2015 Press releases






AIRAH announces an exciting 2016 conference schedule


Continuing a long-held tradition of offering best-practice HVAC&R conferences, AIRAH has announced a compelling 2016 conference schedule.

Continuing on from the success enjoyed in 2015, AIRAH has scheduled a suite of engaging and informative conferences for 2016. The Institute is proud to announce an exciting conference program, featuring the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop, The Future of HVAC 2016, as well the Digitisation Workshop and Tropical Air Conditioning Workshop. An AIRAH refrigeration conference has been slated for 2017. 

“AIRAH continues to be unwavering in its duty to improve HVAC&R technical knowledge and expertise,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “Naturally, our conference program remains at the core of what we do and what we strive to deliver. We are offering a comprehensive line-up in 2016, designed to appeal to the learning needs of AIRAH’s members, as well as the wider HVAC&R industry.

“Our one-day workshops have proved incredibly popular, so in 2016 – an ARBS year – we will host three of these to complement The Future of HVAC 2016.”

Kicking off the 2016 schedule, the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2016 will take place in Melbourne on March 17. Now an event staple on the AIRAH calendar, the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop will once again put one of the hottest topics in HVAC into the spotlight. Exploring different aspects of solar heating and cooling, the conference will cover everything from case studies and industry applications, to policy and industry development, to practical components and mechanisms.

Now in its fourth year, The Future of HVAC Conference heads to Brisbane in 2016 from September 7–8. The Future of HVAC 2016 Conference provides insight into the issues, practices, technologies, regulation and design approaches affecting the HVAC industry now and into the future.  

Next year will also see the staging of two brand new Workshops from AIRAH. The first, the Digitisation Workshop, takes place in Perth in June (date TBC), and will have a focus on building information modelling (BIM) and the latest IT technologies within the industry. 

Also making its debut, Sydney’s Tropical Air Conditioning Workshop in August (date TBC) will coincide with the release of AIRAH’s updated DA20 manual, covering climate and design conditions, heat and moisture flow, building considerations, system design, equipment selection and application, and commissioning and maintenance in tropical locales.     

For more information and the latest announcements regarding AIRAH’s 2016 conference program, go to www.airah.org.au/conferences

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AIRAH Awards 2015 winners announced


The winners of the AIRAH Awards 2015 were announced at a glittering ceremony held at Sydney’s Luna Park late last week.

A solar cooling PhD student, an inspiring young engineer, an innovative system of prefabrication, a stunning university campus building, and an effective commercial retrofit were among the winners unveiled on the evening.

“Every year the AIRAH Awards introduce us to people, projects and products that are helping to change the HVAC&R industry – and by extension the built environment, and in fact our lives – for the better,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH.

“The 2015 AIRAH Awards winners are no exception. From a field of finalists that was more competitive than ever, a number of impressive and inspiring victors emerged. Congratulations must go to them, but also to all the finalists, who helped make the 2015 AIRAH Awards one of the best ever.”

Winners of the AIRAH Awards 2015 are:
  • AIRAH Future Leader Award: Chris King, M.AIRAH, from Bosch
  • Student of the Year: Inga Doemland, Stud. AIRAH
  • Award for Excellence in Innovation: A.G. Coombs/Lendlease prefabrication approach at Barangaroo
  • Award for Excellence in Sustainability: the work by Steensen Varming on the University of Technology Sydney’s Thomas Street Building 
  • Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Upgrade: Aurecon’s air conditioning improvements at 175 Eagle St, Brisbane
  • Product of the Year: Conserve It’s PlantPro BMS
  • WR Ahern Award: Stefan Jensen, F.AIRAH; and Paul Bannister, M.AIRAH.
The AIRAH Awards 2015 sponsors were Mitsubishi Electric (event sponsor), A.G. Coombs (Future Leader), NABERS (Excellence in Sustainability), Standards Australia (Excellence in Innovation), Heatcraft (Student of the Year), ActronAir (dinner sponsor), LG (Product of the Year and Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Upgrade) and Daikin (after-dinner speaker sponsor).

For more information about the AIRAH Awards 2015, go to www.airah.org.au/awards

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AIRAH commended for work around transition to flammable low-GWP refrigerants


A recent government report has acknowledged AIRAH’s efforts towards educating the HVAC&R industry about the advantages of flammable refrigerants while minimising the work health safety (WHS) risks involved with them.    

The industry is moving towards the use of lower GWP refrigerants, which, whether synthetic or “natural” tend to be flammable. There is, therefore, a growing need for technicians, consumers and WHS agencies to understand how to use them safely. 

A report commissioned by the federal Department of the Environment – Analysis of Work Health and Safety Data for the Use of Synthetic Greenhouse Gases and Substitutes in the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry – recognises AIRAH’s efforts to educate the industry about flammable refrigerants. 

Acting AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says the report’s findings highlight the Institute’s commitment to professional development and to growing the industry’s skills and capability for the future – key aspects of AIRAH’s strategic aims.  

“The influx of new technology and standards means our industry is constantly changing,” Wilkinson says. “It is a shifting regulatory landscape. AIRAH is dedicated to providing appropriate and relevant professional development for HVAC&R industry personnel. To be acknowledged in a government report such as this underscores that our work is having a positive influence on the industry.” 

According to the report, industry associations should develop a supply-chain communications plan relating to the WHS risks of using new flammable gases, and also understand the associated risk controls. The use of existing guidance materials such as AIRAH’s Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide is stressed throughout. 

“The major activity in developing guidance in [WHS] has come between the Department of the Environment and AIRAH with the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, together with three fact sheets,” the report states. “These have been developed after extensive consultation across the RAC industry.”

AIRAH COO Neil Cox says that as the HVAC&R industry makes its transition towards lower GWP flammable refrigerants there is a need for continued cooperation between AIRAH and government.    

“Being one of the only industry associations mentioned in the report is certainly a feather in AIRAH’s cap,” Cox says. “We will continue to work alongside government and other providers to ensure knowledge gaps and professional-development voids are filled.”

The report can be viewed at: www.environment.gov.au/protection/ozone/publications/2015-analysis-whs-data-rac-industry

The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide is freely available for download at www.airah.org.au/FRSG

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AIRAH's Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2016 calls for speakers


AIRAH is seeking speakers to present at our one-day Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2016, to be held March 17 at the University of Melbourne.

“Let’s face it, with the sun beating down and the demand for air conditioning ever increasing, solar cooling has a certain sort of logic to it,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “It’s the same with solar heating in the wintertime too. And with enthusiasm for solving Australia’s electricity grid issues – to keep downward pressure on electricity price rises – solar heating and cooling could be one of the HVAC industry’s answers to reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and electricity infrastructure costs.”

Topics for speakers 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.
All submissions must be of 200–300 words, include a 100-word author bio, and include a high-resolution author photo. Non-AIRAH members will be required to pay a speaker fee.

