John Bourne, Affil.AIRAH

A.G. Coombs

Why is HVAC&R important?
Although HVAC&R is often an unseen, (hopefully) unheard and misunderstood industry, it accounts for a significant portion of the world’s energy use and therefore CO2 emissions. The industry has applications in our homes, our transport and our workplaces. Often hidden in the belly of buildings, out of sight and out of mind, HVAC&R systems don’t just provide comfortable spaces to work while it’s hot and humid (or cold) outside – they facilitate a range of other industries and are essential for our economies and societies to advance.

For example, imagine if the following services were not available:
  • Healthcare – operating theatres and isolation rooms in hospitals with HEPA filtration and pressure control regimes
  • Laboratories – work involving gene technology and dangerous, toxins/chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals – developing, distributing and storing medications
  • Food – refrigeration for transport and storage of food, allowing us to distribute from farms to population centres and reduce food waste
  • Manufacturing – manipulation of product properties with temperature and pressure control
  • Libraries, museums and art galleries – temperature and humidity control to preserve invaluables.

What do you do, and what is the most satisfying aspect of your work?

I help improve building performance. This can be through contributing to the design, tuning of the functionality, or management of commissioning and documentation on new buildings. I also spend a lot of time investigating issues and solving problems within existing buildings.

I often get the opportunity to look at problems that others have tried to solve already. This can involve a lot of investigative work and requires continuous learning. I get an immense amount of satisfaction from learning and solving problems.

What will you be doing to celebrate World Refrigeration Day?
Dialling into a few BMS and checking that the refrigeration plant is performing optimally!