2010 Press releases







AIRAH’s new approach to student membership offers ‘old school’ value (17/12/2010)



As part of its commitment to educating the next generation of built environment professionals, Australia’s oldest and most prestigious HVAC&R organisation is offering an attractive membership option for students.


Open to those in full-time undergraduate or graduate education, the AIRAH student membership provides all the benefits of regular membership, save for voting rights, and costs $66 per annum.


Benefits include a monthly copy of the official AIRAH journal Ecolibrium, a copy of the coveted AIRAH Member Handbook, and discounted prices for training courses, conferences and technical publications.


“AIRAH’s student membership is congruent with our mission to provide guidance, technical resources and access to knowledge, and represents outstanding value.” says AIRAH’s chief operating officer Neil Cox.


“By connecting with our industry’s next generation of leaders from a young age, we will be playing a part in their continuing lifelong education, helping to shape the built environment of the future and continually introducing new faces into our organisation – the start of what will hopefully be a long and fruitful association with AIRAH.”


For more information on membership and fees click here.

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Online psychrometric courses can satisfy crucial knowledge gap (09/12/2010)



Two comprehensive AIRAH courses that cover psychrometric theory and processes are now available in online self-paced versions.



The two courses are “Psychrometric Theory” and “Psychrometric Processes”, which deal in a straightforward manner with psychrometrics, the science that unveils the thermodynamic properties of gas-vapour mixtures.



AIRAH training manager Carolyn Hughes says that many HVAC design engineers rely on their computer for psychrometric calculations, without having the background knowledge to check calculations.



Hughes says that Psychrometric Theory and Psychrometric Processes can help fill the knowledge gaps surrounding this important subject. 



“Understanding psychrometrics and its application is a crucial component of HVAC design,” Hughes says. “Whether you’re a graduate design engineer, contractor/installer, sales engineer, engineering student or facility manager, you’ll definitely benefit from these engaging online AIRAH courses.



“Graduate design engineers in particular will benefit from the two courses, because psychrometrics remains a field that is not covered extensively at the undergraduate level.”



Both online courses are about four hours in duration. The courses are self-paced, and have no set starting date or class times. Rather, they can be taken at a time and location that suits participants.



Psychrometric Theory introduces the theory behind the psychrometric chart. It covers the physical properties of moist air, and teaches participants to plot their own charts. At the conclusion of the course participants will learn how human comfort fits in with the psychrometric chart, how to read the chart, how to plot basic air conditioning processes and calculate supply air quantities and temperatures.



Psychrometric Processes explores working with the psychrometric chart to understand a range of air conditioning processes and considerations, including equipment heat gains, mixing air streams, sensible heat ratios and more in-depth calculations for typical air conditioning systems.



To register, participants should go to www.airah.org.au or email carolyn@airah.org.au


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2010 AIRAH awards reward best of the best (08/12/2010)



AIRAH has recognised outstanding achievements in the HVAC&R industry at the 2010 AIRAH Awards presentation dinner, held in late November at the Crystal Ballroom located at Sydney’s Luna Park.


Awards were presented in the categories of Excellence in Sustainability, won by consulting engineering firm Steensen Varming for its work on the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre; Excellence in Innovation, awarded to BuildingIQ, a predictive energy optimisation system; the prestigious WR Ahern Award won by Craig McClintock, M.AIRAH; and the Future Leader Award, where Air Change engineer Shane Carmichael, M.AIRAH, prevailed in a competitive field.


AIRAH Chief Operating Officer Neil Cox says the AIRAH Awards are predicated on the idea that by recognising best practice among the membership and the wider industry, this can become standard practice.


“AIRAH congratulates the winners of the 2010 AIRAH Awards,” Cox says. “We applaud the outstanding efforts of Steensen Varming, Building IQ, Craig McClintock and Shane Carmichael. They are truly worthy winners.”


The Surry Hills Library and Community Centre won in the Excellence in Sustainability category.