Abstracts should be sent to AIRAH conference organiser Laura Atkinson by Thursday, November 12. Email: conferences@airah.org.au

For more information about the Workshop, or to view the program, go to www.airah.org.au/SolarWorkshop

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AIRAH begins search for new CEO after Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, steps aside


Following the decision by AIRAH’s incumbent CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, to step aside from the organisation’s leadership position, the AIRAH board has begun the search for a new chief executive officer.

AIRAH president Nathan Groenhout, M.AIRAH, says the board has engaged Arete Executive, an executive search firm, to identify a new chief executive for the prestigious 95-year-old not-for-for-profit Institute.

“AIRAH owes Phil Wilkinson a considerable debt of gratitude for his stewardship of the organisation over the past five years at the helm of AIRAH,” Groenhout says. “For personal reasons he has made the difficult decision to step aside, but will continue his 13-year career working for the Institute in a pivotal business-critical role across policy, strategy, stakeholder engagement and government relations.

“Phil, together with the existing executive and staff, have put AIRAH in a tremendous position. His energy, passion, engineering nous, warmth, and vitality in the role have certainly been appreciated and effective.

“Now we have begun an open and transparent process in the search for a new energetic AIRAH CEO. The board aims to appoint the preferred candidate prior to Christmas, and they will continue the great work that’s been done to date.”

Groenhout says AIRAH is poised at an exciting juncture in its storied history as the preeminent member organisation for Australian HVAC&R professionals.

“We are looking for an engaged individual to bring leadership and growth to the key role of the Melbourne-based AIRAH CEO position,” Groenhout says. “Ideally, the preferred individual will have a nuanced understanding of member-based organisations and therefore qualified to help AIRAH continue its exciting evolution.”

Wilkinson will continue as acting CEO until a replacement can be found.

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Registrations open for AIRAH’s definitive Graduate Training Program


Early-bird registrations have opened for AIRAH’s ground-breaking Graduate Training Program (GTP), which has been years in the making, and represents one of the Institute’s biggest undertakings. 

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says the course will cover essential HVAC&R knowledge for graduates who are employed in consulting or contracting firms but have had little exposure to the HVAC&R industry before leaving university and joining the workforce. 

“AIRAH’s new Graduate Training Program is the definitive postgraduate training course for entrants to the HVAC&R industry,” Wilkinson says. “It will provide graduate mechanical engineers with comprehensive, practical HVAC&R training in a building services environment.”

AIRAH program and learning manager Mel O’Mara says the GTP comprises 100 hours of online content, with subject topics divided into four key areas: Fundamentals; Equipment and Components; Systems; and Practice and Performance.

There is a face-to-face, live-in component at the start, which will serve to introduce the course participants to the GTP and to each other. The course proper will run for about nine months, separated into two semesters. 

“The GTP will connect graduates with industry leaders via a blended learning experience,” O’Mara says. “It’s designed to allow graduates to build knowledge early in their career and to work more independently on projects than might otherwise be the case.

“The GTP will also help companies provide a strong induction experience for their new graduates into the HVAC&R industry. It will help participants to acquire the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to succeed as HVAC&R professionals.”

The GTP is also appropriate for those looking to change careers.

“I’m really excited about the GTP,” Wilkinson says. “To say this initiative is one of the most exciting developments in our industry training in years is no understatement.

“Many engineers, including myself, more or less stumble upon HVAC&R engineering almost by accident after they graduate from a university course that might only provide a very basic introduction. 

“Now with AIRAH’s Graduate Training Program there will be a comprehensive introduction to an industry that – although largely hidden from the general public – happens to be pivotal to our society’s health, and is full of exciting career opportunities for those who work in it.”

The early-bird rate for the GTP is $5,390. The full price is $6,050.

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

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Peter FitzSimons to entertain and inspire at the AIRAH Awards 2015


Raconteur extraordinaire Peter FitzSimons AM will be the after-dinner speaker at AIRAH’s Awards Presentation Dinner at Sydney’s Luna Park on November 26.

If a fantastic venue and the opportunity to network with colleagues and acquaintances on AIRAH’s night of nights are not enough to entice attendees to AIRAH’s Awards Presentation Dinner, then consider the calibre of the evening’s after-dinner speaker.

A former member of Australia’s national rugby union team the Wallabies, FitzSimons is a renowned social commentator, and the author of 25 best-sellers, including military histories Tobruk and Kokoda. He is also a popular sports columnist.

“The AIRAH Awards honour outstanding achievements in the hope of inspiring others in the industry to strive for excellence,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Peter FitzSimons will be a fantastic addition to the evening, and will also inspire with his own stories of success, as well as those of international leaders of business, government and sport.”

FitzSimons was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations.

The Awards finalists were announced last week, with the winners to be revealed at the gala AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner on November 26 at Sydney’s Luna Park.

Awards will be presented in seven categories: the AIRAH Student of the Year Award, Future Leader Award, Award for Excellence in Innovation, Award for Excellence in Sustainability, Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Upgrade, Product of the Year, and the WR Ahern Award for best Ecolibrium technical paper by an AIRAH member.

The AIRAH Awards 2015 sponsors are Mitsubishi Electric (event sponsor), A.G. Coombs (Future Leader), NABERS (Excellence in Sustainability), Standards Australia (Excellence in Innovation), Heatcraft (Student of the Year), ActronAir (dinner sponsor), and Daikin (after-dinner speaker sponsor).

For more information about the AIRAH Awards 2015, go to www.airah.org.au/awards

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2015 AIRAH Awards finalists announced


After extensive deliberation from the judging panel, the finalists of the AIRAH Awards 2015 have been chosen.

The impressively high standard of nominations presented the judges with the difficult task of selecting the best of the best – the finalists – for the AIRAH Awards 2015. 

“The projects and individuals nominated for the AIRAH Awards this year were impressive once again,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “They’ve definitely set the standard in terms of innovation, leadership, and performance in our industry. The awards recognise and encourage outstanding work in the hope that others in the industry will also strive for excellence. It remains one of most important dates on the AIRAH calendar.”

Winners of the AIRAH Awards 2015 will be announced at a presentation dinner held at Luna Park in Sydney on November 26.

FINALISTS

The AIRAH Future Leader Award remains one of the Institute’s most hotly contested categories, with the industry’s brightest emerging leaders tallying up their achievements, involvement and contributions. This year’s finalists are Abraham Corona, App.AIRAH, from Global Pacific Imports (Vic); Leon Wurfel, Affil.AIRAH, from BUENO Systems (NSW); Chris King, M.AIRAH, from Bosch (Vic); Jonathan Ramajoo, M.AIRAH, from AE Smith (Qld); and Brett Saunders, Affil.AIRAH, from Hiflow Industries (Qld).

AIRAH’s Award for Excellence in Innovation honours the outstanding improvements in Australian HVAC&R achieved through innovation. Finalists for 2015 are Lendlease/A.G. Coombs’ prefabrication approach at Barangaroo (NSW), Steensen Varming’s work on the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre (BLaKC) project (NSW), and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Perth Arena.

