

The three keynotes named for the conference are architect Dr Robert Riddel, innovation expert Dr David Cropley from the University of South Australia, and Bruce Precious, M.AIRAH, from The GPT Group. 

To be held at Moda Events, Portside, in Brisbane from October 28–29, the conference will cover an eclectic array of subjects focused around getting the most from the existing building stock. Presentations will cover everything from the Calculating Cool online rating tool, to simulation and building tuning, to lessons learned from solar renovations.

AIRAH COO Neil Cox, says the variety of keynote speakers sets the tone for one of AIRAH’s most enduring and popular conference series.

“As an organisation, AIRAH hangs it hat on the technical information we make available to our members and to the wider industry,” Cox says. “And this iteration of the Preloved Buildings series certainly continues that trend, with a robust and compelling program on offer.

“Dr Riddel, Dr Cropley and long-time AIRAH member Bruce Precious each brings a different focus to this essential AIRAH event but all revolve around the central theme of optimising existing buildings – through retrofit, adaptive reuse or refurbishment.”

Leading off the conference on day one will be the University of South Australia’s Dr Cropley, an Associate Professor of engineering innovation.

With research interests in the measurement of creativity and innovation in engineering processes and organisations, Dr Cropley will deliver an address about embedding innovation into preloved buildings, and how novel solutions can be unearthed in constrained environments. 

A renowned Brisbane architectural practitioner, Dr Riddel recently completed a PhD in architectural history at the University of Queensland, where he is also an Adjunct Professor. His keynote on day two of the conference, “New use, new life for significant buildings”, will see Riddel discuss the lessons learned from high-profile adaptive reuse projects.

The GPT group’s Precious is a former chair of the Preloved Buildings Conference committee, and a pioneer in the field of optimising existing buildings.

Precious was part of the original team that developed NABERS energy. Passionate about seeing things work the way they should, he believes peak performance with peak efficiency – the elegant solution – is typically the result of clear thinking built on an understanding of the fundamentals. 

Conference committee chair Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH, says this year’s conference focuses on the challenges and opportunities for engineers, contractors, architects and controls technicians in embarking on a preloved building project.

“We targetted a wide audience,” Holz says. “So there is something at this conference for every building professional.” 

To register, or for more information about Preloved Buildings 2014, go to www.airah.org.au/Preloved2014





AIRAH's successful Future of HVAC 2014 Conference sparks new ideas



AIRAH’s two-day The Future of HVAC 2014 Conference has been praised for breaking new ground, and bringing together some of the HVAC industry’s best minds in their respective fields.

“For the second year running, The Future of HVAC Conference was an astonishing success,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “Attendees went home with new ideas, perspectives, and insights to consider. Indeed, this conference saw some of our most thought-provoking and exciting presentations yet.”

Held at Sydney’s Australian National Maritime Museum last week, the conference was attended by more than 120 delegates, all eager to learn what is on the horizon for the HVAC industry.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, was also fulsome in his praise of the event.

“Providing delegates with an insight into HVAC issues, practices, technologies, regulation and design approaches now and into the future, The Future of HVAC 2014 again raised the standard for AIRAH’s conference series,” says Wilkinson.

Calling together the full range of industry stakeholders – from equipment manufacturers to engineering consultants, to contractors and facility mangers – the conference discussed the opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Particularly, there was a focus on new technology and research, design for a changing climate, and the future of manufacturing, which was explored through a well-received panel discussion.

Among other outstanding aspects, attendees remarked on the passion of both speakers and the audience, as well as the breadth of ideas, trends and topics that were covered.

“This conference was blessed by the fact that many speakers were at the top of their respective organisations and could talk with authority,” says AIRAH life member Clive Broadbent. “This provides evidence that they too saw great value in the conference.

“There was one aspect that impressed me more than others: that this industry can get its act together, be viable, and lead the way into a better future, and can do so without much government support,” says Broadbent. “The future is what matters, and that was the theme.”

The Future of HVAC Conference was held in concert with a research summit that brought together some of the HVAC&R industry’s sharpest minds. Held at the University of Technology, Sydney, and supported by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, the Research Summit was attended by a range of stakeholders from the HVAC&R industry. On the agenda were subjects such collaboration with industry, research gaps, barriers, funding, and scoping for new ideas.

“The research summit really complemented the well-thought-out program for The Future of HVAC,” Wilkinson says. “Bringing together academics, consultants, manufacturers and government, the summit made considerable headway in its discussion around helping our industry establish and maintain a strong culture of research and development, as well as a focus on higher education training.”

Likewise, The Future of HVAC 2014 Conference was a crucible for innovative thinking.

And the buzz of knowledge and new ideas didn’t end on the stage – during meal breaks and an evening cocktail function, delegates banded together to discuss speakers, topics and the wider industry.

“There was such a variety of people in attendance, and the ideas swirling around during the breaks were truly inspiring,” says conference chair Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH. “And on top of that, I was struck by the wealth of knowledge and passion of our members.”

With two more exciting conferences to come this year – the Acoustics Workshop in Sydney in September and the latest Preloved Buildings Conference in October in Brisbane – AIRAH is continuing a tradition of offering technical content that is up to date, relevant and delivered by the industry, for the industry. 

Watch The Future of HVAC 2014 wrap-up video on AIRAH's YouTube channel.



Exciting program announced for Preloved Buildings Conference



As one of AIRAH’s most successful and recognisable conference series, it’s no surprise that the program for the PreLoved Buildings Conference features some of Australia’s preeminent speakers on retrofitting existing buildings.

To be held at Moda Events, Portside, in Brisbane from October 28–29, the conference will cover everything from financial considerations of retrofits and building tuning, to innovation, technology and performance improvement.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says that more than ever the focus of the property and construction industries has turned to the existing building stock, and to the measures that can be executed to see preloved buildings optimised.

“The PreLoved Buildings Conference has a special place in the AIRAH calendar,” Wilkinson says. “We are talking about an event that directly reflects AIRAH’s vision for safe, sustainable, healthy and comfortable built environments.

“The conference underlines 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.”

Conference committee chair Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH, says this year’s conference focuses on the challenges and opportunities for engineers, contractors, architects and controls technicians in embarking on a preloved building project.