“The judges were most impressed with the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, and the manner in which sustainable features were integrated into the design.” Cox says. “Here is a building that set out to establish a new Australian standard of excellence for environmentally sustainable design in public buildings, but also to focus on occupant well-being. They are noble aims, and obviously not every new project can establish such lofty new benchmarks. Yet this project did, and must be commended. ”


Holding sway in the Excellence in Innovation category was BuildingIQ, which is designed to reduce building energy consumption, operating costs and CO2 emissions while maintaining or improving tenant comfort in commercial buildings.


Developed by scientists at the CSIRO, BuildingIQ is designed to connect to most building management and control systems using industry-standard interfaces, and to be used in both new and existing buildings.


Craig McClintock won the WR Ahern Award for the best technical paper published in Ecolibrium, AIRAH’s official journal, by an AIRAH member.


McClintock’s paper, “District cooling case study – James Cook University, Townsville”, was published in the September 2009 issue of Ecolibrium, and can be downloaded from www.airah.org.au


Carmichael, 28, edged out Nirosha Munasinghe, M.AIRAH, from Open General, and Ania Hampton, M.AIRAH, from Hampton Sustainability to take out the coveted AIRAH Future Leader Award.



“The Future Leader Award recognises and encourages a professional 35 years or under who has made a significant contribution to their company and the industry through professional development activities, innovation and leadership,” Cox says. “Shane’s achievements have earned him the Institute’s recognition.”



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AIRAH announces 2011 Pre-Loved Buildings Conference for Perth (06/12/2010)



The latest in the series of AIRAH Pre-loved Buildings conferences will be held in Perth, from May 23-24, 2011.


AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says that updating the existing building stock in Australia has become a priority, with the impetus coming from tenants, mechanical services engineers, the Building Code of Australia energy requirements, and, following the recent introduction of mandatory disclosure, building owners.


“It’s important that we bring about a wider understanding of the financial, environmental and social benefits of optimised performance in existing buildings,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH.


“This is especially the case in an environment where energy, water, indoor air quality and refrigerant emissions considerations are becoming increasingly prominent.”


The Perth 2011 Pre-loved Buildings Conference is the fifth in a series of highly successful AIRAH conferences, with previous iterations held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.


Abstracts are welcome on a range of topics: retrofitting; building refurbishment; building tune-ups; optimising the use of controls; building maintenance; operations; and regulatory requirements.



Anyone interested in optimising the performance of existing building is welcome to register for the conference, but those who would most benefit are design engineers and consultants; mechanical services contractors; building owners and operators; facility managers; equipment suppliers; service personnel and installers; systems designers; and those who work in government.



Abstracts are due February 28.


For more information about the Perth 2011 Pre-loved Buildings Conference, email david@airah.org.au or go to www.airah.org.au/PreLoved2011



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AIRAH to host one-day Geothermal Energy Workshop in Perth (03/12/2010)



The Western Australian Division of AIRAH is set to host a geothermal energy workshop on February 24, 2011. Featuring prominent industry leaders and subject matter experts, the one-day workshop will be an informative and thought-provoking exploration of the issues surrounding an emerging energy resource.


AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, says that geothermal energy could be a genuine alternative to traditional sources of energy, heating and cooling.


“Geothermal energy has the potential to be a valuable source of energy, capable of providing low-emission desalinated water, heating and cooling for the built environment of now and the future,” Wilkinson says.



“This one-day AIRAH workshop will bring together engineers, scientists, academics and others involved in geothermal reservoir studies and developments, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information surrounding a crucially important energy source for Australia.”



Among the experts presenting at the workshop are Rockwater principal and director Grant Bolton; University of Western Australia professor Hui Tong Chua; WA Geothermal Centre of Excellence director Klaus Regenauer-Lieb; Bob Norris from Dalkia Energy Services; CSIRO numerical modeller Dr Lynn Reid; and Sean Webb from the WA Geothermal Centre of Excellence.


Presentations are slated to cover a variety of subjects, from Webb’s discussion of “Geothermal projects – a commercial perspective” through to Regenauer-Lieb’s aspirational “Working towards sustainable, zero-emission geothermal cities”, which promises to be inspiring.



AIRAH WA division president Ian Harwood, M.AIRAH, will deliver the Geothermal Energy Workshop’s opening address.