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 HVAC&R. Finalists for 2015 are Fusion HVAC’s constant-throw, variable-air-volume, sidewall diffuser installation at the Blue Mountains Community and Civic Centre; Crown Melbourne Limited’s Melbourne Complex energy-efficiency upgrade; Programmed Sustainable Solutions/Airmaster’s energy efficiency upgrade works at 114 William St (Melbourne); the work by Steensen Varming on the University of Technology Sydney’s Thomas Street Building; and Norman Disney & Young’s energy modelling at Australia Post’s Surry Hills Headquarters (NSW).

Finalists in the Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Upgrade category sees Aurecon’s air conditioning improvements at 175 Eagle St, Brisbane, go head-to-head with Refrigeration Innovations, MB Refrigeration, Heatcraft Australia, and Emerson Climate Technologies’ San Remo IGA refurbishment project.

A new award for 2015, the Product of the Year, honours the top Australian-developed, designed and manufactured products. Assessed for features such as innovation, energy efficiency, sustainability, originality and industry need, this year’s finalists are the BuildingIQ 4.0 cloud-based platform, Conserve It’s PlantPro BMS, and Aira Pty Ltd’s FTC Titan.

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 2015 sponsors are Mitsubishi Electric (event sponsor), A.G. Coombs (Future Leader), NABERS (Excellence in Sustainability), Standards Australia (Excellence in Innovation), Heatcraft (Student of the Year), ActronAir (dinner sponsor), and Daikin (after-dinner speaker sponsor).

For more information about the AIRAH Awards 2015, go to www.airah.org.au/awards

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AIRAH's Commissioning Workshop 2015


AIRAH has successfully staged its inaugural Commissioning Workshop, featuring a great turnout and a host of expert speakers.   

With close to 70 guests attending the all-day event, AIRAH's first-ever Commissioning Workshop was a bona fide success. Attendees from a range of backgrounds, including HVAC&R consultants, contractors, developers, main contractors, and facility managers all took part in the Workshop, which was held at The Mint in Sydney’s CBD. 

“It was a very positive day overall, with plenty of great speakers and an excellent vibe,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Commissioning is a vital but neglected facet of our industry, and often done incorrectly as a result. That’s why events such as the Workshop are a vitally important part of AIRAH’s calendar.”

Andrew Crabtree, M.AIRAH; Ian Sprent, M.AIRAH; and Mark Jacobson, M.AIRAH, featured as part of the program. A raft of commissioning-related topics were covered, ranging from “current codes and best practice” to “responding to overseas trends”. The presentations were followed by a Q&A between speakers and attendees, which prompted some robust discussion.  

“The Workshop was highly beneficial, and shows the industry is moving forward on gaining insight and recognition of the importance of commissioning,” says Crabtree, who gave a presentation about building tuning. 

The Workshop also included a number of forum discussions on commissioning expectations, and gaining recognition for commissioning as a necessity. 

Feedback from attendees was extremely positive. One delegate said the most important lesson learned was that despite its importance, commissioning is not a mandatory requirement in Australia.  

“Commissioning needs to be embraced as a significant component of a building project,” he says. “It requires coordination with all trades to accommodate this.”

Aurecon’s Jessica Holz, M.AIRAH, says commissioning is a new and growing business for her firm.

“Building tuning offers so many more opportunities than I realised,” she says. “Commissioning is an area which we can develop as an industry to provide better outcomes for all.”

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Gary Whatling, M.AIRAH, says AIRAH should work closely with the Green Building Council of Australia to define commissioning roles in greater detail.

“What a fabulous opportunity for AIRAH to lead the charge,” he says, “and take this corner of our industry forward.”

For more information about AIRAH conferences, go to www.airah.org.au/events

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Free HVAC optimisation guide released by AIRAH and the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage


AIRAH and the New South Wales Office of Environment & Heritage have released a free document, the HVAC Optimisation Guide.

“The guide discusses technical concepts involved in optimising HVAC systems,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F. AIRAH. 

“It is intended to assist all those involved in the running of these systems to plan and manage energy-saving opportunities.”

Energy management consultants, building owners and managers, facility managers and sustainability managers could all benefit from consulting the guide.

“Unlike other energy-efficiency strategies, HVAC optimisation does not typically require much capital to implement, because it focuses on the best use of existing systems rather than large-scale equipment upgrades and replacements,” Wilkinson says. “In many instances, optimisation can provide immediate reductions in energy usage and costs.”

He says optimisation is sometimes as simple as changing control algorithms, altering control schedules and set-points, and carrying out minor mechanical repairs and alterations.

These strategies can save up to 50 per cent of total HVAC energy use, or up to 80 per cent of energy use in individual HVAC components.

The HVAC Optimisation Guide outlines 20 HVAC optimisation strategies and how they can be applied to the vast majority of commercial systems, both in older and modern buildings.

For a free copy of the guide, go to www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/business/150317HVACGuide.pdf

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Change of personnel among AIRAH's board directors


Simon Wild, M.AIRAH, has stepped down from his role on AIRAH’s national board of directors. 

After accepting a post to work in Lendlease’s Singapore office, Wild felt his position as a national director for the Institute was no longer tenable. Previously he was based in Lendlease’s Sydney office. 

Wild’s position has been filled by A.G. Coombs strategic development director Bryon Price, F.AIRAH.

AIRAH COO Neil Cox, M.AIRAH, says Wild has been an important part of AIRAH’s board since being elected in May 2011.

“Simon’s contribution to the AIRAH board and to the organisation in general have been immense,” Cox says. “He has the ability to hone in on the essence of an issue and offer keen insights.”

Before joining Lendlease, Wild founded and became CEO of sustainability consultant Cundall Australasia.

A respected figure in the HVAC&R industry, Price has been keenly involved in many AIRAH-related projects, including The Future of HVAC Conference series, Calculating Cool and the PRIME initiative.

In addition to being an AIRAH Fellow, he’s also a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, and a respected figure within the Australian HVAC&R community.

“Although not having Simon’s expertise and insight available to the board is a considerable loss, it’s wonderful to welcome Bryon back as an AIRAH director,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Technically and strategically he brings plenty to the table, and is as passionate about AIRAH as he is the HVAC&R industry.”

AIRAH’s board directors have voted Nathan Groenhout, M.AIRAH, to continue as president.

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AIRAH's The Future of HVAC 2015 Conference showcases stellar speakers


The third iteration of AIRAH's The Future of HVAC 2015 Conference was held last week, attracting a record number of delegates, and showcasing a stellar program of speakers.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson says the conference made good on its promise to gaze into the industry’s future, and contemplate the challenges, technology and bright new ideas that await. 

“The Future of HVAC 2015 was a fantastic event that showcased what AIRAH does best: present technical information in a lively manner that helps lead the way forward for industry,” Wilkinson says. “I was really impressed with the variety and quality of speakers, all addressing issues of critical importance for HVAC&R industry professionals.”

