Call for abstracts

AIRAH’s Future of HVAC Conference will be held in Sydney from September 8–9. The technical organising committee is now calling for abstracts on an array of subjects that address and discuss the impact global forces are having on the future of the HVAC&R industry.

This year’s conference will cover topics under five key themes:

  • Innovation and disruption
  • Climate change: sustainability, adaptation and resilience
  • Regulation and legislation 
  • Indoor environment, including COVID-19 impacts
  • Future of construction and building services integration
The technical conference committee is seeking abstracts that link to these trends. This includes, but is not limited to, the following subject areas:



HVAC&R faces constant disruption from emerging technology, regulation, and standards – and we’ve seen the industry continue to respond with innovative solutions.This theme will focus on the sources and impacts of disruption and also offer insights into the latest innovations in HVAC&R and building services.

Possible topics include:
  • Digitisation in the built environment
  • Advanced manufacturing, prefabrication, and construction
  • Supply chain innovation
  • Innovations in HVAC&R equipment and building services
    • Refrigerants
    • Equipment
    • Building automation and control technologies
    • Energy efficiency and optimisation
  • Advances in building design and its impact on HVAC&R design and building services
    • Resilience
    • Indoor environment quality
    • Future approaches to design and installation
    • Façade technology
    • Building information modelling, digitisation and HVAC&R
    • Building simulation
  • HVAC&R ownership operation and management
    • Machine learning
    • Data analytics, cloud services, and Internet of Things
    • Asset management and maintenance
    • Servitisation business models
  • HVAC&R and building services research
    • Innovative research projects
    • Research and development in Australia


The effects of climate change are undeniable. A greater focus on how we design better HVAC&R solutions that improve our quality of life while mitigating global climate change is the challenge for the next century. 

Topics in this stream may cover:
  • Total net zero and/or net positive
  • Embodied carbon
  • Environmental impacts of construction: energy, materials, water, waste
  • Energy usage implications resulting from COVID-19
  • Design for flexibility, adaptability, durability, and reuse
  • Socially responsible HVAC&R
  • HVAC&R energy and environmental management 
    • HVAC&R’s role in demand response
    • Future of power generation and HVAC&R implications 
    • Building physics and thermal storage
    • Microgrids, PV, batteries and HVAC&R
    • Solar HVAC&R
    • Operational waste: refrigerants, water treatment chemicals, disposable air filters


Regulation, legislation, and compliance affect all aspects of the industry and can drive innovation. This stream will focus on possible future changes in the regulatory environment in which we live and work, and how HVAC&R must adapt to meet these changes. 

Topics include:
  • Building standards and guidelines
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Shergold-Weir Building Confidence Report 
  • Certification and registration of building professionals
  • Professional development
  • Fire and life safety
  • Changes in national and international regulations – heading towards net zero and impacts of COVID-19
    • COP 21 – how do we get there and what is HVAC&R’s role?
    • NCC – new energy-efficiency provisions and the impacts on building and HVAC&R design
    • Green Star, WELL, LEED – driving design outcomes 
    • Global refrigerant phase-down programs and the implications for HVAC&R
    • Ventilation and filtration


We continue to experience major events that impact our indoor environments and our air quality. 

Possible topics for discussion: 
  • Infection control
    • Impacts of COVID-19
    • Ventilation and filtration 
  • Environmental contamination
    • Bushfires
    • Dust storms
    • Pollution
  • Sensing and reporting
  • Research
  • Natural ventilation and operable façades
  • Healthy building and energy 


Presentation topics could contain:
  • Designing for modular construction and offsite prefabrication
  • Impact of manufacturing techniques on building construction and HVAC&R
  • Asset management and maintenance engineering
  • Facility management input to design and construction
  • Design for operation
    • AI maintenance
    • Design beyond data loss prevention
  • Circular economy

In addition to the five conference themes, the organising committee encourages submissions covering:

Case studies

The committee welcomes and encourages case study examples of excellence, as well as lessons learnt. All case studies will be considered.

Suggested case studies:
  • Innovative HVAC&R design projects
  • Innovative HVAC&R installation projects
  • Innovative HVAC&R maintenance approaches

Site visits, panel sessions, or masterclasses

The committee is interested in hearing from parties who can provide a suitable Sydney-based site visit for attendees (before or during the conference dates of September 8 and 9). 

We are also open to proposals for panel sessions or masterclasses with industry experts on topics related to the conference themes. Please contact the AIRAH Conference and Events Coordinator at for more information.

Other ideas will also be considered by the technical organising committee. The committee has the final say on accepted presentations.

Abstracts and presentations must not contain overtly commercial material or include trade names in titles. Presentations will be 25 minutes in length, including time for questions and answers.

All submissions must include:
  • A 300-word abstract
  • A 100-word condensed abstract
  • A 100-word biography
  • A high-resolution presenter photo

If a speaker's abstract application is successful, they will also be required to submit a PowerPoint deck and technical paper before The Future of HVAC Conference. More information and a PowerPoint template will be provided to confirmed presenters.

Submissions should be emailed to AIRAH’s Conference and Events Coordinator at by Friday, April 9, 2021.
By submitting an abstract for this event, you are volunteering to deliver your presentation at the conference in person*

*AIRAH continues to closely monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and is following state and federal government directions. Updates on any changes to our face-to-face events will be posted on our website.

We request you stay home if you are unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms including cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, vomiting, diarrhoea or shortness of breath.

Please do not attend the event if you have been overseas in the last 14 days, or have been in contact with a confirmed case.

For further information on AIRAH’s response to COVID-19, please click here