What: AIRAH Geothermal Energy Workshop.
When: Thursday, February 24, 8.30am-5pm.
Where: City West Receptions, West Perth.
Cost: $245 AIRAH members, $295 non-members. Early bird rate (before February 3) is $195 for AIRAH members and $245 for non-members.



For more information, workshop program or to register, go to www.airah.org.au



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AIRAH to co-host Building Simulation 2011 Conference (02/12/2010)


AIRAH and the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) are set to co-host Building Simulation 2011 from November 14-16 next year. Originally slated for Wellington, New Zealand, the conference will now take place at the University of Technology Sydney.



The conference committee is now calling for abstracts, due January 31, 2011.


Building Simulation 2011 represents the first occasion AIRAH and IBPSA have co-hosted the prestigious biennial conference.


“This collaboration will provide a unique forum for the exchange of ideas and information between simulation researchers, simulation developers, building designers, and government legislators responsible for designing and enacting building codes, which will increasingly include simulations,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH.


Conference chair Paul Bannister, M.AIRAH, says that with a theme of “Driving better design through simulation”, Building Simulation 2011 will explore how simulation, is helping to improve building performance. 


“Building simulation is increasingly embedded in the design process through green rating tools, regulation and as a general means of optimising design,” Bannister says. “Building Simulation 2011 will explore how simulation has improved design in the past, current best practice of the use of simulation in building assessment, and how simulation might drive better building design in the future.”


Parallel sessions will feature topics covering all aspects of simulation, including a full stream of peer-reviewed applications-oriented papers, covering issues such as:


  • How simulation can influence the design process
  • The limitations of simulations in practice, and how can these can be addressed
  • Case studies of the use of simulation in practice, and the lessons learnt
  • Use of BIM in simulation
  • Simulation validation and testing
  • Comparing simulation and real-world outcomes
  • Applications of simulation in regulatory processes
  • New work in simulation development
  • Advances in building physics
  • Human aspects of the indoor environment
  • Building services
  • Energy capture and operation
  • Software issues



A program of technical tours and training courses will complement the conference.


Highlight of the conference social program will be a gala dinner held on a Sydney Harbour cruise.


Full papers are due May 9, 2011. All abstracts and full papers will be fully blind-refereed. There will be two streams of papers: research papers, refereed by academic reviewers, and application papers, refereed by professionals.


Full details on the organisational and scientific committees, dates for abstract submissions and other details are available at www.airah.org.au/bs2011 and www.bs2011.org



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AIRAH's Cool Wall glimpses the future (26/11/2010)


Legislated minimum performance for new and existing buildings will be a significant driver in the HVAC&R industry in the next 20 years.


That was the verdict of the enthusiastic participants in the “Cool Wall” workshop conducted at the conclusion of the AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference held at Sydney’s National Maritime Museum from November 18-19.


Originally inspired by a segment on popular automotive program Top Gear, the workshop set out to examine and discuss the industry’s drivers over the coming two decades.


“The workshop was a fantastic way to conclude the AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH. “It allowed delegates to talk about the issues of importance to them, and for AIRAH to draw upon the enviable level of industry-wide expertise present.”


Cundall managing director and CEO Simon Wild, M.AIRAH, led the seminars, with assistance from three Cundall consultants.


After an initial introduction during which 21 subjects of importance to the industry were introduced, conference delegates voted for the issues they considered most important.


Topics under consideration included large-scale uptake of renewables; a federal government commitment to deeper emission cuts (for instance the government committing to a 60 per cent reduction by 2030); contracted performance (proof of performance demanded for buildings and products); and peak everything (many natural resources beginning to run out).


Delegates were then divided into groups to rank the issues in terms of significance and likelihood.


The groups discussed what actions the industry and AIRAH should take to prepare for the impact of the various drivers.


“Legislated minimum performance for new and existing buildings” was a subject considered highly likely and significant by all three groups.


Some of the suggestions to prepare for this driver included offering basic HVAC&R services training for architects and building professionals; applying stricter membership and skill level requirements; putting more emphasis on sub-metering; and lobbying, for instance to ensure that adequate training is available and encouraged.


“The workshop was a nice fit with the conference theme of ‘HVAC&R in the 21st century’,” Wilkinson says. “It was very forward-thinking, and focused more on solutions than problems. Participants, be they AIRAH members or other delegates, provided us with an astonishing amount of material to work through, and some very well considered ideas.”


The AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference was run in conjunction with the 2010 AIRAH Awards Presentation Dinner at Sydney’s Luna Park.


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Standards Australia accepts proposals put forward by AIRAH (04/10/2010)


Standards Australia has accepted a number of proposals put forward by AIRAH for the writing of new standards or for the revision of existing standards.


AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson says six of the seven proposals put forward by the Institute were embraced by Standards Australia, a substantial achievement given nearly 100 proposals covering 330 projects were considered.


“The proposals put forward by AIRAH are all about driving technical excellence,” Wilkinson says. “By making our submissions to Standards Australia, our aim, as the leading HVAC&R organisation in the country, was to leverage our collective knowledge and expertise to help shape the future of the HVAC and R industry in Australia. To have six proposals accepted from our proposed seven is extremely gratifying.”


Approval was granted for AIRAH’s proposed three new standards: a new standard for residential air conditioning; a new standard for solar thermal cooling systems – energy rating and testing for performance; and a new standard for air-handling and water systems of buildings — microbial control Part 4: performance-based maintenance of air-handling systems.


AIRAH submitted proposals for the revision of a number of existing standards: Revision of AS/NZS 1668.1; Revision of AS/NZS1677 parts 1 and 2; Revision of AS/NZS 3666 parts 1, 2 and 3.


All were accepted save for Revision of AS/NZS 1668.1.


The purpose of the residential air conditioning standard is to specify minimum requirements for the selection and installation of air conditioning systems for residential applications to address operating energy efficiency, and includes requirements to address system design and installation quality.



The air-handling standard was proposed as a sister standard for AS/NZS 3666.3, and will outline the requirements for a performance-based approach to managing microbial control in air-handling systems.



The purpose of the solar cooling standard is to evaluate the electrical consumption and thermal energy performance of solar thermal cooling systems under defined operating conditions.



“AIRAH members Vince Aherne, Paul Spry, Simon Hill and Clive Broadbent comprised the temporary working group that helped prepare AIRAH’s proposal,” Wilkinson explains. “Their excellent work was pivotal in our success.”


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Richard De Dear named as keynote speaker for AIRAH's 90th Anniversary Conference (06/09/2010)


Thermal comfort expert, Associate Professor Richard de Dear, has been named as a keynote speaker for the AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference, to be held November 18-19 in Sydney.


With a theme of HVAC&R in the 21st century, the conference will feature presentations from the entire gamut of the industry, with topics as varied as geothermal and deep-bore thermal to achieving a 6 Star Greenstar rating in the tropics.


AIRAH conference and events manager David Leach says that anyone interested in the subject of thermal comfort would surely be familiar with the name Richard de Dear, a titan in the field.


“Securing someone of the status of Richard de Dear to be a keynote speaker is a big win for the conference,” Leach says. “His is a name synonymous with thermal comfort, and his address will set the tone for the event.”


Over the past 30 years, de Dear, an associate professor in the faculty of architecture, design and planning at the University of Sydney, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and a dozen books and monographs on the subject.


It is de Dear’s work on the “adaptive model of thermal comfort” that has had the greatest impact, earning more than 1,000 citations within the indoor environmental literature.
This adaptive model underpins the ASHRAE’s thermal comfort standard; several national and international standards and codes are now evolving in similar directions.


Conference chair Bryan MacCarthy, M.AIRAH, says the AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference will be a glimpse into the future of HVAC&R in Australia.


“In naming our conference in honour of the Institute’s 90th anniversary there is obviously a reference to the role AIRAH has played in fostering excellence in HVAC&R over the past century,” MacCarthy says.


“But more importantly, by offering a snapshot of emerging technologies and the issues and challenges confronting the industry and wider society, we intend for this conference to show the way forward.”


The AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference will be held in conjunction with the AIRAH Annual Awards Presentation Dinner to be held November 18 at Luna Park.


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AIRAH 90th anniversary conference: HVAC&R in the 21st Century (08/07/2010)


As part of the celebration of AIRAH’s 90th anniversary, the Institute has proudly announced the AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference, tagged HVAC&R in the 21st Century


This will be the first industry-wide HVAC&R conference held for nearly a decade in Australia.