“We targeted a wide audience, so there is something at this conference for every building professional,” Holz says. “And as HVAC and sustainability professionals, we need to understand the drivers behind the decision to reuse a building, and be able to effectively service it within the unique constraints of a retrofit, adaptive reuse or refurbishment project.”

Holz, says the PreLoved Buildings Conference provides a timely opportunity to hear from the experts in the field. 

“The program for PreLoved 2014 features many great speakers and topics,” Holz says. “In particular, we have keynote speaker Dr Robert Riddell, a renowned heritage architect in Brisbane. He’ll be talking about his retrofitting experiences and a variety of exciting case studies.”

Another industry luminary, Dr Paul Bannister, M.AIRAH, will look at what simulation can tell us about building tuning. 

“Building tuning has long been recognised as a critical method for the improvement of the performance of existing buildings,” says Bannister. “However, the estimation of the potential benefits of HVAC control adjustments is difficult using normal industry calculation methods.  

“Fortunately, with recent advances in building simulation models, it is possible to test a number of common tuning strategies to determine their effectiveness in achieving energy savings.”

Gerry Hackett from GHD will use a case study of the recent upgrade of the central heating plant at Old Parliament House (OPH) in Canberra to explain the challenges and solutions involved in retrofitting heritage buildings. 

Hackett will look at key challenges, including OPH’s national and historical significance – and the attendant stringent heritage requirements – and the issue of heating plant having to operate 24/7 in order to preserve the museums paintings and artefacts.

“Jessica Holz and the PreLoved 2014 conference committee have assembled a really compelling program,” Wilkinson says. “If you’re interested in getting the most out of existing buildings – and you should be – you can’t afford to miss this conference.”

For more information about PreLoved Buildings 2014, or to view the program, visit www.airah.org.au/PreLoved2014



AIRAH maintains your cool with water conservation video



AIRAH has released a video, Maintain your cool, exploring water conservation and efficiency in cooling towers. 

“Cooling towers are effective heat rejection devices; however, they’re responsible for the use of large volumes of potable water, and can account for up to half of a building’s total water usage,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. 

“Considering the increasing cost of water and concern for its future scarcity, we really need to think about managing and reducing cooling tower water consumption where possible.”

The video complements the best practice guidelines developed by AIRAH – titled Water conservation in cooling towers – presenting viewers with some smart ways to reduce water consumption on-site. 

Indeed, the video is part of a comprehensive suite of communications tools aimed at optimising water use in cooling towers. Along with the video and best practice guidelines, AIRAH has also developed case studies, an online cooling tower calculator (available at mycoolingtower.com.au) and training.

Specifically aimed at building owners and operators, the video assists in reducing the water consumption of cooling systems while maintaining required performance. 

“Our aim, with the video, is to identify how a cooling tower consumes water, and outline a series of best-practice recommendations to assist tower operators or water treatment service providers in reducing the tower’s overall water consumption,” Cox says.

The video takes viewers to Federation Square in Melbourne, a site that has achieved substantial water consumption reductions by looking at its cycles of concentration. It also stops by at 1 Spring Street, a conference centre in the heart of Melbourne, and takes a look at the building’s tower and operators in action. 

Both the video and the best practice guide it is based on aim to identify the main ways in which a cooling tower consumes water. They outline a series of recommendations to assist the tower operator or water treatment service provider in the reduction of tower water consumption.

With this in mind, the video takes the viewer through some of the key areas where water losses can occur in cooling towers, and suggests ways of reducing this loss.

It also highlights the www.mycoolingtower.com.au website and water efficiency calculator.

The video was produced by AIRAH in conjunction with the Victorian government.
It can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d5QUkyCDVI 




Nominate now for the prestigious AIRAH Awards 2014



It’s time to nominate for the HVAC&R industry’s most prestigious awards: the AIRAH Awards 2014.

“Each year, the AIRAH Awards attract the highest standard of nominees, giving us the chance to recognise the absolute best in field for the HVAC&R industry,” says AIRAH chief operating officer Neil Cox. “We’re looking forward to seeing that standard again this year, and sharing in celebrating the past year’s most outstanding achievements.”

The annual AIRAH Awards presentation has a proud history of recognising excellence within the industry. On November 27, that tradition will continue.

“AIRAH has created a set of plaudits that recognises the most prominent individuals, companies, research and products across the diverse specialist fields that make up the HVAC&R industry,” says Cox.

The 2014 AIRAH Awards are open to individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, and recognise work carried out during 2013. The Awards Presentation Dinner to be held November 27 in Brisbane.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says industry recognition such as the AIRAH Awards encourages improvement in best-practice standards, consistently raising the bar across the HVAC&R industry.

“In past years we’ve showcased the industry’s best, and we hope that through continuing to recognise excellence, we encourage the wider industry to strive for high standards of achievement,” Wilkinson says.

Awards open for nomination are the:

  • James Harrison Medal, the highest honour AIRAH can bestow upon an individual; 
  • Future Leader award, recognising emerging leaders in any facet of the HVAC&R industry;  
  • Student of the Year award, recognises outstanding scholarship at any level in the HVAC&R industry;  
  • Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Upgrade award, recognising excellence in the retrofit or upgrade of an HVAC&R 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, which recognises Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry; 
  • Excellence in Innovation award, which recognises 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, which recognises outstanding achievements in Australian research, leading to potential future improvements in these technologies; and 
  • The W.R. Ahern award, which is 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. 
AIRAH Awards 2014 key dates

Nominations open    Monday, June 30  
Nominations close
    Monday, August 4
2014 AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner
  Thursday, November 27

Please contact Martine Poulain on martine@airah.org.au to advise that you will be nominating.

2014 AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner

What:        AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner 2014  
When:
  7pm, Thursday, November 27 
Where:
  Moda Events Portside, Brisbane
Cost:
  $160, tables of 10: $1,500 
 
For nomination forms, go to www.airah.org.au
To book a table email martine@airah.org.au

Awards sponsors
ActronAir – Excellence in HVAC&R Research award
A.G. Coombs – Future Leader award
Air Change – Excellence in Sustainability award
Heatcraft – Student of the Year award 


New AIRAH video promotes flammable refrigerant safety



AIRAH has produced a video to promote the safe use of flammable refrigerants.

“As the world moves away from using high global warming potential refrigerants, we’re seeing an increase in the use and popularity of more flammable alternatives,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “Be it hydrocarbons, or new blends and HFOs, it’s crucial that these refrigerants are handled safely by everyone involved.”