An array of speakers presented on a broad swathe of topics across the two-day conference, with topics covered including passive buildings, data centres, rethinking cogeneration, university buildings that act as living laboratories, “big data” and integrated building information systems, climate change adaptation, resilience and considerably more.

“The conference was terrific,” says Atelier Ten’s Paul Stoller, M.AIRAH. “There were good papers, great discussion, and excellent networking all through and around the event.”

The CSIRO’s Josh Wall, M.AIRAH, says that once again AIRAH delivered a great conference on all things HVAC.

“There was a great mix of the latest thinking around design, operation, and advanced control and analytics,” Wall says.

The keynote addresses by the Grattan Institute’s Tony Wood and by ClimateWorks Australia chair John Thwaites set the tone for the event, with both delivering provocative, engaging and thought-provoking addresses.

“The presentation by John Thwaites drove an important message for me about the cumulative effect of the carbon emissions that we are creating,” says conference committee chair Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH. “We need to do something now.”

One of the more popular presentations was by Lendlease’s Graham Carter, M.AIRAH, who discussed the impact and benefits of cool roofs, and the importance of cool roof design in minimising HVAC impacts.

The record number of delegates were provided with plenty of food for thought.

“The Future of HVAC will not be driven by equipment technology breakthroughs,” Stoller says. “Rather, we will be designing to higher standards of human comfort and well-being; we will be spending less time calculating and drafting – thanks to generative design, automatic load sizing, and automated modelling – and more time thinking and consulting on system strategy and tricky details. And we will be managing buildings remotely using far more advanced automated systems, driven by performance data, and guided by analytics, or Big Data.”

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Nomination deadline for the HVAC&R industry's most prestigious awards extended


If you haven’t already put your hand up for an AIRAH Award, don’t fret: Nominations for AIRAH’s annual accolades, which acknowledge the HVAC&R industry’s outstanding achievements, have been extended to August 18.

Held on November 26 at Luna Park in Sydney, the AIRAH Awards presentation dinner will acknowledge and applaud the HVAC&R industry’s high achievers, stand-out projects, stellar products, and ground-breaking research.

“I’m a passionate believer in the importance of the HVAC&R industry telling its story,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “HVAC&R is an intrinsic aspect of everything from agriculture to high-performing buildings – the AIRAH Awards form a huge part of our continuing narrative. They allow us to acknowledge and to laud our industry’s most outstanding achievements.”

Open to individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, the 2015 AIRAH Awards recognise work carried out during 2014.

In an effort to continue to recognise the highest achievers through an equitable judging process, AIRAH has reviewed the awards categories this year, resulting in the addition of a new category: Product of the Year. As a category dedicated solely to products – and the only category for which products can be nominated – this new addition ensures that comparable entries compete alongside each other. Projects will be measured against projects, individuals against individuals, and products against other products.

Nominations are now open for the 2015 AIRAH Awards, which encompass the following categories:

  • 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: recognising outstanding scholarship at any level in the HVAC&R industry;
  • Product of the Year: this year manufacturers of the best Australian HVAC&R products will compete against each other for a coveted AIRAH gong;
  • 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: recognising Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry;
  • Excellence in Innovation award: recognising substantial Australian improvements in the areas of HVAC&R achieved through innovation. This can include new or significantly enhanced products; or new or significantly improved systems, plant and equipment, or processes;
  • Excellence in HVAC&R Research: recognising outstanding achievements in Australian research; and
  • The W.R. Ahern Award: awarded annually and recognises the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium in the preceding year. Nominations are not required in this category.

 

AIRAH Awards 2015 key dates

Nominations open*                                          Monday, June 29

Nominations close                                           Tuesday, August 18

2015 AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner        Thursday, November 26

* Please contact Alison Mattes via alison@airah.org.au to advise that you will be nominating.

 

2015 AIRAH Awards presentation dinner

What:  AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner 2015

When: Thursday, November 26, 7pm

Where: Crystal Palace, Luna Park, Sydney
Cost: Ticket: $175, table $1,650

For nomination forms, go to www.airah.org.au/Awards

To book a table email alison@airah.org.au 


Awards sponsors


Event sponsor
Mitsubishi Electric

Dinner sponsor
ActronAir

After-dinner speaker sponsor
Daikin

Student of the Year
Heatcraft

Future Leader Award
A.G. Coombs

Excellence in Innovation
Standards Australia

Excellence in Sustainability
NABERS


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Commissioning Workshop 2015 program announced


A compelling program has been announced for the inaugural staging of AIRAH’s Commissioning Workshop, which will be held in Sydney on Thursday, September 10. Scheduled to take place at The Mint, the Workshop will feature seven speakers covering a range of subjects related to building commissioning. 

AIRAH chief executive officer Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says it’s a no-brainer to have a workshop focused on commissioning.

“AIRAH’s Commissioning Workshop will be an opportunity to discuss the issues surrounding this essential but often neglected – or incorrectly performed – facet of our industry, in the one-day format our conference delegates have told us best suits them,” Wilkinson says.

Commissioning Workshop committee chair Neil Caswell, M.AIRAH, says commissioning is all about making sure HVAC&R systems deliver what they are designed to do.

“Correct commissioning,” he says, “is essential to deliver a properly functioning and performing building.”

Caswell says that among other topics featured at the Workshop will be discussions around new technologies and innovations and their benefits; the benefits of having commissioning done properly; opportunities to standardise training and education of commissioning technicians across Australia; and the absolute necessity of including commissioning in the BCA. 

Speakers will also cover issues such as metering and tuning.

Andrew Crabtree, M.AIRAH, will give attendees an insight into the objectives and the methodology of building tuning. 

“With the development of remote-data-access options and analytic software, it is now feasible to achieve very detailed analysis of building performance and adjust building services systems to deliver the best outcomes within the capability of their design and building usage,” Crabtree says. 

Crabtree will discuss data acquisition, monitoring of metering systems, energy/water consumption and distribution, performance vs NABERS rating targets, equipment runtimes, and final recommissioning.  

In his presentation Ian Sprent, M.AIRAH, will cover the impact of water quality on water balance.

Sprent will outline what is required to comply with both the CIBSE Code and BSRIA guide, and address the many misunderstandings with both.

Mark Jacobson, M.AIRAH, will discuss the importance of properly sealing building facades.

“In the age of energy efficiency and the ever-expanding armada of clever technology required to overcome our power-consumption woes,” Jacobson says, “an avenue that is often overlooked is the passive solution of suitably sealed facades.”

During his presentation, Jacobson will shed light on the need for sealed buildings, and explore the standards required to achieve this.

Wilkinson says the value-for-money Workshop could be just the thing for anyone wishing to be brought up to speed on Australian commissioning issues.

“If you’re interested in the optimal performance of building systems – and in our industry everybody should be,” Wilkinson says, “it would be remiss of you not to register for AIRAH’s Commissioning Workshop.”