Scheduled to coincide with the AIRAH Annual Awards Presentation Dinner, the conference will take place from November 18-19 in Sydney


Conference chair Bryan MacCarthy, M.AIRAH, says the inspiration behind the gathering is that it will be a forum for the exchange of ideas related to all things HVAC&R.


“Our intention is that the AIRAH 90th Anniversary Conference will be inclusive in nature,” MacCarthy says.


“For some time now we’ve been aware of the pressing need for those in the industry to learn about what their colleagues and fellow AIRAH members are doing, not only as a means of making meaningful contacts, but to keep abreast of trends and technology across the whole industry.”


AIRAH is now calling for 200-300 word abstracts. Topics may include, but are not limited to:


  • Acoustics
  • Applications in gas processing
  • Balancing and commissioning
  • Climatic considerations
  • Essential services
  • Food industry applications
  • Indoor air quality
  • Industrial processes such as chemicals manufacturing/electricity generation
  • The future of HVAC&R
  • Maintenance
  • Refrigeration
  • Regulations, Australian Standards and building codes


Consideration could be given to technologies, design, implementation, economics, integration, operation and maintenance, climatic variations, and importantly, outcomes and lessons learnt. 


All abstract submissions must be accompanied by a 50-100 word author bio.


For more information regarding submissions, email the Conference and Events manager, David Leach - david@airah.org.au



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Work under way on two crucial new Australian Best Practice Guidelines (18/06/2010)


AIRAH has received funding from the AusIndustry Green Building Fund to produce two manuals considered absolutely critical for the efficient operation of the existing building stock.


The two manuals will be the Australian Best Practice Guideline for Controls (DA28) and the Australian Best Practice Guideline for Commissioning and Retro-commissioning (DA27). Both manuals deal with existing commercial office buildings.


The Green Building Fund aims to reduce the impact of Australia's built environment on greenhouse gas emissions, by reducing the energy consumed in the operation of existing commercial office buildings.


The efficient operation of existing (or “pre-loved” buildings, as the Institute refers to them) is also an area of prime consideration for AIRAH, which will match the Green Building Fund contribution dollar for dollar.


“It is widely recognised that one of the major areas of improvements to be made in the commercial built environment contributing to a reduction of energy, water and greenhouse emissions is through commissioning and retro-commissioning initiatives, and through good-practice design, installation, calibration, programming and operation of controls systems,” says AIRAH CEO Phil Wilkinson.


“By producing new guidelines for controls and commissioning and retro-commissioning, the Institute will be addressing subject matter for which there is a pressing need,” Wilkinson continues.


“Currently there are no Australian manuals, standards and guidelines that will assist in developing training to help advise on these two very important issues.”


Subject matter expert working groups made up of suitably qualified AIRAH members will contribute to the content of the two manuals, which will be completed by May next year.


Barry Wormald, M.AIRAH, will chair the commissioning and retro-commissioning subject matter expert working group. Wormald is a director of Queensland-based ADG Consultants.


The controls subject matter expert working group will be chaired by Jon Clarke, M.AIRAH. Clarke is a senior BMS controls and integration engineer from NDY’s Sydney office.


Wilkinson says the working groups will ultimately produce manuals that are of direct and considerable benefit to the wider industry.


“Our aim is to produce guides that will be accessible and applicable,” Wilkinson says, “not just for our industry but to the wide range of stakeholders who are responsible and accountable for a building’s efficiency.”


Vince Aherne, M.AIRAH, will act as project manager for both subject matter expert working groups.


Aherne encourages engagement by the wider industry and can be reached via email at


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AIRAH announces key appointments (08/06/2010)


The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has announced two key changes to its management structure.


Phil Wilkinson, M.AIRAH, has been appointed to the role of chief executive officer. He is responsible for AIRAH’s overall management, financial performance and implementation of strategic plans, reporting to the board.


Also, Neil Cox has been named to the role of AIRAH’s chief operating officer, taking on the Institute’s day-to-day management and operations.