The new video promotes the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, which AIRAH published in July last year, and emphasises the need for safety in all aspects of dealing with flammables. 

The 75-page guide – which is available free online – was also recently adapted into a suite of three fact sheets and a national seminar series, which saw full attendance in all capital cities. 

Covering the health and safety risks associated with the use of flammable refrigerants, the video draws on input from the Flammable Refrigerants Taskforce, which was chaired by Kevin Lee, M.AIRAH, who also delivered the national seminar series. 

“The key to using these refrigerants is safety and a lot of training,” says Lee. “This training is vital for the industry because of an experience I’ve had myself; I have witnessed the aftermath of a flammable refrigerant accident.”

One of the key messages in the video is that A2 and A3 flammable refrigerants are not suitable drop-in replacements for non-flammable A1 refrigerants.

“A system that was designed and manufactured for an A1 refrigerant will not have the electrics suitable for flammable refrigerants,” says Lee. “So when we talk drop-in replacement refrigerants you should only change from one drop-in replacement refrigerant to another one of the same safety classification.”

The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide covers the health and safety risks associated with the safe design, manufacture, supply, installation, conversion, commissioning, operation, maintenance, decommissioning, dismantling and disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and systems that use a flammable refrigerant.

The video can be watched at http://bit.ly/1llvBrF

The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide can be downloaded at www.airah.org.au/FRSG2013




Acoustics Workshop program announced



AIRAH's Acoustics Workshop 2014 program has been revealed, featuring speakers with individual specialist expertise and diverse acoustical backgrounds.  

With a theme of “Acoustics and sustainability: Conflict or harmony?” the one-day Acoustics Workshop 2014 is the inaugural event of its type for AIRAH. Set to be held in Sydney on Thursday, September 18, the workshop aligns with AIRAH’s remit to advance the HVAC industry from a technical perspective. 

“HVAC system designers can face some difficult technical challenges posed by acoustics,” says AIRAH chief operating officer Neil Cox. “And given the recent trend of lower-noise buildings, now is an excellent time to sort through some of those design challenges.”

Conference speakers will cover a range of topics, from case studies and regulatory updates, to specialist areas such as healthcare and high-rise acoustic practices. 

Among the speakers at the workshop will be Dr Chris Field, who leads Arup’s acoustics and theatre consulting practice in Sydney. Field will discuss acoustic design for naturally ventilated buildings, a topic in which he holds a PhD from the Faculty of Architecture at Sydney University. 

Field will draw on more than 18 years’ experience, including long-term assignments in Arup’s San Francisco and London offices. He is the inventor of a passive noise control ventilator for naturally ventilated buildings, and holds international patents related to the technology. 

Robin Brown, associate director at Renzo Tonin & Associates, will present on acoustic comfort and the often-missed opportunities in green buildings. Brown has extensive experience in projects involving studies of acoustics and vibration, and has also provided direction and supervision to acoustic engineering teams, and overseen comprehensive environmental assessments.

Conference committee chair Matthew Stead, M.AIRAH, who will be speaking at the event, says acoustics and sustainability are closely linked, and this connection will be teased out during the conference. 

“Sustainable buildings – with chilled beams – are often quiet, and this can result in building acoustic problems such as reduced privacy,” Stead says. 

“Some other connections are that increased thermal insulation requirements are complementary to acoustic requirements. And then there is the fact that improved equipment energy efficiency often results in lower plant noise levels.” 

Stead also says there are some challenging issues the HVAC industry is confronting in relation to acoustics, which the Acoustics Workshop 2014 aims to address.

Cox says there are several advantages in allocating the workshop to one day of focused activity.

“AIRAH’s workshops, which have been successful in other disciplines, represent an innovative approach,” Cox says. “The one-day intensive format allows us to help shine a deeper light on specific topics at a considerably reduced cost compared to other, longer conferences.”

Attendance at the six-hour workshop is worth CPD points for various accrediting organisations.  

For more information, or to view the whole program, visit www.airah.org.au/AcousticsWorkshop


The Future of HVAC 2014 Conference program announced



AIRAH’s Future of HVAC 2014 conference is quickly approaching, with a host of industry experts and innovative topics added to the program. 

“The HVAC industry is a dynamic and rapidly changing one, making it crucial that we keep an eye on the horizon,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “The Future of HVAC 2014 continues the discussion about the future, via industry experts and leading researchers from a wide range of fields sharing their knowledge, ideas and insights.”

Now in its second year, and set to be held in Sydney this July 16–17, The Future of HVAC 2014 will continue with its theme of technology, ideas and research, with an emphasis on adaptability and flexibility. This includes everything from flexible construction techniques and multi-use buildings, to how changing behaviours, perceptions and expectations will affect the HVAC industry. 

Keynote speaker Dr David Orsmond is deputy head of the economic analysis department at the Reserve Bank of Australia, and will present on the economic conditions faced by the HVAC&R industry. 

Mirvac general manager of sustainability Paul Edwards, M.AIRAH, is also a keynote speaker. He will share his recent experiences in Europe and with Mirvac’s new plan for a sustainable future. 

Cundall Australia CEO Simon Wild, M.AIRAH, will draw on more than 20 years’ experience in the design and analysis of ESD in buildings to deliver his presentation. Providing a background of the industry’s new focus on positive impact, Wild will ask, “How can a chiller be a driver of change?” 

“We are moving from the gradual reduction of the environmental impact of our buildings towards the positive creation of social and ecological impact,” Wild says. “This shift in focus requires us to think about our buildings, our supply chains and our HVAC systems and products – not just as isolated parts, but as drivers of broader change.”

At the Future of HVAC 2014, A.G. Coombs group engineering manager Warwick Stannus, M.AIRAH, will explore the potential of prefabrication. 

“Effective prefabrication strategies require considerably different design, engineering, fabrication and installation methodologies to those applied in a traditional on-site build,” says Stannus. “The result can be substantially reduced on-site construction time, and a range of structural, safety, system performance, operational, maintenance benefits to project stakeholders.”

Conference chair Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, says that apart from the obvious networking and professional development opportunities, the conference allows delegates to step away from the daily grind and interact with other facets of the industry they might not otherwise encounter. 

