Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade – AIRAH Awards 2021 finalists

Open to all individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, recognising work carried out during 2019/2020.

This award recognises excellence in the retrofit or upgrade of a HVAC system, and can address the complete delivery of a project. This can include planning through to engineering, documentation, procurement, teamwork, installation quality and workmanship, working in operational facilities, commissioning, fit-for-purpose outcomes and handover, including training and documentation. Products are not eligible in this category.

The project must have been commissioned in the past two years.

ACT Schools HVAC Upgrades

The ACT government has set aspirational targets to reach net zero emissions by 2040. 

Many schools in Canberra have high heat losses in winter. This presents challenges when retrofitting reversible heat pumps to older schools, because the performance drops significantly during cold conditions. For schools heated by gas­fired boilers, retrofitting electric heat pumps also requires expensive upgrades to the electrical infrastructure. 

These projects demonstrated that replacing chillers that usually idle in winter with reversible heat pumps that produce heating hot water that is circulated through the cooling coils in winter, presents an innovative and highly cost-effective solution for displacing around 80 per cent of gas consumption.

Woolworths Group

HVAC Optimisation Stage 2

Woolworths Group has delivered a large-scale HVAC hardware and control strategy upgrade, covering supermarket sites in all Australian states and territories.

Hardware supplied from RDM Australia was utilised to optimise sites’ energy consumption and obtain remote control and visibility of HVAC plant. All sites were connected to the Woolworths Energy Management Centre for ongoing optimisation and analytic assessment of equipment operation.

The key project deliverables were to achieve required conditions in stores for Woolworths’ customers and team members, reduce emissions, connect HVAC equipment for remote visibility monitoring and data analytics, and reduce HVAC asset life-cycle costs.


The Hayesbery

Originally an old dye works, felt mill and hat factory built in 1921, The Hayesbery is now a flagship workspace for real estate investors and developers Goodman.

The project transformed four neglected industrial buildings and linked them with a courtyard and internal laneway, creating a campus-style flexible workplace designed to prioritise diversity, health, safety and the wellbeing of Goodman's people.

The project included sustainable design initiatives engineered by HDR such as a rainwater storage tank, solar panels, and efficient lighting and HVAC controls. This helped achieve a 5-star Green Star sustainability rating.



The University of Queensland AIBN Heat Pump Retrofit

In alignment with the University of Queensland’s energy-neutral strategy, this project designed a new efficient heating hot water system (water-cooled heat pump) to work in unison with the existing electric duct heaters within UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Building.

NDY and UQ collaborated and designed a system that integrated heating hot water coils into existing selective supply-air ductwork systems, and applied chilled-water reclaim energy into the existing precinct chilled-water system.

The project provided a dramatic efficiency increase in both space heating and dehumidification reheat for the animal house, without impacting the heating systems resilience.