For more information on the AIRAH Commissioning Workshop, go to www.airah.org.au/commissioning2015

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FREE flammable refrigerants safety guide seminar series announced


In a bid to promote the safe use of flammable refrigerants, AIRAH is running a second round of the popular FREE national seminar series based on its Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, originally published in July 2013. 

AIRAH COO Neil Cox says the 2015 series follows on from the successful seminars based on the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide, which AIRAH rolled out last year. It will include important updates on the availability of new training opportunities and upcoming changes to important industry standards.

“The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide provides advice to address the uncertainty and complexity surrounding the use of flammable refrigerants,” Cox says. “There are many in the industry who may not have read the document in depth, and that’s where the seminar series plays a pivotal role. 

“Also, there were many people disappointed last year because they weren’t able to attend, either because places filled quickly or because the venue wasn’t convenient. We’ve addressed this by offering more seminars and venues this time around.”

Developed by AIRAH and a collaborative committee of industry and government stakeholders, the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide is a 75-page industry-agreed document. 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 raise awareness for HVAC&R businesses, technical staff, and end-users about the range of issues that come with the use of flammable refrigerants in residential, commercial and industrial air conditioning and refrigeration systems,” Cox says. “Flammable refrigerants entering the Australian market include hydrocarbon-based products, new synthetic refrigerant products, and new and existing blends of refrigerants. The seminar will also outline the coming changes in Australian refrigeration safety standards, which will impact how and where the industry uses flammable refrigerants.

“We need to improve the awareness of industry and end-users about the issues and new rules around the application of flammable refrigerants,” says Cox. “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.” 

Venues and locations
The Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide seminars will be held in 10 capital cities and regional centres during August: Bendigo (August 4) – Melbourne (August 5) – Adelaide (August 6) – Perth (August 7) – Canberra (August 12) – Sydney (August 13) – Newcastle (August 14) – Brisbane (August 19) – Townsville (August 20), and – Darwin (August 21).

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 and refrigeration expert, Lee says flammable refrigerants that have low-GWPs are increasingly replacing high-GWP HFCs, which are likely to be phased down in the near future because of their carbon-intensive nature. 

“Because these newer low-GWP refrigerants are flammable, extra precautions must be taken in terms of safety and risk minimisation,” Lee says. “These seminars will highlight those risks, and what steps to take to improve safety measures through the use of the AIRAH Flammable Refrigerant Safety Guide.

“The seminars will provide an understanding of technicians’ responsibilities, how they can improve 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 from the AIRAH website here.

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Nominate now for the AIRAH Awards 2015


Nominations are now open for AIRAH’s annual accolades, which acknowledge the HVAC&R industry’s outstanding achievements. 

Held on November 26 at Luna Park in Sydney, the AIRAH Awards presentation dinner will applaud the industry’s high achievers, stand-out projects, and ground-breaking research. 

“I’m a passionate believer in the importance of the HVAC&R industry telling its story,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “HVAC&R is an intrinsic aspect of everything from agriculture to high-performing buildings – the AIRAH Awards form a huge part of our continuing narrative. They allow us to acknowledge and to laud our industry’s most outstanding achievements.” 

Open to individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, the 2015 AIRAH Awards recognise work carried out during 2014. 

In an effort to continue to recognise the highest achievers through an equitable judging process, AIRAH has reviewed the awards categories this year, resulting in the addition of a new category: Product of the Year. As a category dedicated solely to products – and the only category for which products can be nominated – this new addition ensures that comparable entries compete alongside each other. Projects will be measured against projects, individuals against individuals, and products against other products. 

Nominations are now open for the 2015 AIRAH Awards, which encompass the following categories:
  • 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: recognising outstanding scholarship at any level in the HVAC&R industry;
  • Product of the Year: this year manufacturers of the best Australian HVAC&R products will compete against each other for a coveted AIRAH gong;
  • 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: recognising Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry; 
  • Excellence in Innovation award: recognising substantial Australian improvements in the areas of HVAC&R achieved through innovation. This can include new or significantly enhanced products; or new or significantly improved systems, plant and equipment, or processes; 
  • Excellence in HVAC&R Research: recognising outstanding achievements in Australian research; and
  • The W.R. Ahern Award: awarded annually and recognises the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium in the preceding year. Nominations are not required in this category.
AIRAH Awards 2015 key dates
Nominations open* Monday, June 29
Nominations close Monday, August 3 
2015 AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner Thursday, November 26
* Please contact Alison Mattes via alison@airah.org.au to advise that you will be nominating.

2015 AIRAH Awards presentation dinner
What:  AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner 2015
When: Thursday, November 26, 7pm
Where: Crystal Palace, Luna Park, Sydney
Cost: Ticket: $175, table $1650

To book a table email alison@airah.org.au

Awards sponsors
 
Event sponsor Mitsubishi Electric

Dinner sponsor ActronAir

After-dinner speaker sponsor Daikin

Student of the Year Heatcraft

Future Leader Award A.G. Coombs

Excellence in Innovation Standards Australia

Excellence in Sustainability NABERS


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The Future of HVAC 2015


Some of the HVAC&R industry’s most riveting developments are occurring in the fields of research, technology, and education, which is right where AIRAH’s Future of HVAC 2015 Conference will be fixing its focus. 

To be held at ZINC, Melbourne, from August 18–19, the event is the third in the series of highly successful conferences under The Future of HVAC banner.

“When we first held this event in Melbourne three years ago, it immediately connected with our members and other stakeholders,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “From state-of-the-art research and technology, to consideration of future design conditions and building resilience, The Future of HVAC explores those critical issues impacting our industry now and in the time to come. And the 2015 iteration of the conference shapes as the best of the series to date. Anyone concerned about the industry and those things affecting it must strongly consider attending.”

Keynote speakers include Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute, and Professor John Thwaites, the ClimateWorks Australia chair.

“The Future of HVAC Conference will explore what the future has in store for the HVAC industry,” says conference committee chair and AIRAH board director Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH. “Conference delegates can learn from their peers, who will share real-world experience. You can then take this knowledge back to your workplace and apply it to your own situation.”

Sessions at the conference will cover a range of projects and issues, including a passive hotel in a sub-tropical climate; an explanation of the Barangaroo climate change and adaptation case study; and an analysis of the effectiveness of cogeneration and trigeneration.

Also at the conference, Graham Carter, M.AIRAH, will share his research findings in the field of cool roofs, including his research into what roof type and colour is most effective in cooling, and the benefits and suitability of different designs. 

“The dialogue in our industry around green, cool and energy-generating roofs has been elevated in recent years,” Carter says. “Yet there are significant shortfalls in our industry knowledge and tools to fully understand how different roof types affect mechanical system performance.”

Atelier Ten associate director David Ritter will present on the global trend towards ultra-high-performance building envelopes, which are expected to have a considerable impact in determining the future of HVAC design. 