“Delegates will come away from The Future of HVAC 2014 with an understanding of some of the challenges we’re facing, potential solutions, and today’s best practice, Hampton says. “Fundamentally though, the conference will inspire attendees to look beyond the ‘right now’ and embrace the ‘what can be’. If people leave feeling enthusiastic and excited about new opportunities and ideas, we’ll have done our job.”

Download the conference program.

For more information, or to register, visit www.airah.org.au/TheFutureofHVAC2014


AIRAH BIM seminar series delivers the basics



With building information modelling (BIM) one of the HVAC&R industry’s most talked-about topics, AIRAH is hosting a nationwide seminar series – “BIM: The basics”– for those curious about or unfamiliar with the technology.

“In the past 10 years, BIM has become one of the most prevalent and fast-growing tools for engineering and construction management design, scheduling, and coordination,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “Despite this, we still don’t have a set-in-stone definition of what BIM is, what it entails, and its boundaries.”

Broadly, BIM is the creation and use of an intelligent 3D model to inform and communicate project decisions.

Cox says “BIM: The basics” will pin down and expand upon this definition, and familiarise those who are new to BIM with its advantages, challenges, capabilities and limitations.

Mark Jacobson, M.AIRAH, national BIM operations manager at AE Smith, will present the seminars, which are free for AIRAH members. Jacobson will call on his extensive experience and knowledge of mechanical services to bring together the basics of BIM, illustrating how a well-executed BIM project can substantially improve the operation and maintenance of a building.

“BIM eliminates waste: waste of time, waste of materials,” Jacobson says, “and waste of man power.”

The seminars will cover the fundamentals of BIM, including “practical BIM”, and will look at the underlying principles that help users access BIM’s full potential.

Jacobson will also demonstrate how a fully detailed BIM model can drive efficiency throughout the design process, and improve productivity during the construction and commissioning processes.

Recently appointed to the BIM-MEPAUS committee, Jacobson will be a key stakeholder and influencer in defining the future of BIM in Australia. The industry body has the responsibility to standardise industry BIM practices, models, workflow and software for the Australian construction industry.

Seminars will be held in Canberra, May 14; Brisbane, June 24; Perth, July 23; Sydney, August 6; Melbourne, September 10; Hobart, September 11; Darwin, October 8; and Adelaide, November 13.

The seminars are FREE for AIRAH members.

For more information, and to register, visit www.airah.org.au/events


AIRAH's PreLoved Buildings Conference calls for abstracts



The latest in the series of AIRAH Preloved Buildings conferences will be held in Brisbane, from October 28–29. AIRAH is calling for abstracts.

One of AIRAH’s most successful and recognisable conference series, the Preloved Buildings Conference focuses on opitimising the performance of Australia’s existing building stock.
 
AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says that attention is often focused on exciting new buildings, yet preloved building projects can be even more challenging, often requiring innovative refurbishment solutions. 

“The Preloved Buildings Conference is important because it celebrates our existing buildings,” Wilkinson says. “It provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about the challenges and opportunities for engineers, contractors, architects and controls technicians in embarking on a preloved building project.”

Conference committee chair Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH, says preloved building projects have many benefits. 

“The current market is leaning towards retrofits, and preloved buildings provide wonderful opportunities to preserve the heritage and character of an area, and create interesting, diverse and inspiring spaces,” she says. “The environmental and sustainability benefits of re-using a building are of great significance. 

“As HVAC and sustainability professionals, we need to understand the drivers behind the decision to reuse a building, and be able to effectively service it within the unique constraints of a retrofit, adaptive reuse or refurbishment project.” 

Abstracts are welcome on an array of subjects, including:

  • Case studies: Retrofitting and relifing grade B, C or D buildings to residences, hotels, shopping centres, public buildings and educational facilities 
  • The benefits and challenges associated with relifing, and the adaptive reuse of buildings
  • Building owner and manager perspectives, expectations and experiences
  • Economic, architectural and societal drivers for retrofitting and relifing buildings 
  • How to optimise the environmental benefits of retrofitting and relifing buildings
  • Occupancy comfort and indoor environment quality
  • Understanding and securing environmental upgrade agreements (EUAs), and other project financing opportunities
  • Best practice for improving building performance through data analysis, building tuning and commissioning
  • The direction of regulation, standards and rating tools in 2015
  • The best process and procurement methods for preloved building projects.

The Brisbane 2014 Preloved Buildings Conference is the eighth in a series of highly successful AIRAH conferences, with previous iterations held in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, as well as previously in the Queensland capital. 

Speakers selected to present at the conference will be required to submit a technical paper. Non-AIRAH members will be required to pay a speaker fee.

Submissions must also include a 100-word author biography, and high-resolution author photo. Abstracts should be sent to AIRAH conference organiser Laura Atkinson by June 5. Email: conferences@airah.org.au

For more information about the Brisbane 2014 PreLoved Buildings Conference, go to www.airah.org.au/PreLoved2014






Free flammable refrigerants safety guide seminar series announced



In a bid to promote safe use of flammable refrigerants, AIRAH is running a free national seminar series based on its Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, which was published in July last year.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide provides advice and addresses the uncertainty and complexity surrounding the use of flammable refrigerants, but there are many who may not have the opportunity to have read the document in depth. That’s where the seminar series comes in.

Developed by AIRAH and a collaborative committee of industry and government stakeholders, the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide is a 75-page industry-agreed guide. It helps define how to best manage the health and safety risks associated with the design, manufacture, installation, commission, service, use, decommission, dismantling and disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment utilising flammable refrigerants. The guide covers equipment used in a workplace, public building, or residential setting.

The seminars’ main aim is to ensure that HVAC&R businesses, technical staff, and end-users are aware of the range of issues that come with the use of flammable refrigerants in residential, commercial and industrial systems. Flammable refrigerants entering the Australian market include hydrocarbon-based products, new synthetic refrigerant products, and new and existing blends of refrigerants. 

“We need to improve the awareness of industry and end-users about the issues around the application of flammable refrigerants,” says Wilkinson. “For many, a review and emphasis of the key points covered in the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide will help.

“This seminar series provides a chance for us to engage directly with industry, and discuss the issues covered in the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide.”

