Dates and venue


Major sponsor

Supporting sponsors



Conference overview

Building physics addresses several different areas in building performance, including air movement, thermal performance, control of moisture, ambient energy, acoustics, light, climate, and biology. 

AIRAH’s inaugural Building Physics Forum will focus on air movement, thermal performance, and the control of moisture across building envelopes.  

The intention of the Building Physics Forum is to explore ways of controlling these flows across a building’s fundamental architectural elements and assemblies. Controlling these flows across the building envelope can deliver better indoor and outdoor environmental quality, thereby improving the comfort, wellness, and performance of people. 

Controlling flows can significantly affect how building HVAC systems are considered, selected, designed, and operated. Building envelopes designed to control flows also reduces the risks of building envelope accelerated decay or failure.  


Download the brochure

Download the program




Or download the registration form 


Note: early-bird prices close on May 29.

 Cost      Member     Non-member
Forum early-bird rate    $295     $395
Forum registration (after early bird)             $330     $440
 Student*    $195    $295

*Must provide evidence of full-time study. Please send copy of student card and/or a copy of your current student enrolment to [email protected] 

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

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

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


Professor Paul Cooper, M.AIRAH, Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC), University of Wollongong

Keynote address: ‘Pushing the envelope’: Building physics and improved indoor environments

Professor Cooper will provide an overview of recent developments and efforts to improve the envelope and ventilation performance of our buildings, so as to better control our indoor environment. 

Cooper will present recent research findings on natural and mixed-mode ventilation systems and associated control systems, together with the latest research on thermal comfort in residential and high-performance buildings. He will also cover some of the recent innovations and research on building envelope systems, such as innovative wall and façade systems.

Cooper is the founding director of the University of Wollongong Sustainable Buildings Research Centre. Over the past 35 years, he has been involved in research in a wide variety of topics in sustainable buildings, energy systems, energy efficiency, and fluid mechanics. 

Dr Clyde Anderson, Anderson Energy Efficiency

Fibre insulation compression and effective R-value          

The topic of fibre insulation compression is not revolutionary, but is it being properly calculated? 

The AIRAH Technical Handbook lists thermal properties of various building and insulating materials. In particular, compression data is provided for low density glasswool insulation batts, polyester-fibre blanket, loose-fill wool A (short fibres), loose-fill wool B (long fibres) and 80/20 wool/polyester batt. This presentation seeks to further analyse the compressed bulk-fibre insulation data for loose cellulose, high-density glasswool batts, wood-fibre boards and rockwool batts. 

Polynomial regression was applied to the data between 0 per cent and 90 per cent compression with a Regression Coefficient R² more than 0.9992. The compression of bulk insulation above roof purlins or battens, as well as the compression due to roof raising spacers and safety mesh is discussed.

Anderson is executive director at Anderson Energy Efficiency, which was established in 1999. He specialises in working with clients to achieve performance solutions to the National Construction Code, and energy efficiency requirements for commercial buildings. He is an accredited NatHERS assessor for residential building energy efficiency. 

Brett Beeson, M.AIRAH, Lehr Consultants International

A hands-on study of ‘Building air-tight and ventilating right’

“Build tight and ventilate right” is the mantra of passive solar construction in cold climates. However, is this practical or even desirable in Australia’s warmer climates? 

Beeson designed and built a house in Brisbane to find out, using an approach of “Design, Build, Test”. He will present a tool-side view showing how to cost-effectively achieve less than five ACH50, how to build for vapour permeability and the installation of heat-exchange ventilation. The results from live sensors and air-blower testing will be presented along with construction details, costs, as-built photos and videos and the inevitable failures. The house has been occupied for a year and has no heating or cooling. Subjective comfort is compared to data logging results and computer modelling predictions. 

Beeson will also give some thoughts on applying the lessons learnt to commercial and public buildings, and the construction industry.

Beeson is a mechanical engineer and ESD consultant at Lehr Consulting. With over 10 years’ experience in the industry, he began his career in computer science and astronomy, after dabbling in architecture. This led to several peer-reviewed papers in the field, and extensive experience in computer simulation. 

Dr Mark Dewsbury, M.AIRAH, University of Tasmania

Not that “science” stuff, we just build houses          

Though Australians have acknowledged the need to reduce carbon emissions by improving the thermal envelope and equipment performance of all buildings, our design and construction professions – combined with overlooked and neglected building regulations – have created many unsafe and unhealthy buildings. This is due to lack of appropriate ventilation, condensation, and mould. 

Dewsbury will discuss the effects arising from these practices, including how we can ensure adequate minimal ventilation, mitigate condensation and mould in new buildings, and how dynamic simulation is likely to provide significant guidance in future practices.

Dewsbury has over 20 years’ experience in the sustainable design of commercial and residential buildings in the public and private sectors. His research focuses on methods of building to improve the construction and thermal performance of Australian housing. 

Mahmudul Hasan, M.AIRAH, Certis Energy

NCC Section J Assessment and Compliance of Residential Aged Care in hot and mild temperate climate

Hasan will discuss his study on the NCC Section J compliance of the building fabric of a residential aged care facility in hot, humid and mild temperature climates. He will talk about key findings, including alternative performance-based solutions, use of energy simulation software, and an investigation into the building fabric (insulation and glazing) to obtain both a cost-effective and NCC compliant solution to the project.  