He will use a case study of Shanghai’s Bruck Building to explain how the Passivhaus standard can effectively be adapted for different climate zones. 

Senior NDY associate Dhimendra Singh, M.AIRAH will look at redefining the HVAC design-delivery paradigm. 

“Despite significant advances in technology and the plethora of tools and processes that are possible, the fundamental design-delivery process remains relatively unchanged,” says Singh. “There are several areas where a redefined process would be beneficial, including the basic design criteria definition, the tools employed for the design process, the design documentation, and the design implementation. The end result may be an industry more in sync with its environment.”

The Future of HVAC 2015 is sponsored by ActronAir (Gold sponsor); Air Change and Heatcraft (Silver sponsors); and A.G. Coombs (Bronze sponsor).

For more information or to register for The Future of HVAC 2015, go to www.airah.org.au/thefutureofhvac

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Three new AIRAH board members announced


Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH, Chris Flanagan, M.AIRAH, and Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, have joined the AIRAH board following the annual general meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday night. The trio was elected at AIRAH’s national convention late last year.

“I’m really excited to be working with Ian, Chris and Ania,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Having worked with them individually in the past, I know that each brings a unique set of skills and perspective to the board table. Their fresh ideas, energy, and strategic nous will be invaluable as AIRAH enters an important new expansion phase of our journey.”

Harwood has acted as an interim board member since last December following the resignation of Ross Angel, M.AIRAH. He now starts his two-year term as a director.

The trio have all served AIRAH in various capacities, with both Harwood and Hampton chairing conference committees.

“I’m immensely proud and honoured that my fellow members have elected me as one of their representatives,” says Hampton, the director of Edefice.

“Having previous experience on the board of a not-for-profit, I’ll be focusing on continuing the governance and due diligence work the board has been doing so well. I’ll bring a small business perspective to the board; I know many of our members daily face the same challenges I do, and I’ll be looking to see what AIRAH can do to assist them achieve their goals in the industry. 

“One of my main areas of interest is our membership base and looking at how we can engage with a wider cross-section of our industry, and in particular capturing the bright young minds who will be so vital in shaping the future of HVAC&R.”

Flanagan, the South Australian state manager for Schneider Electric’s building business, has previously served as a member and president of the Institute’s South Australian state committee.

“Having been actively involved in AIRAH at a state level for the past 10 years, I feel very proud and humbled to join the board,” he says. “I have always enjoyed contributing to our industry locally, and it’s great to now get an opportunity to do this at a national level. 

“AIRAH, for me, is a group that is extremely inclusive, providing a huge amount of relevance and meaning to our members. The future for AIRAH in my opinion is growth in new and exciting areas of our industry, with continued leadership and positioning.”

Boasting 20 years’ experience in the building services industry, including time spent working abroad, Harwood is an associate director with Norman Disney & Young, based in NDY’s Perth office. With an avid interest in the technical side of the industry, he has also been active in the design and management of high-profile projects. 

“As a board member, I bring a measured approach that is sensitive to the membership base,” Harwood says. “I am passionate about our industry, and ensuring that the younger people coming into our industry are nurtured so that we see the succession plan to enable the next leaders of our industry emerge.”

Board members Bryon Price, F.AIRAH, and Sean Treweek, F.AIRAH, have stepped down from the board after years of dedicated service. 

“We thank Bryon and Sean for their exceptional contribution to the Institute,” Wilkinson says. “And I personally thank them both for their individual support and encouragement as my role has grown over time at the Institute.

“Even though neither will have official director status from now, I know that as passionate members of the industry and strong supporters of AIRAH, they will continue to be involved with us.”

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Commissioning Workshop calls for abstracts 


AIRAH’s inaugural Commissioning Workshop will be held at The Mint, Sydney, on Thursday, September 10. The conference committee is now calling for abstracts.

AIRAH chief operating officer Neil Cox says the time is right to add a one-day workshop dedicated to commissioning to the Institute’s suite of conferences.

“Commissioning is an essential component of optimising the built environment, and yet it’s something that is often done incorrectly,” Cox says. “AIRAH’s Commissioning Workshop will be an opportunity to discuss the issues surrounding this essential but often neglected facet of our industry, and to do so in the one-day format conference delegates have told us really suits them.”

Commissioning Workshop committee chair Neil Caswell, M.AIRAH, says that in simple terms, commissioning entails taking an installed system and setting it up, then testing and regulating until it can be demonstrated that the system delivers what it was designed to do. This is done progressively for each system independently, then the interfaces between associated systems, and finally to demonstrate that the entire facility or building works as intended.

“Correct commissioning is essential to deliver a properly functioning and performing building,” Caswell says.

Abstracts are welcome on an array of subjects, including but not limited to:
  • Energy-optimisation opportunities and the other advantages of commissioning 
  • Key commissioning issues for building owners and developers
  • How commissioning can be standardised across Australia, including for training and education, codes and terminologies, and inclusion of commissioning in the BCA
  • Case studies – lessons learnt and best practice
  • New technologies and innovations, including document-management systems, building-pressure testing, variable pumping systems, chilled beams, and swirl diffusers
  • Improving communication with consultants about commissioning.
Caswell says everyone is welcome to attend AIRAH’s Commissioning Workshop, but those who will benefit most include consultants, HVAC&R contractors, developers, main contractors, and facility managers.

Interested speakers should refer to the speaker information webpage for examples of abstracts, and information about presenting at an AIRAH conference.
Non-AIRAH members will be required to pay a speaker fee.

All submissions must also include: a 100-word author biography and a high-resolution author photo. 

All submissions should be sent to AIRAH conference organiser Laura Atkinson by Thursday, June 11. Email: conferences@airah.org.au

For more information, visit the Commissioning Workshop webpage

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AIRAH releases comprehensive Building Simulation Procurement Guidelines


In partnership with the Green Building Council of Australia, AIRAH has released the Building Simulation Procurement Guidelines, a critical free online resource for anyone contemplating executing a building simulation.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says that although building simulation is becoming an increasingly important facet of design for high-performing buildings, there are barriers to its implementation. AIRAH’s Building Simulation Procurement Guidelines can help alleviate these, and provide clarity.

“Building simulation is a fundamental component of sustainable building design,” Wilkinson says. “Whether it’s driving early design decisions, complying with NCC Section J, submitting for Green Star certification, meeting tenants’ energy-performance requirements or proving the effectiveness of a proposed design, simulation is a powerful tool used on many new-build and refurbishment projects.”

Lead author for the Guidelines, Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, says a building simulation is a computational model that approximates the performance of an actual building in practice, whether this is for energy consumption, thermal comfort, daylight or ventilation. A simulation has inherent limitations, functions as a valuable tool to inform the design process, and assesses a building design for benchmarking, rating and compliance.

Hampton says the lack of regulation in the building simulation industry can make it difficult to engage a quality consultant to complete the task in question.