The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide seminars will be held in six capital cities: Brisbane on May 27, Adelaide on May 28, Perth on May 29, Sydney on June 3, Melbourne on June 4, and Hobart on June 5.

Presented by industry expert Kevin Lee, M.AIRAH, the seminars will be free, two-hour morning events, primarily targeted at ARC licence holders, technicians and businesses.

A respected HVAC&R industry doyen, Lee says flammable refrigerants that have low-GWPs are increasingly replacing high-GWP HFCs, which are being phased down because of their carbon-intensive nature.

“Yet because these newer refrigerants are flammable, extra precautions must be taken to ensure safety and risk minimisation,” Lee says. “These seminars will highlight those risks, and what steps to take to ensure safety through the use of the AIRAH Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide.

“The seminars will provide an understanding of technicians’ responsibilities, how they can ensure their own safety – and the safety of occupants – when designing, installing or maintaining various refrigeration or air conditioning systems that are charged with flammable refrigerants.”

Attendees can register for the seminars by visiting www.airah.org.au/seminars

The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide is available for FREE download.





PRIME time for the HVAC&R industry



The HVAC&R industry took a substantial step on its progress towards a low-emissions future recently, as it established a Steering Council and elected a Chair to oversee PRIME.

PRIME is an initiative developed by a coalition of stakeholders from within the Australian heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. Key stakeholders are united in developing low-emission solutions for the essential HVAC&R services we all depend upon.

PRIME stands for the five pathways to transition to low-emission practices and technologies: professionalism, regulation, information, measurement, and emission abatement.

A.G. Coombs strategic development director Bryon Price was elected to chair the council.

“As an industry, we long ago realised we have a duty to act towards reducing our carbon emissions,” Price says. “And it’s something I know I’m not alone in being passionate about. In my 30-odd years in the industry I’ve never encountered the kind of optimism and cooperation I’ve seen towards the PRIME initiative, from all parts of the HVAC&R industry. The opportunity is there; the challenge is in how we go forward. And it’s not simply a challenge, it’s a responsibility.”

Fourteen individuals were elected to the PRIME Steering Council: Price, John Anderson from Engineers Australia; Michael Bennett from Refrigerants Reclaim Australia; Tim Edwards from the Australian Refrigeration Association; Simon Bradwell from FMA ANZ; Sam Czyczelis, from the RWTA, David Greig from the MPMSSAA; Larry Moore from NECA; Noel Munkman, from E-Oz Energy Skills Australia; Sumit Oberoi from AMCA; Kevin O’Shea from RACCA; Bob Paton from MSA, Greg Picker from Refrigerants Australia, and AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson.

Price, Oberoi, Bennett, Picker, Munkman, Greig and Wilkinson were nominated onto the PRIME Executive Group, along with AIRAH COO Neil Cox and Tim Edwards from the ARA, and endorsed by the council. The Executive Group will meet every two to three weeks to discuss the scope of work around PRIME, including communications, funding, action plans and benchmarking.

“PRIME has taken the first real steps from a good idea to something tangible,” Picker says. “This process is difficult, but it is noteworthy that organisations came together in a spirit of finding ways to resolve issues and make PRIME come to reality. The journey isn’t over, but real and substantive progress in breathing life into PRIME has been made.”

“The meeting demonstrated a collective commitment by the industry to do something as a single voice,” says EA’s Anderson. “Now that the ‘rubber hits the road’, the challenge is to identify strategies and activities all groups can commit to.”

Manufacturing Skills Australia CEO Bob Paton says the meeting showed great progress.

“Some are still wary, but setting an interim organisational structure in place, electing the chair and establishing the exec committee were all good, sound steps towards an enduring arrangement,” he says.

AIRAH’s Cox is honoured to receive a nomination to work with the PRIME executive, and promote the agreed-upon initiatives as a single industry vision.

“Our industry took a tentative step closer to cohesive action in mapping out its own sustainable, professional future,” he says. “It is gratifying that so many industry players share the evolving vision, which encompasses not just aspirational, but also rational ideals and outcomes for our critical sector.”

Having evolved from a series of cross-stakeholder industry summits and discussions on low-emission strategies for the sector, PRIME aims to bridge the gap between industry in order to change thinking and practices.

Immediate actions include establishing a strong and independent online presence for PRIME, and an official launch at ARBS 2014. AIRAH was requested to hold the secretariat for the PRIME Steering Council for the first 12 months.

For more information about PRIME, go to www.airah.org.au/PRIME



AIRAH's Workshop heralds bright solar cooling future



AIRAH’s first Solar Cooling Workshop generated an audible buzz of excitement among its 80 attendees, all eager to join the discussion around one of the HVAC&R industry’s most exciting fields. 

“The energy in the conference room was just brilliant,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH. “There was leading-edge content from the speakers, a good mix of attendees from different sectors, and some great questions from the audience. And the student ‘lightning round’ was fantastic – it proved that the future of solar cooling is in very capable hands.”

Held at the CSIRO EcoSciences precinct in Brisbane on March 27, the Solar Cooling Workshop honed in on the ever-increasing interest in the field of solar cooling. The one-day event explored new ideas, technology and innovations.

During the Workshop, a broad catalogue of speakers shared their knowledge, ideas and experience. With so many of the field’s leading national and international experts stepping up to the lectern, the workshop delivered a full day of invaluable information to delegates. 

Covering everything from the international perspective on solar cooling to local innovators and their projects, the Workshop’s array of topics had attendees grabbing every opportunity to debate and discuss new ideas and information. 

“There was a great selection of presentations covering design, economic modelling, case studies, new inventions and more,” says Workshop committee member Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH. “With so many different angles on the topic, it was a really terrific learning experience.

“One of the key issues of the day was the wrestle we have between risk and glory,” says White. “We heard about the almost-faultless University of Wollongong Solar Decathlon house, and we heard about the difficulty of getting the stars to align in-order to pull off some projects with great potential.”   

Workshop chair Lu Aye, F.AIRAH, says the workshop unveiled exciting innovations not only in the academic domain, but in the wider industry. 

“Initially, I didn’t expect that we would have so many participants and so much interest within Australia,” Aye says. “But there was a lot of enthusiasm from the participants and the presenters. Indeed, there were so many questions we had to limit them in order to stay on schedule.

“And the Workshop also showed that while we may focus research on one of the many aspects of solar cooling, it’s important to have bigger-picture system-level thinking in order to make solar cooling projects successful,” Aye says. 