Hasan is a mechanical and ESD engineer with more than 10 years of experience in buildings’ energy and project management. Hasan is assessing the energy performance of buildings, and providing cost-effective and sustainable building consultation for the building industry nationwide. He is currently working as a senior ESD consultant at Certis Energy. 

Jessica Hogg, Australian Passive House Association and Inhabit Group

Thermal Bridging                                        

As we strive for more comfortable and energy-efficient buildings, gaps within the National Construction Code become more evident and significant. Along with air tightness of building facades, the lack of realistic representation of thermal bridges within compliance modelling (and typically all energy modelling in Australia) is fast becoming a problem and is certainly influencing the performance gap between design and as built, both in terms of energy and thermal comfort. This presentation will provide an overview of what a thermal bridge is, where they typically occur within Australian buildings, and how you go about calculating them.

Hogg is a certified Passive House designer and sits on the Board of Directors for the Australian Passive House Association (APHA). She is an associate within the Building Physics team at Inhabit, with work that focusses predominantly on the building envelope and its associated heat and light transfer properties. Her eight years’ experience spans both the UK and Australia, and a background in mechanical building services complements her passion for climate-suitable design. 

Chris Killoran, Arup

Simulation of large roofs – Inherent inaccuracies and implications for cool roofs 

The roof of a building can be one of the most significant parts of the building envelope. For large, low-lying buildings such as shopping centres and industrial buildings, the roof can be the biggest source of heat through the building envelope. Unfortunately, typical building simulation underestimates heat load through large roofs.

Killoran will discuss measured results from real buildings and the performance improvement provided by cool roofs being higher than what is predicted from thermal modelling in building simulation software. He will also provide an insight into roof microclimate, particularly on large roofs, and discuss why it plays an important part that is not considered by building simulation tools at present.

Killoran is a senior ESD Eengineer at Arup with over 13 years’ experience. His career in consulting engineering has involved using technical analysis to optimise the design and operation of new and retrofitted buildings for energy efficiency and environmental performance. He has a background in mechanical engineering design, which gives a practical background to his ESD solutions.

Sean Maxwell, AM.AIRAH, Pro Clima Australia and ATTMA

will be giving two presentations. 

Building performance research – an update           

Maxwell will review research into building performance from the US, the UK, and Australia.

He will discuss research findings and data in zonal air pressures, window operation, HVAC function, and air tightness of monitored apartments to discover the impact that regulations have had on building practice and what lessons these findings can offer for the future of Australia.

Maxwell is an ASHRAE Commissioning Process Management Professional and president of the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Association of Australia. He is also the scheme manager for the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association in Australia. He has over a decade of experience in air tightness and ventilation testing and research and has a passion for sharing lessons learned to collaboratively move the industry forward. 

Statistics, analysis and conclusions from 200,000 UK blower door tests, including ventilation types


The Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association (ATTMA) introduced a lodgement system into the UK in September 2015 that records results of approximately 85 per cent of all air leakage tests in the UK. The lodgement system also records the type of ventilation installed plus another 25 fields that allow us to study statistics in depth. This presentation will look at some of these results including average pass and fail rates, retest requirements, performance data, and trends over time.  

Andy Russell, M.AIRAH, Proctor Group

Lessons in air tightness and air quality from the Japanese “sick house” experience 

A major revision of the Japanese Building Standard Law encompassing both material selection and ventilation was introduced in 2003 to specifically address “sick house” problems. Evidence of unhealthy indoor VOC levels was attributed to increased use of manufactured materials, the successful delivery of air-tight enclosures, and occupancy behaviour.

Russell will discuss the valuable lessons we can learn from Japanese regulation and their evolution of effective ventilation for air-tight buildings and how these practices can benefit Australia in allowing for low-cost effective ventilation strategies. 

Russell’s journey started with UK building envelope specialists Proctor Group. He arrived in Australia in 2007 and contributed to the ABCB Condensation Handbook, presenting on the subject of condensation at various conferences and an AIA Refuel National Seminar Series. He continues to challenge old norms and is busy adding to the extensive portfolio of membrane, acoustic, insulation and ventilation systems for Proctor Group Australia. 


Conference information


Dates: Thursday, June 15
Location: Brisbane


Stamford Plaza Brisbane
39 Edward Street (Corner of Edward and Margaret
Grand Ballroom
Brisbane 4000



Sponsorship opportunities for the Building Physics Forum are now available. Click here to download the sponsorship prospectus, or contact the AIRAH office on (03) 8623 3000 or email [email protected] to be sent information on the sponsorship packages.

Conference committees

Technical organising committee

Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH, CSR Building Products Limited
Sonia Holzheimer, M.AIRAH, SEQUAL Consulting
Tim Law, Affil.AIRAH, University of Tasmania
Chris Nunn, Affil.AIRAH, AMP Capital
Paul Stoller, M.AIRAH, Atelier Ten

Organising committee

Emily McLaughlin, AIRAH
Brendan Pejkovic, AIRAH


For further information about the Building Physics Forum 2017 please contact the AIRAH office on (03) 8623 3000 or email [email protected]