AIRAH president Sean Treweek, M.AIRAH, says Wilkinson and Cox are the right people to drive forward the Institute, this year celebrating its 90th anniversary.


“Both Phil and Neil have been instrumental in turning around the effects towards AIRAH of the economic downturn and positioning the Institute for the next phase,” Treweek says.


“These appointments are testament to the skills, drive and passion they both bring to AIRAH.”


Both appointments are internal. Wilkinson, a mechanical engineer by training, has been with the organisation for seven years. Before the appointment he served in a role that saw him overseeing business development and engineering issues.


An AIRAH staff member for five years, Cox was the Institute’s communications manager. Both he and Wilkinson have been part the management team overseeing the organisation during the past year.


Both appointments are effective immediately.


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AIRAH Awards 2010 - open for nominations (04/06/2010)


Nominations have opened for the AIRAH Awards 2010.


Through its annual AIRAH Awards, the Institute recognises outstanding achievements in the HVAC&R industry throughout the past year. In 2010, AIRAH will again acknowledge excellence at a national awards presentation dinner in Sydney to be held on November 18 at The Crystal Palace, Luna Park.


The awards are open to individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, and recognise work carried out during 2009.


There will be one winner per category. Winners will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and coverage in Ecolibrium and HVAC&R Nation


Nominations are now being called in several award categories, including for the James Harrison Medal, the highest honour AIRAH can bestow on an individual; the AIRAH Award for Excellence in Sustainability; the AIRAH Award for Excellence in Innovation; the AIRAH Future Leader Award; the AIRAH Student of the Year Award; the W.R. Ahern Award; and the Denis Joseph Award for Innovative Use of Solar Energy in HVAC&R.


All awards are annual, with the exception of the James Harrison Medal and the Denis Joseph award for innovative use of solar energy in HVAC&R, which are judged purely on the merit of the entries and may not be awarded every year.


Waterman consulting engineers earned the 2009 AIRAH Award for Sustainability for its work on Sydney’s Workplace6 project.


“It was very much an honour to win the AIRAH Sustainability Award among several other worthy entrants,” says Scott Brown, Waterman’s director of mechanical services and sustainability.


“It was particularly humbling to be recognised for our efforts by our peers in Australia's leading HVAC association.”  


Brown says winning the award has added to his own standing, and that of Waterman.


“The AIRAH sustainability award has enabled Waterman to show that we are one of the premier mechanical services and ESD consulting firms to clients and potential employees,” he says. “It has raised our profile in the industry.”


Brown says there are substantial benefits to be gained from nominating for an AIRAH award.


“If you believe that you may have a worthy person, company or project for an AIRAH Award, then you have already done the hard yards,” he says.  


Nominations close August 27; the nomination form can be downloaded at www.airah.org.au


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Achieving the Green Dream - Tomorrow's technology today calls for asbstracts (19/05/2010)


AIRAH is calling for abstracts for its second Achieving the Green Dream conference to be held in Melbourne from September 16-17. The first was held in Brisbane in July 2009.

Conference chair Bryon Price, M.AIRAH, says there is a formidable array of new building technology that is designed to improve sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings but which is stretching the skills and understanding of those who implement it.

“The idea behind the Achieving the Green Dream conference is to identify the new technologies confronting those who work in our industry, and to better prepare them for the challenges they face,” Price says.

“Achieving the Green Dream, tagged Tomorrow’s technology today, will focus on the need to gain practical knowledge about implementing new technologies for sustainable design and delivering energy-efficient buildings for the future.”

AIRAH is calling for 200-300 word abstracts about delivering new technologies. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Thermal storage
• Active facades
• Heat recovery systems
• Absorption chillers
• Solar cooling
• Photovoltaics
• Wind generation
• Bio mass boilers
• Geothermal
• Grey/black-water systems
• Cogeneration/trigeneration

Abstracts could cover the technologies as they relate to buildings, the economics, design, implementation, integration and operational aspects of the technologies, and outcomes and lessons from the application of these technologies. Case studies, particularly relating to built and operational projects, are encouraged.

Those submitting abstracts should note that Achieving the Green Dream – Tomorrow’s technology today is a building services engineering conference focusing on HVAC and mechanical engineering.