Wilkinson agrees that one of the most impressive aspects of the Solar Cooling Workshop was the enthusiasm of those involved – from the speakers and attendees, to the conference committee and Chair. 

“The AIRAH Solar Cooling Workshop has shown us that our industry is keen to pursue new technology and push things forward,” Wilkinson says. “We’re now looking ahead to our next conference – the Future of HVAC 2014, in Sydney – where we will again focus on what’s next for our industry.”




AIRAH's graduate training program on track for 2015 launch



AIRAH’s groundbreaking new graduate training program for mechanical engineers is off to an extremely promising start, with participants recently concluding the first pilot subject. 

“We’ve received excellent, encouraging feedback from the 10 participants who worked through the pilot subject,” says AIRAH education manager and course project manager Carolyn Hughes. “We’re on track to launch the program next year, but for now we are continuing development of the course as the momentum and excitement behind it builds.”

The training program will cover essential HVAC&R knowledge for engineering graduates – professionals who are employed in consulting or contracting firms, but who have had little or no exposure to the HVAC&R industry before employment. 

The pilot subject was “Introduction to HVAC&R – System Types and Applicability”, from the Fundamentals subject group.

The program will run for nine months, separated into two semesters. The content will be delivered online, with 100 hours’ worth of topics divided into four key areas: Fundamentals; Equipment and Components; Systems; and Practice and Performance.

Ben Cox, M.AIRAH, from Cundall was one of the participants in the subject pilot. 

“The online delivery means that the AIRAH Graduate Training Program will be compatible with the busy life of a graduate,” Cox says. “It bridges the gap between university studies and the skills required to be a successful mechanical HVAC engineer. Recent experiences with various new recruits at my company show that this can be a difficult transition to manage, and as such, this course is very welcome.

“This course enables recent graduates to work toward defined and achievable goals in growing their knowledge to the required levels.” 

Hughes says that graduate mechanical engineers often have very little – if any – knowledge of the HVAC&R industry until they are employed in it. 

“The need for this course has existed for a long time,” Hughes says. “And AIRAH is now working to meet that need.”

The AIRAH Graduate Training Program will commence in April next year.




AIRAH Acoustics Workshop 2014 calls for abstracts



AIRAH is calling for abstracts for the Acoustics Workshop 2014, which will be held in Sydney on Thursday, September 18.

Boasting a theme of “Acoustics and sustainability: Conflict or harmony?” the one-day Acoustics Workshop 2014 is the inaugural event of its type for AIRAH.

AIRAH COO Neil Cox says that hosting the Acoustics Workshop 2014 aligns with AIRAH’s remit to advance the HVAC industry from a technical perspective.

“Acoustics can present real technical challenges for HVAC system designers,” Cox says. “Given the recent trend of lower-noise buildings – and many other issues around acoustics that designers are dealing with – we felt the time was right to host AIRAH’s inaugural Acoustics Workshop.”

AIRAH is calling for 200–300 word abstracts. Topics must be relevant to acoustics, and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Acoustics and sustainability
  • BIM and acoustics tools
  • Building services acoustics, including HVAC
  • Environmental design initiatives and acoustics
  • Internal acoustics
  • Open building spaces acoustics
  • Standards and regulations
  • Vibration 
Conference committee chair Matthew Stead, M.AIRAH, says acoustics and sustainability are closely linked, and this connection will be teased out during the conference.

“Sustainable buildings – with chilled beams – are often quiet, and this can result in building acoustic problems such as reduced privacy,” Stead says.

“Some other connections are that increased thermal insulation requirements are complementary to acoustic requirements. And then there is the fact that improved equipment energy efficiency often results in lower plant noise levels.”

Stead says there are some challenging issues the HVAC industry is confronting in relation to acoustics, which the Acoustics Workshop 2014 aims to address.

“There are three big issues around acoustics in the HVAC space at the moment,” Stead says. “These relate to the extent of acoustic lining and associated costs, the cost of retrofitting when noise levels are excessive, and industry training and skills in acoustics.”

Submissions must include: a 100-word author biography, and high-resolution author photo.
Abstracts should be sent to AIRAH conference organiser Laura Atkinson by Monday, April 28. Email: conferences@airah.org.au


For more information, visit www.airah.org.au/AcousticsWorkshop


The future approaches: Registrations open for The Future of HVAC 2014



Registrations are now open for one of the HVAC&R industry’s most groundbreaking and progressive conferences: AIRAH’s The Future of HVAC 2014 conference.

Now in its second year, the conference will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on July 16–17. The Future of HVAC 2014 aims to explore diverse topics, including flexible construction techniques, multi-use buildings and how changing behaviours, perceptions and expectations will affect the HVAC industry.

“The Future of HVAC conference provides an opportunity to look forward at the technologies, innovations and ideas that will drive our industry in years to come,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “It will bring together lynchpin industry stakeholders – from manufacturers and consultants, to contractors and facility managers – to look at the broad future of our industry.”

Conference committee chair Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, says this year’s conference will continue to embrace the themes of technology, ideas and research, with an emphasis on adaptability and flexibility.

“We’re interested in the economic challenges and opportunities for the sector, including construction, design and manufacturing, and how the HVAC workforce will adapt in the future,” Hampton says.

“The conference itself will be interactive, encouraging participation and the sharing of ideas beyond the presentations. And apart from the obvious networking and professional development opportunities, The Future of HVAC 2014 allows delegates to step away from the daily grind, and interact with other facets of the industry they might not otherwise encounter.”

The Future of HVAC 2014 conference will delve into the challenges faced by the HVAC industry, and explore potential solutions and today’s best practice.

“Fundamentally though, the conference will inspire attendees to look beyond the ‘right now’ and embrace the ‘what can be’,” says Hampton. “If people leave feeling enthusiastic and excited about new opportunities and ideas, we’ll have done our job.”

For more information, or to register, visit www.airah.org.au/TheFutureofHVAC2014

The Future of HVAC 2014 is sponsored by ActronAir (Gold sponsor), ebm papst (Silver sponsor), and A.G. Coombs (Bronze sponsor).





