2009 Press releases






Registrations open for IIR Gustav Lorentzen conference (22/12/2009)


Registrations have opened for the ninth IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids, to be held in Sydney from April 12-14, 2010. 


Hosted by the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and AIRAH, the conference will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and coincides with the biannual ARBS exhibition at the same venue.


“Featuring the world’s foremost experts, the IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids will focus on the latest research and advances related to the use of natural refrigerants in refrigeration, air conditioning, heat pump systems and more,” says AIRAH conference organiser David Leach.


“This is the first time this unique conference will be held in the southern hemisphere. Don’t miss the chance to visit Gustav in your own backyard.”


Main topics will include: Natural primary refrigerants, secondary coolants and ice slurries, sorption systems, non-conventional refrigeration systems, heat transfer and fluid flow, energy use and energy efficiency of natural working fluid systems.


Previous IIR Gustav Lorentzen conferences have been held in Denmark, Norway, UK, China, the USA and Germany.

Additional information about the conference can be found at www.airah.org.au/iir-gl2010


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Registrations open for AIRAH’s Melbourne Pre-loved Buildings Conference (30/09/2009)


Registrations have opened for the latest in the series of AIRAH’s Pre-loved Buildings conferences to be held in Melbourne from November 19–20.


Venue for the event is the Telstra Conference Centre in the city’s CBD.


Delivering the keynote address for the conference is renowned innovative architect Mick Pearce, who was an integral member of the team that designed CH2 – a Melbourne building at the vanguard of ecologically sustainable design.


Born in Africa, Pearce also famously designed a building in Zimbabwe that is modelled on termite mounds and requires no mechanical air conditioning.


“It is exciting to have someone of Mick Pearce’s calibre on board for the Melbourne Pre-loved Buildings Conference,” says AIRAH technical manager Phil Wilkinson.


“Given Mick’s pioneering role in the development of ecologically sustainable design, his broad understanding of the role of mechanical services and his considerable experience in dealing with the existing building stock, having him deliver the keynote address is indeed a coup for AIRAH and for the conference.


“Mick has some fascinating ideas about how the built environment must evolve to cater for climate change, and I’m sure that he’ll have the audience enthralled.”


Anita Roper, CEO of conference partner Sustainability Victoria, will open the conference.


Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Water Michael Crutchfield will deliver the keynote welcome.


Focusing on optimisation of the existing building stock, the conference will include a presentation by Dr Paul Bannister of the groundbreaking Low Energy High Rise Project, which investigates the relationship between technical features and management practices on building performance.


The Pre-loved Buildings Conference will feature more than 15 presentations in total, including those on subjects such as making the most of controls, indoor air quality versus sustainability objectives, and total carbon modelling. Leading-edge case studies will also feature.


Conference delegates are also entitled to FREE registration for an industry-first interactive forum session entitled, The Essential Elements to Lead the Australian Pre-loved Building Market – 2010 and Beyond.


“This dynamic event will provide delegates with the opportunity to workshop key topics and developments with their industry peers,” Wilkinson says.


Who should attend this conference?


  • Design engineers and consultants
  • Building owners and operators
  • Facility managers
  • Equipment suppliers
  • Service personnel and installers
  • Systems designers
  • Mechanical services contractors.

For speaker information and conference registrations, go to




This Pre-loved Buildings Conference is the fourth in a series of highly successful AIRAH conferences.


Previous pre-loved building conferences were held in 2006 (Melbourne), 2007 (Brisbane) and 2008 (Sydney).


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AIRAH launches innovative cooling tower water efficiency calculator (02/09/2009)


An innovative new AIRAH online tool, the Cooling Tower Water Efficiency Calculator (CTWEC), makes it easy to assess the water efficiency of cooling towers.

With support from a wide range of industry stakeholders, water corporations and the Victorian government, AIRAH has developed the online tool to enable simple calculation of cooling tower water consumption. It can be accessed at www.ctwec.com

 “The thinking behind the new tool is to provide an easily accessible device capable of calculating the water efficiency of cooling towers,” says John Fawcett, Manager Cleaner Production for City West Water. “The Cooling Tower Water Efficiency Calculator is the culmination of some awareness and forward thinking about the need for increased water efficiency among business.”

The calculator has the potential to be used and applied anywhere in the world.

Fact: cooling towers can account for about 30 per cent of a site’s total water use.

“Given that water is becoming an increasingly valuable resource in Australia, particularly in the south-eastern region of the country, it makes sense to be able to assess a cooling tower’s water use. This is especially important when simple adjustments to cooling towers can save substantial amounts of water and money,” Fawcett continues.