“Common problems clients face include lack of understanding of the type of simulation required, the outcome needed, and the steps necessary to achieve that goal; poorly defined modelling scope, creating difficulty in comparing quotes; and lack of confidence in the skill of the modeller and the quality of the simulation,” she says.

Enter the Building Simulation Procurement Guidelines, available free online.

“The Guidelines provides advice for anyone – developers, architects, building owners, facility managers, and managing agents, to name a few – intending to engage a consultant to complete a building simulation,” Hampton says. 

Topics covered include everything from understanding the building simulation process to getting the most from a simulation.

Regardless of the purpose for which a building simulation is required – be it NABERS, Green Star, JV3 or other types of evaluation – an often overlooked but significant benefit of a simulation is how it can be used to inform and optimise a design. 

“Building simulation enables quick evaluation of the ‘what if’ scenarios, to provide reliable comparisons between design options,” Hampton says. 

“Variables in a building simulation are much more easily controlled than in real-world full- or part-scale models. A simulation is also far more cost-effective than fixing a bad design post construction.”

Click here to access the free Building Simulation Procurement Guidelines.

The following participated in the development of the guidelines: Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, (lead author); Nick Asha, M.AIRAH (co-author); Renata Dobrolowska, M.AIRAH; Paul Graham, M.AIRAH; Karen Hovenga, M.AIRAH; Wayne Lobo, Affil.AIRAH; the GBCA’s Jack Manning; Chris Wallbank, M.AIRAH; and Borzou Shahsavand, M.AIRAH.

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Interactive Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop showcases "the brave and brilliant"


Last week, AIRAH’s innovative Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop stoked the interest, ideas and debate surrounding the emerging technology, with some of the field’s leading minds sharing their knowledge and experience. Held at the University of Wollongong, 61 attendees attended the event. 

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says the Workshop’s noticeable buzz of enthusiasm underlined the importance of knowledge sharing and collaborative approaches to the ground-breaking technology.

“There was a real sense of excitement and engagement in the room during the Workshop,” he says. “And listening to presentations from people who have worked on world-leading technology and projects in the solar heating and cooling field really amped up this enthusiasm.”

The Workshop program covered three focus areas over the course of the day: desiccant evaporative cooling, residential systems, and case studies. 

“This Workshop was an extremely valuable opportunity to share experiences among some of the brave and brilliant pioneers of this new world of low-grid-demand mechanical building services technologies,” says conference delegate Rodney Duncan, M.AIRAH. “I am always on the lookout for workshops concerning energy-efficient and alternative technologies, so I was very pleased to see my industry body, AIRAH, hosting such a topic.”

Keynote speaker Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH, set the context for the day, providing an overview of solar cooling trends, drivers, and perspectives. 

Inga Doemland, Stud.AIRAH, provided international insight, exploring the lessons learned on solar heating and cooling projects from the US to Asia. 

In the second half of the day, the University of Wollongong’s Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH, led a tour through the university’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC), and the Illawarra Flame House, assisted by staff. 

A unique, custom-designed research facility, the SBRC houses test rigs for development and testing of photovoltaic thermal systems and phase-change materials. The Illawarra Flame House is the university’s world-beating Solar Decathlon entry, which saw Team UOW take out the competition in 2013 with the highest score ever recorded. It demonstrates the retrofit of advanced HVAC and control systems into a typical Australian 50s-era fibro home.

For the attendees, the importance of networking and collaborating was one of the key benefits – and takeaways – of the day. 

For more information about AIRAH’s coming conferences, visit www.airah.org.au/Conferences

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Crucial R22 phase-out guide available online


Managing the phase-out of R22 can be problematic for owners and operators of equipment running on this popular refrigerant. 

AIRAH and the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works have released the Management guideline for the phase-out of refrigerant R22, a free online guide that offers advice on audit and asset management, as well as on technical options.  

“Over the next 15 years, the amount of R22 available for servicing systems will dwindle, until complete phase-out in 2030,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “We all need to be informed and prepared, in order to provide system owners with a management plan that exposes them to the least financial risk.

With the import quota of R22 dropping 75 per cent between 2013 and 2014, and further restrictions set to come in next year, it’s crucial that building owners, facilities managers, system operators, and technical service providers are all on the same page when it comes to the phase-out. 

“As well as providing comprehensive background material, the guide also explains the audit and asset-management process and the technical options available for, ultimately, retiring R22 systems,” says Vincent Aherne, M.AIRAH, who worked on the guide. All stakeholders need to work together to manage this change; the use of this guide will make that task easier and more manageable.

“In particular, for facility managers and building operators, the guide will be a critical resource in understanding the major issues at play, and how to deal with them.”

R22 is being phased out in accordance with Australia’s obligation to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. As of next year, import quotas will be kept at a stable minimum level until 2030, when the phase-out will be complete. 

“The continued use of R22 presents a risk to owners or managers of building assets, with the reduced availability pushing up the price of the refrigerant, where available,” Wilkinson says. “Indeed, availability of the refrigerant is expected to be highly constrained from 2016 onwards.”

For more information or to download the free guide, visit www.airah.org.au/R22PhaseoutGuide

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The Future of HVAC 2015 Conference calls for abstracts


Now in its third year, AIRAH’s The Future of HVAC Conference 2015 will return later this year to gaze into our industry’s future, and contemplate the challenges, technology and bright new ideas that await.

Held at ZINC in Melbourne’s Federation Square, from August 18–19, The Future of HVAC 2015 conference will explore industry research, state-of-the-art technology, education, and future design conditions. 

“It’s crucial for our industry to look towards the future, to ensure we’re on the right track and are laying sufficient groundwork now,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “The Future of HVAC Conference is the perfect opportunity to consider where we might be in 20 years, and what kind of ideas, technology and research will take us there.”

Prospective speakers are now welcome to submit abstracts for consideration by the conference committee.

“The Future of HVAC Conference will explore what the future has in store for the HVAC industry,” says conference committee chair and AIRAH board member Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH. “We are seeking speakers from outside our field to give a foreign perspective on where we are heading as an industry.”

Harwood says critical issues such as modelling and sustainability need to be addressed, as well as the future of refrigerants, cutting-edge technologies, and novel thoughts and ideas that will support the industry. 

“This conference will demonstrate that AIRAH is seeking to inform members about what is happening in the industry, and will be part of HVAC’s future,” says Harwood. 

For those interested in speaking at the conference, there are two different formats available. Alongside the traditional full-length technical presentations, this year’s Future of HVAC conference will feature a number of “short-burst” sessions – brief presentations of between three to five minutes, which do not require an accompanying technical paper.

Technical presentations
The Future of HVAC Conference committee is calling for 200–300 word abstracts. Session themes include:
  • State-of-the-art HVAC&R practice
  • The HVAC&R industry in 20 years’ time 
  • Novel applications of HVAC&R 
  • Research
  • Future design conditions
  • Education and engagement – including collaboration with other industries, BIM and design, training and education, engaging young engineers, upskilling staff. 
Speakers selected to present full-length presentations at the conference will be required to submit a technical paper.