Melbourne Forum announces new partner for 2014 series



Each year, the Melbourne Forum series of free public talks brings together leading experts in their fields to discuss the most pertinent issues in sustainable building practices. This year, the Melbourne Forum partners – AIRAH, Sustainability Victoria, City West Water and City of Melbourne – are pleased to welcome a new partner: the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne (MSD). 

“Melbourne Forum is one of the key events in AIRAH’s calendar – they are always well-attended, highly relevant and provide an excellent platform for networking and knowledge sharing,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH. “It’s great to see MSD joining as a 2014 partner, which will hopefully forge a stronger connection between students and the industry.”

Melbourne Forum is held quarterly, and aims to increase the development and refurbishment of commercial buildings in Victoria to achieve greater levels of sustainable performance. The forums provide an invaluable opportunity for leading practitioners and policymakers in the built-environment sector to come together to discuss sustainability issues, technologies and developments, as well as to share ideas and experiences. 

Melbourne Forum speakers are selected to present a cross-section of industry and practical experience. Business and government case studies from throughout Australasia are regularly featured.

Past seminars have included presentations on a wide variety of topics, including: innovative construction techniques, ESD, sustainable public projects, biomimicry, funding opportunities for retrofitting buildings, and best practice in energy efficiency.

Thirty-three Melbourne Forum seminars have been held since the event’s inception in March 2006, with more than 4,000 professionals attending during this period.

The 2014 Melbourne Forum schedule will be announced soon on the Melbourne Forum webpage: www.airah.org.au/melbourne_forum

Anyone interested in becoming a Melbourne Forum partner should contact AIRAH Conference Organiser, Laura Atkinson, laura@airah.org.au





AIRAH unveils handy Intellectual Property (IP) register



AIRAH’s technical resources are called up in a wide range of industry documents, standards and specifications – and now the Institute has created a register of where, and how, these resources are referenced.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says producing technical resources that help lead the HVAC&R industry towards best practice is an important part of AIRAH’s remit. Last year, the AIRAH board of directors asked key industry stakeholders where AIRAH’s library of technical resources – including DA manuals, best-practice guides, codes of practice, safety guides and technical handbooks – were being called up in industry documents.

“The process of going out to stakeholders provided us with some invaluable feedback, not the least of which is that AIRAH documentation is extensive and varied, and that the AIRAH brand is trusted and well-accepted in the broader construction industry,” Wilkinson says. “The exercise was not merely about managing our intellectual property; it’s about ensuring that our members and other stakeholders can get the most out of it by using it, and using it properly.”

Indeed, AIRAH documents are referred to in a range of industry publications including Australian government legislation; Australian Standards; NATSPEC specifications; Green Star rating tools; consultant, client and property-owner specifications; industry guides; and specifications for continuing building management and maintenance.

The catalogue of AIRAH’s intellectual property (IP) is available online, but the research does not represent an exhaustive assessment of all available industry references to AIRAH. Rather, it’s a list of the most significant and publically available references. The research particularly focused on the major industry players – and not on smaller articles such as conference papers and presentations.

However, anecdotal feedback suggests the way some AIRAH documents are referenced by industry may have caused some unintended outcomes, perhaps from users not completely understanding how individual AIRAH publications are intended to be used. AIRAH directors believe some guidelines around how the Institute’s IP is referenced may need to be developed.

Of course, producing technical resources is a continuing process. Last year alone, AIRAH produced the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, a new version of the industry’s bible – the AIRAH Technical Handbook – and updated versions of two Design Application manuals: DA01 Centrifugal Pumps and DA13 Fans.

These documents are the “go to” guides for the specific areas they cover.

Set for revision this year are DA9 Load Estimation and Psychrometrics, and DA20 Humid Tropical Air Conditioning.

Work is due to commence shortly on two safety guides: one for ammonia and one for CO2.

Click here to access the IP register.





Only a month until AIRAH's first Solar Cooling Workshop



AIRAH’s first Solar Cooling Workshop is just one month away. Inspired by ever-increasing interest in the field of solar cooling, the one-day Workshop will explore new ideas, technology and innovations in this exciting field.

The AIRAH Solar Cooling Workshop will be held at the CSIRO EcoSciences precinct in Brisbane on March 27. 

“Solar cooling is one of the hottest topics in cooling at the moment,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “And AIRAH’s Solar Cooling Workshop is the perfect opportunity to catch up on all you need to know about solar cooling – from case studies and applications to innovations and policy.”

During the Workshop, a broad catalogue of speakers will share their knowledge, ideas and experience. With so many of the field’s leading national and international experts stepping up to the lectern, the workshop is set to deliver a full day of invaluable information to delegates. 

Keynote speaker Ken Guthrie, from Sustainable Energy Transformation, will provide insight into the international perspective on solar heating and cooling. Guthrie chairs both the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Executive Committee and the ISO Committee on Solar Energy. 

“People should attend the workshop to find out the latest in solar cooling, both internationally and nationally,” Guthrie says. “It’s also an opportunity to meet and discuss potential activities and projects with an expert group of attendees.”

Professor Ursula Eicker, who heads the Institute of Applied Research at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences will deliver a video presentation. Eicker will compare the energy and economic performance of solar-thermal and solar-electric cooling in different climates.

Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH, from the University of Wollongong, will outline the design and implementation of the Team UOW/Bluescope’s solar-assisted HVAC system that made a significant contribution to Team UOW winning the Solar Decathlon China 2013, with the Illawarra Flame house. Cooper will cover the system’s detailed thermodynamic modelling and optimisation, and some preliminary experimental results.

Presenter Brett Seeney, an associate mechanical engineer with WSP, will discuss the Echuca Regional Health project, believed to be the largest solar absorption cooling system that utilises domestic-grade, high-efficiency, evacuated-tube-type solar collectors. 

Seeney’s presentation will examine the differences between the hospital’s old and new solar absorption cooling systems, discussing the pros and cons of each.

To see the full Solar Cooling Workshop program, or to register, go to www.airah.org.au/solarcooling2014





Calculating Cool aims to lower HVAC energy usage



The Calculating Cool Online HVAC Rating Tool is set to have a profound impact on the reduction of energy use in Australian HVAC systems. 

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says the tool aims to provide a dynamic assessment tool – capturing both quantitative and qualitative data – to rate, reward and encourage best- practice HVAC systems in buildings. The tool is in development.

