AIRAH's Big Data and Analytics STG

There have been a lot of questions and issues raised about big data and analytics – particularly in relation to how we proactively control and optimise building HVAC&R systems.

The Big Data and Analytics Special Technical Group brings together professionals to better understand issues, identify what needs to be done, and collaborate on combined efforts to move the industry forward.

For information on AIRAH’s Big Data and Analytics Forum, please visit

To log in to the Committee portal, please click here.


About this topic
Purpose and aims

Resources and links
Get involved

About this topic

Big data within HVAC&R building services is the collection of information from all building systems and external data used within them.

The most common "big data" is building management system (BMS) information. This has been around for many years. Historically, it has been used to validate temperature complaints or system operation over the previous week – but this is changing with the introduction of analytics.

With analytics, it is now possible to track and trend historical patterns to help diagnose faults or equipment deterioration. By using once untouched "big data", the way buildings are managed and maintained is changing.

Purpose and aims

AIRAH’s Big Data and Analytics STG provides its members with a platform for involvement in issues affecting their industry, including policy advice and regulation development, plus the development of (and access to) industry-leading advice.

The STG promotes a holistic, integrated view on issues related to the activities of the group and AIRAH, plus information on best-practice delivery in Australia and around the world.

The Committee aims to provide:

Stakeholder education There is demand for multi-stakeholder involvement and engagement from sustainability teams and facilities managers, through to executive teams.

In a practical sense, someone needs to interpret the reports/alerts/emails that systems produce. There is a gap between technological capability of systems (high) and implementation/capability of site facilities teams (low).

In the long term, it is envisaged that there will be more dedicated roles for site teams to interpret the types of data produced by analytics systems – but industry can play a role to educate companies on this need.
Equipment-level energy visibility Nearly all building owners lack equipment level visibility, which is changing with the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices. This will be a learning curve for industry stakeholders such as maintenance managers, who will need guidance on how to utilise these complex systems in order to derive maximum value from their investment.
Maintenance models Traditional maintenance models based on AIRAH's DA19 HVAC&R Maintenance, for example, are based on a lack of equipment level visibility. These models are currently undergoing change and, as such, the prescriptive industry guides that promote them need to adapt. There is a role for industry here in a practical sense with updating industry best practice guides on maintenance and on typical costs, to help guide building owners.
Breadth of data There are ever-increasing enterprise data types that must be captured and managed. These range from paper and waste to travel and commuting practices, and they will involve more loT data types.
Industry-specific metrics There is a need to align results with industry-specific metrics – including occupancy head count and floor area. To help guide large portfolio owners, industry can play a large role by publishing benchmarks (or similar).
More complex energy systems More complex systems will need to be developed to cope with the popularity of on-site energy generation assets and the need to manage complex data flows, plus the calculation of custom emissions factors these require.
Tertiary-level education In many cases, syllabuses haven't caught up with the speed of adoption of many HVAC&R analytics packages. There is a lack of awareness regarding big data and analytics with respect to tertiary level education in the HVAC&R engineering space. There is a role for industry to play to help bridge this gap.
Policy guidance The STG will serve as a reference point for government in shaping relevant policy relating to the environmental, economic, and social impact of HVAC&R and related systems.
Advocacy and influence The STG will make submissions on behalf of members to influence policy setting (as collectively agreed upon), and work with government at all levels to establish workable regulations, frameworks, and guidelines.
Identify and seek funding for collaborative projects The STG will identify and seek external funding for collaborative projects that support its objectives and aims of AIRAH and its members.
Considered, integrated, and technically objective guidance The STG will provide guidance to the HVAC&R industry to develop a considered, integrated, and technically objective approach to big data and analytics.
The creation of special interest groups (where needed) Where needed, the STG will create special interest groups led by industry knowledge champions. These will help to further the interests of the Committee.



AIRAH's Big Data and Analytics Forum The Big Data and Analytics STG helps to organise AIRAH’s Big Data and Analytics Forum.

The 2022 edition took place as a hybrid event (in Sydney and online) on Thursday, June 23.


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To view the members of AIRAH’s Big Data and Analytics STG, click here.


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Get involved

Please click here for more information on AIRAH’s STGs and their work.

To get involved with the Big Data and Analytics STG, please email [email protected]


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