Short-burst sessions
Short-burst speakers will present for three to five minutes each, about any topic related to the future of HVAC&R. Short-burst speakers are required to submit a 100–200 word proposal, and include a brief biography for selection. Presentations must be non-commercial. No technical papers required. 

Non-AIRAH members will be required to pay a speaker fee, for both technical presentations and the short-burst sessions.

All 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 Thursday, April 16. Email: conferences@airah.org.au

For more information about the Future of HVAC Conference, or to submit an abstract, go to www.airah.org.au/TheFutureofHVAC 

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Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2015 program announced


Back with a revised format and some special extras, the program for AIRAH’s Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2015 builds on last year’s successful inaugural event. 

The innovations and debate surrounding solar heating and cooling could be, quite fittingly, described as hot. And in a bid to keep the innovations and debates firing, AIRAH will host the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop 2015, at the University of Wollongong on Thursday, April 23. 

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

“Solar cooling and heating have incredible potential to help Australia deal with some of our electricity grid issues, such as reducing greenhouse gases and infrastructure costs,” Wilkinson says.

The conference program is split into three focus areas over the course of the day: desiccant evaporative cooling, residential systems, and case studies.

As well as the new format, workshop chair Jeremy Osborne, M.AIRAH, says a central tenant of the Workshop is to encourage learning, sharing, and networking. 

“The Workshop also has a practical element: a site tour of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, with Professor Paul Cooper,” he says. 

Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH, says the tour will show delegates the unique research and demonstration facilities on hand, such as test rigs for development and testing of photovoltaic thermal systems and phase-change materials, the world-beating Team UOW Solar Decathlon house, and advanced HVAC and control systems.

For Cooper, solar cooling has the potential to be a key “disruptive technology”. 

“Solar cooling promises to be a circuit breaker in the spiral of increasing use of summer air conditioning around the world, which in turn drives up peak utility loads, energy prices and greenhouse gas emissions,” says Cooper. “This workshop will provide delegates with an in-depth insight into the most recent development in this type of technology, its potential, and its current challenges.”

According to Osborne, the Workshop is ideal for those who want to be in the know about low-energy building services, and innovative uses of solar energy. 

“And it’s equally important to get to know the people behind these services and innovations,” he says. “Networking is a real focus of the Workshop, because it’s a key element of fostering continued growth in the industry.”

Other speakers and topics include case studies from the CSIRO’s Stuart Hands and UTS’s Ray Clout, as well as residential systems talks by academics from the University of Canterbury (NZ), UTS, and University Malaysia Sarawak.

For more information about the Workshop, or to view the program, go to www.airah.org.au/SolarWorkshop2015

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AIRAH's Refrigeration 2015 Conference calls for abstracts


AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2015 Conference will be held in Sydney on Wednesday, June 3. The conference committee is now calling for abstracts.

AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH, says that much has happened since AIRAH last held a refrigeration conference in 2013.

“It’s been two years since we held an AIRAH refrigeration conference, with considerable changes taking place in the legislative and regulatory space during that time,” Wilkinson says. “At the same time, applications of new technology, emerging trends and exciting work taking place in research mean that there is plenty to discuss at a gathering of Australia’s foremost refrigeration professionals.”

Conference committee chair Julian Hudson, M.AIRAH, says abstracts are welcome on an array of subjects, including but not limited to:
  • New technologies, research and trends – natural refrigerants, synthetic refrigerants, geothermal and non-vapour compression cycle.
  • Case studies – of particular interest are projects featuring replacement of HFCs and HCFCs with natural refrigerants or with low-GWP synthetic gases.
  • Legislation/standards – developments in Australia and internationally.
  • International market developments, particularly in the US and Europe.
The Sydney Refrigeration 2015 Conference is the fourth in a series of highly successful AIRAH refrigeration conferences.

By submitting an abstract, delegates are also agreeing to submit a technical paper, should their application to present be successful. AIRAH non-members chosen to present at the conference will be charged a small fee.

Abstracts are due March 19 and should be emailed to conferences@airah.org.au.

For more information about the Sydney Refrigeration 2015 Conference, go to www.airah.org.au/Refrigeration2015

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A full slate of AIRAH conferences in 2015


AIRAH has announced an exciting conference program for 2015, featuring the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop, Refrigeration 2015, The Future of HVAC 2015, and the inaugural Commissioning Workshop.

“As an organisation predicated on the advancement of HVAC&R technical knowledge and expertise, AIRAH’s conference program is at the heart of what we do and why we exist,” says AIRAH COO Neil Cox. “In 2015 the Institute is presenting a comprehensive conference offering, designed to increase awareness about issues of critical importance across AIRAH’s membership and the wider HVAC&R industry.”

The Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop will take place in Wollongong on April 23. Following on from last year’s hugely successful debut, the Solar Heating and Cooling Workshop will once again look at one of the hottest topics in HVAC. The conference will cover everything from case studies and industry applications, to policy and industry development and practical components and mechanisms. 

Taking place in Sydney on June 3, AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2015 Conference will host a range of speakers from industry, regulatory and research backgrounds, to contribute to what has become a leading industry forum. This conference offers access to the latest ideas, innovations and changes in the industrial refrigeration sector. 

Now in its third year, AIRAH’s The Future of HVAC 2015 Conference provides insight into the issues, practices, technologies, regulation and design approaches affecting the HVAC industry now and into the future. The Future of HVAC 2015 Conference will be held from August 19–20 in Melbourne. 

Held for the first time, the one-day Commissioning Workshop 2015 will present an array of information about a critical yet still under-discussed aspect of HVAC&R.

For more information about AIRAH’s 2015 conference program, go to www.airah.org.au/conferences

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New director joins AIRAH's board


AIRAH has welcomed a new face onto its board of directors, with Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH, elected as an interim board member pending AIRAH’s annual general meeting later this year.

“Ian is a valuable addition to our board, bringing fresh ideas, interests and a new perspective,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “We look forward to working with him, and to his unique contribution to AIRAH.”

Boasting 20 years of experience in the building services industry, including time spent working abroad, Harwood is an associate director with Norman Disney & Young, based in NDY’s Perth office. With an avid interest in the technical side of the industry, he has also been active in the design and management of projects.

Harwood boasts considerable experience working on a broad variety of building types, with particular expertise in high-rise residential, hotel and commercial buildings, as well as data centres. He has a special interest in designing for humid climates, and is passionate about training and development for younger engineers.

A member of AIRAH’s WA division committee, for which he previously served as president, Harwood replaces Ross Angel, M.AIRAH, who has joined the Institute’s Queensland division committee.

“As a board member, I bring a measured approach that is sensitive to the membership base,” Harwood says. “I am passionate about our industry, and ensuring that the younger people coming into our industry are nurtured so that we see the succession plan to enable the next leaders of our industry emerge.

“We have been seeing a growth in AIRAH membership over the past few years, and as the membership grows, so does our collective voice in the industry.”

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