“HVAC systems typically account for around 40–75 per cent of the energy usage in buildings, and usually represent far more than 50 per cent of the potential energy-efficiency improvements that could be made,” Wilkinson says. “Calculating Cool will bring particular focus and importance to the performance of a building’s HVAC system.”

Managed by Sustainability Victoria, the Calculating Cool project will develop an online calculator to coordinate operation and maintenance practices, including data collection, long-term monitoring and comparative analysis. 

“We believe Calculating Cool is a world-leading initiative,” says Wilkinson. “Despite the need being almost universally recognised, there is not another system like this anywhere else.”

Part of AIRAH’s work to progress the federal government’s HVAC High Efficiency System Strategy (HVAC HESS), Calculating Cool will be used to rank different HVAC systems, and drive improvements. 

“Because it’s designed to be incorporated into NABERS and the Green Star Design – As Built and Performance – suite of rating tools, Calculating Cool will have a substantial effect on the design, installation commissioning, operation and maintenance of HVAC systems,” Wilkinson says.

Since their introduction, ABGRS, and later NABERS, have provided a practical rating tool for buildings, subsequently driving real change in how buildings are designed, delivered and operated. In order to deliver further improvements in buildings, Calculating Cool will look to the significant energy-consuming components of buildings – such as HVAC – and provide a similar measure of performance.

A range of industry bodies – AIRAH, the PCA, FMA, AMCA – have been working with government to progress the Calculating Cool project. It is now in the development stage, with trials and public review set for later this year. 

Anyone interested in being part of the trial process should email phil@airah.org.au 



The Future of HVAC 2014 conference announced, call for abstracts



AIRAH is calling for abstracts for The Future of HVAC 2014 conference – to be held in Sydney over July 16–17.

The conference is the second in the new series, whose inaugural event held last year in Melbourne was a stunning success.

AIRAH COO Neil Cox says the objective of The Future of HVAC 2014 is to provide delegates with an insight into the issues, practices, technologies, regulation and design approaches affecting the HVAC industry now and into the future.

“The Future of HVAC conference aims to bring together the full range of industry stakeholders – from equipment manufacturers to engineering consultants, to contractors and facility mangers – to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the industry,” Cox says. “It’s a chance to look forward and explore the technologies, attitudes and innovative thinking that will drive the industry tomorrow and in years to come.”

AIRAH is calling for 200–300 word abstracts. Topics must be relevant to the future of HVAC and may include, but are not limited to: 
  • Developments in building design and materials
  • Off-site manufacturing, pre-fabrication and modular design
  • New technologies and research, including biomimicry, solar cooling and geo-thermal
  • The economics of the future HVAC&R industry
  • Design of flexible, large-scale residential and mixed-use developments
  • BIM, digitisation and IT developments
  • Commissioning of HVAC systems
  • Legislation, regulation, standards and benchmarks, including energy performance ratings and refrigerants 
  • How to engage facility managers and building owners 
  • Adaptive buildings and/or HVAC systems
  • Changing nature of building occupants’ behaviour, perceptions and expectations
  • HVAC&R skills for a new generation. 
“We are aiming to have a conference that offers a useful glimpse at the future of HVAC,” says conference committee chair Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH. 

“This year’s conference will continue with the theme of technology, ideas and research from last year, with an emphasis on adaptability and flexibility. We’ll be looking at flexible construction techniques, multi-use buildings, and how changing behaviours, perceptions and expectations will affect the HVAC industry. 

“We’re also interested in the economic challenges and opportunities for the sector, including construction, design and manufacturing, and how the HVAC workforce will adapt.”

Speakers selected to present at the conference will be required to submit a technical paper. Non-AIRAH members will be required to pay a speaker fee.

Submissions must also include: a 100-word author biography, and high-resolution author photo. Abstracts should be sent to AIRAH conference organiser Laura Atkinson by Monday, March 10. Email: conferences@airah.org.au




Registrations open for AIRAH Solar Cooling Workshop 2014


Registrations are now open for the AIRAH Solar Cooling Workshop 2014, which will explore new ideas, technology and innovations in this exciting field.

The one-day workshop will chart various aspects of solar cooling, including case studies, industry applications, policy and industry development, components and mechanisms, and innovations. It will be held at the CSIRO EcoSciences Precinct in Brisbane on March 27.

“As the interest in solar cooling gains momentum, it’s a crucial time for us to gather and share knowledge, ideas and experience in the field,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “The Solar Cooling Workshop 2014 will do just that, bringing together industry experts to consider where we’re going next with solar cooling.”

Workshop 2014 committee member Dr Stephen White, M.AIRAH, says the one-day event is being held in response to the recent dramatic increase in interest for solar cooling.

“Solar cooling is a tantalising area of HVAC research that represents pure engineering,” White says. “It has astonishing potential. After all, as the sun beats down and air conditioners are turned up to the maximum, what could be more logical than solar air conditioning? 

“Indeed, solar cooling could be one of the HVAC industry’s answers to reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and electricity infrastructure costs.”   

Among the speakers at the workshop will be Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH, of the University of Wollongong. Cooper has been involved in extensive research covering sustainable buildings, fluid mechanics and energy efficiency. He will present on the design and implementation of a retrofitted residential solar-assisted HVAC system. 

Cooper will be joined on the podium by Simon Lovich, M.AIRAH, from Air Engineers. Lovich will call on more than 30 years’ experience in HVAC&R contracting, manufacturing and consultancy in his presentation on an adaptive approach to solar thermal systems.

Professor Ursula Eicker, from the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, will provide a video presentation on energy and economic performance of solar cooling systems. Eicker’s research focuses on the development of urban energy concepts, renewable energy supply in urban areas, building automation, and the simulation and development of solar thermal cooling systems. 

Jeremy Osborne, Affil.AIRAH, of Solem Consulting, will present on the development of solar collector standards. Osborne has worked on large-scale solar cooling projects, as well being involved in the optimisation of very small packaged systems. He is heavily involved in the development of national and international standards on solar energy, and is an active participant in IEA SHC Task 48 (Solar Cooling) and Task 43 (Global Certification).

Dr Subbu Sethuvenkatraman of the CSIRO, who has 10 years’ experience working in industrial research and development of thermal/power generation systems, will discuss PV-based solar air conditioning.

For more information about the Solar Cooling Workshop 2014, including the conference program and list of speakers, click here.