All submissions must be accompanied by a 50-100 word author bio.

Abstracts should be sent to AIRAH conference and events manager David Leach by June 23. Email:


For more information on the conference, click here

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Sean Treweek named President of AIRAH (16/04/2010)


Sean Treweek, M.AIRAH, has been named the new president of the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), replacing outgoing president John Bosci, F.AIRAH.

A longstanding board member, Treweek was voted in unanimously by his fellow directors and assumed the role at the AIRAH annual general meeting held April 12 in Sydney.

“Having had a close relationship with AIRAH for a number of years, I am excited to be taking on this leadership role, with the support of a strong and focused board that underpins the Institute’s core values,” Treweek says.

“I am proud to be navigating this great technical Institute through a period of unprecedented industry change. We are at a time that offers tremendous opportunities for growth, further consolidating AIRAH’s industry and knowledge leadership position.”

Bosci says Treweek’s appointment augurs well for one of Australia’s most esteemed technical organisations.

“I wish Sean the best of luck in this new position and am confident that under his stewardship, the activities of AIRAH will continue to provide outstanding benefit to its members, industry and the wider community,” Bosci says.

“His commitment to the development of AIRAH makes him perfectly placed to continue driving the evolution of one of Australia’s foremost technically relevant institutes.”

In his role as AIRAH president, Treweek will chair the Institute’s six-member board, as well as having overall governance and financial responsibilities. As set by the board, the president leads the Institute’s strategic direction.

An AIRAH director since 2007, Treweek became a member of AIRAH’s New South Wales state committee in 2004. Now based in Melbourne, Treweek is a director of WSP Lincolne Scott. Qualified as a mechanical engineer, he has served in a variety of roles throughout his career.

He says being selected by his fellow AIRAH directors to help lead the organisation forward is a considerable honour.

“The presidency is a position of industry leadership in an Institute that has been around for 90 years,” Treweek says. “It’s comforting to know that my industry peers believe I can add value in such an auspicious role.”


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ASHRAE President Gordon Holness to keynote Gustav Lorentzen conference (26/02/2010)

ASHRAE president Gordon Holness has been announced as a keynote speaker at the Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids to be held in Sydney from April 12-14.

Hosted by the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and AIRAH, the conference will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“Having someone of Gordon Holness’ standing for the ninth Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids is a genuine triumph for the organising committee,” says AIRAH conference and events manager David Leach.

“As the president of ASHRAE, AIRAH’s US sister organisation, Gordon is extremely well placed to discuss natural refrigerants and the increasingly important role they have to play.”

ASHRAE has produced a substantial array of resources dealing with the subject of natural refrigerants, including its Refrigeration Handbook (2006 Edition); its Fundamentals Handbook (2009 Edition); and several position documents that touch on refrigerant issues.

“We are currently consolidating key environmental issues in a new position document Refrigerants and Their Use in the Built Environment,” Holness says. “We also conduct research related to natural refrigerant use such as heat exchanger performance with CO2 and candidate lubricants.”

Holness has enjoyed a distinguished career within the realm of engineering services.

He retired in 2001 from Albert Kahn Associates, a Detroit-based architecture and engineering firm where he served in many capacities over 32 years. His roles included chief mechanical engineer, treasurer, board member, president and CEO. Holness is now the chairman emeritus for the company.

He also serves in a consulting capacity and as an expert witness for design and construction issues.

“We are delighted that someone as accomplished and esteemed as Gordon Holness has agreed to address the ninth IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids,” Leach says.
“Gordon has more than 50 years’ experience in design and construction, specifically in mechanical engineering and HVAC&R services for industrial, healthcare and institutional buildings in England, Canada and the United States.”

Holness has earned 12 regional and national awards for technology and energy conservation. The author of many articles, he is an expert speaker on such subjects as improving energy efficiency in existing buildings, building information modelling, and integrated building design.

At the IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids, held for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere, more than 80 papers will be presented by the world’s foremost experts, addressing subjects in the realm of hydrocarbons, slurry, sorption, ammonia, carbon dioxide and others.

The conference will feature the latest in research, technologies, case studies, practical applications, the future of natural refrigerants, energy efficiency, system design, and reduction of carbon emissions.