Cooling towers in Australia use a considerable amount of water. Indeed, there are an estimated 30,000 cooling towers operating in the country, many using between 5,000 to 10,000 litres per day. This equates to more than 150,000 million litres nationally, which is about the same amount of water used by 200,000 homes.

It’s a sobering statistic, which only serves to underline the importance of a useful device such as the calculator.
“The idea behind the calculator is to raise water conservation awareness to improve water efficiency in the operation of cooling towers by businesses,” says AIRAH technical manager Phil Wilkinson.

“The calculator provides users with an on going indication of the water efficiency of any cooling tower relative to its operational capabilities, which can be checked at any time,” Wilkinson says. “But you should always discuss the calculator findings with your water treatment service provider before taking action to change operational practices.”

For more information go to www.ctwec.com


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AIRAH releases Air Conditioning 101 (27/07/2009)


AIRAH (the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating) has released Air Conditioning 101, an introductory online course designed to demystify heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) for professionals from non-technical backgrounds.


The course is aimed primarily at those such as facility managers, building operations personnel or air conditioning sales professionals whose day-to-day work might require a basic knowledge of HVAC but whose skill-set lacks an understanding of the discipline’s fundamentals.


“AIR Conditioning 101 will help participants improve their understanding of what goes on behind the plant room doors, providing an overview of the key items that relate to air conditioning, energy use, maintenance and efficiency,” says AIRAH education manager Carolyn Hughes.


“Whether it’s Legionella management, fire and smoke issues, building code compliance or sustainability applications, there’s a lot going on in HVAC. Air Conditioning 101 provides participants with the confidence they need to deal with mechanical service providers. It’s a comprehensive overview of the HVAC stuff you need to know.”


The course is delivered in an interactive online format, allowing candidates from around Australia to participate at a time that best suits them.


Featuring interactive animations, self-test questions and suggestions for further reading, the course should take between four and six hours to complete.


“Air Conditioning 101 has a very easy format to follow,” says Sentinar national water manager Bryan Hadden. “It’s very informative yet basic enough to be easily understood.”


Topics include what heats/cools a room; personal comfort; the refrigeration cycle; air conditioning types; cooling towers and Legionnaire’s disease; air systems; new HVAC technologies; climate zones and climate change; energy and air conditioning; reducing energy load; regulations and compliance; fire and smoke control; maintaining HVAC; documenting and reporting.


After completing the course, participants can download a course summary, which provides a handy and informative day-to-day reference.


The course costs $195 for AIRAH members and $285 for non-members. Discounts are available for organisations that register five or more participants.


For more information about the course email education@airah.org.au



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ASHRAE/AIRAH issue joint resolution on climate change  (24/02/2009)


MELBOURNE – Use of renewable energy, education of the building industry and responsible refrigerant use are encouraged in a new joint statement on climate change issue by ASHRAE and the Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH).

“The use of HVAC&R technologies is an essential element of contemporary life,” Bill Harrison, ASHRAE president, said. “Yet, HVAC&R systems contribute to greenhouse gas releases through energy-related effects and through the effects of refrigerant losses. ASHRAE and AIRAH are emphasizing a variety of measures to decrease emissions associated with energy use and its effect on global climate.” 

“I see this joint statement as an acknowledgement of the role we affiliated organizations must play to address the complex challenges we collectively face,” John Bosci, AIRAH president, said. “AIRAH is committed to creating awareness and acceptance through further education and to the promotion of sustainable building practices and the responsible development of alternative technologies within the Australian market.”

By signing the statement, ASHRAE and AIRAH resolve to: 

  • Support research and development activities designed to reduce buildings’ energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Educate building owners, operators, users, designers, and constructors on the importance of building energy efficiency, corresponding climate change impact, and proper operations and maintenance measures
  • Encourage the supply of renewable energy into buildings and building engineering systems when economically feasible
  • Develop and implement sustainable building designs, materials, components, systems, and processes that minimize environmental impacts, including climate change, while maintaining indoor environmental quality
  • Provide advice, information, and assistance to governments and other influential bodies on energy efficiency and climate change emissions in both new and existing buildings
  • Encourage responsible refrigerant use, including emissions reduction strategies and technologies and encourage development of energy efficient refrigerants with low or zero global warming potential
  • Support the development and implementation of standards, building codes, incentive programs, and voluntary initiatives aimed at reducing building environmental impacts
  • Implement holistic and coordinated approaches to identifying and resolving environmental issues at all stages of a building’s life cycle—from conception, design, and construction through operation, maintenance, refurbishment, and deconstruction


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