Excellence in Sustainability – AIRAH Awards 2022 finalists

Open to all individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, recognising work carried out during 2020/2021.

This award recognises Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry. The initiatives may be new air conditioning or refrigeration installations, retrofits or improvements to existing air conditioning or refrigeration systems or the development of new systems, items of plant or other improvements, or in the industry’s delivery of services.

AIRAH Awards 2022 winner

The University of Newcastle's Q Building

The University of Newcastle’s Q Building is the first in regional NSW to achieve the GBCA’s 6-star Green Star Design and As Built rating. The 3,200m2 four-storey construction comprises CLT structure, rainwater capture (20kL) for cooling towers and toilets, 46.7kW rooftop PV, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and electrochromic façade.

The building delivers a 92.4 per cent reduction in embodied carbon compared to a reference concrete building, and with sustainability measures implemented will be carbon positive through its operation. Green Star modelling shows the HVAC systems will use 63 per cent less energy for heating, 70 per cent less energy for cooling (compared to a Green Star reference building), and contribute to a 30 per cent building water reduction.


Conserve It

Optimal scheduling of air conditioning systems with renewable energy resource and thermal storage 

The built environment is embracing sustainability by incorporating high levels of distributed energy resources (DER) in its operations.

Echuca Hospital is a pioneer in DER implementation, using diverse energy sources and storage systems in its facility. Benefits delivered by selecting the operational strategy for any given day on radiation and building-load forecast information, energy available in storage and tariff. Optimal operation of the thermal-electrical energy system with storage is a complex mathematical problem. But Conserve It, CSIRO, and Echuca Regional Health has developed a novel approach for management of DER in buildings to improve sustainability in operations.


Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH

Building code airtightness and moisture management 

Over several years, Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH, has worked to improve building standards in Australia with a focus on updating codes and standards to deliver international best-practice building envelopes that are healthy, durable and energy efficient.

In 2015, Clarke proposed that Standards Australia adopt the AS/NZS ISO 9972 standard allowing the determination of air permeability of buildings using the fan pressurisation (or blower door) method. In 2019, he successfully lobbied for the inclusion of a verification method in the residential section of the National Construction Code (NCC) to include an airtightness metric of 10m3/m2/hr.

In the recent NCC 2022 update, Clarke successfully lobbied for extension of vapour permeability in building envelopes to further temperate climate regions of Australia. He was also instrumental in the development of AIRAH DA07, which is now a code verification pathway driving innovation in airtight building envelop assemblies that will not trap water, create condensation or mould.