The conference is named in honour of Norwegian scientist and engineer Gustav Lorentzen, who rediscovered how carbon dioxide could be used as a refrigerant in a simple and efficient way in heating and cooling applications.

Registrations for the ninth IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids have opened, with an early bird discount price applying until February 28.

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


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AIRAH releases Best Practice HVAC Hygiene guideline (24/02/2010)

AIRAH’s release of its best-practice HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline is an Australian first.

AIRAH engineering manager Phil Wilkinson says building energy use and energy conservation has become increasingly important to owners and system operators.

“Maintaining HVAC systems in a clean condition is one essential and fundamental way to ensure these systems are at their maximum efficiency,” Wilkinson says. “And this obviously has a profound impact on a building’s overall energy efficiency.

“Developed by the AIRAH HVAC Hygiene Special Technical Group, the HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline establishes the criteria for evaluating the internal cleanliness of HVAC system components, and clearly determines when cleaning is required, according to the building use.”

As public concern for better indoor air quality, improved indoor environment quality and improved ventilation hygiene have grown over the past decade, the cleaning of HVAC systems has become a widely adopted practice.

Wilkinson says that while Australian standards and industry maintenance specifications outline requirements for HVAC system and component inspection and cleaning, very little criteria for evaluating and assessing different types and levels of contamination are provided.

“This is all set to change with the release of AIRAH’s HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline,” Wilkinson says.

The guideline describes the components of HVAC systems to be evaluated, and the types of contamination likely to be encountered. It includes information for post-fire and flood-damage assessments.

Also provided in the HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline are test methods that can be used to verify a clean system hygiene level has been achieved following a system cleaning or restoration project.

Recommendations for creating new access openings within HVAC systems where they are required to facilitate the inspection and cleaning of the internal surfaces of system ductwork and components are also included.

Copies of the HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline can be bought online by clicking here


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Keynote speakers announced for IIR Gustav Lorentzen conference (29/01/2010) 


Norway’s Petter Nekså and Macedonia’s Risto Ciconkovhave been named as keynote speakers 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 three-day conference will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.


“Securing Risto Ciconkov and Petter Nekså as keynote speakers for the 9th IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Refrigerants is indeed a coup for the conference organising committee,” says AIRAH’s Conference and Events Manager David Leach.


“These two gentlemen are orators of the highest calibre, addressing subjects that are right at the forefront of the continuing conversation about natural refrigerants. We couldn’t ask for a better way to kick off a gathering that brings together the world’s leading professionals in the field.”


Nekså is a senior research scientist at SINTEF Energy Research in Trondheim, Norway. He will lift the lid on the subject of CO2 – a refrigerant from the past that he says has prospects of being one of the main options in the future.


“Petter will give an overview of the historic development of CO2 as a refrigerant and discuss its future potential and challenges,” Leach says.


“An important challenge in many potential applications is to obtain compatible energy efficiency for operation at high ambient temperatures. Different measures to overcome this challenge will also be discussed.”


Author of about 100 reports and publications within the area of refrigeration engineering, Nekså has held some high-profile roles, including serving on the UNEP Refrigeration Technical Options Committee.


Ciconkov will deliver a talk on the subject of natural refrigerants in developing countries. He will explore why natural refrigerants are used in only a very small number of applications in developing countries, and propose some solutions for improving the situation.


Ciconkov says that without technical and financial support, widespread successful adoption of natural refrigerants in developing countries can’t be expected.


A professor at the Ss. Cyril and Methodious University in Macedonia, Ciconkov has fulfilled numerous roles for the IIR and other prestigious organisations. He has been nominated as an international expert of UNEP and UNIDO on ozone portfolio projects.


At the IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids, held for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere, more than 80 papers will be presented by the world’s foremost experts, addressing subjects in the realm of hydrocarbons, slurry, sorption, ammonia, carbon dioxide and others.


The conference is named in honour of Norwegian scientist and engineer Gustav Lorentzen, who rediscovered how CO2 could be used as a refrigerant in a simple and efficient way in heating and cooling applications.


Registrations for the ninth IIR Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids have opened, with an early bird discount price applying until February 28.


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


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