Past seminars

Section J seminar series

AIRAH held a half-day seminar series highlighting the key changes to Section J in May and June, 2019, as part of the overhaul and release of the NCC, taking effect in May 2019. The series included:
  • An overview of the major changes to Section J
  • How this will affect the HVAC&R industry and building services sector
  • How industry can comply and adapt to the changes.
The updates to Section J are part of a broader strategy, led by the Australian Government, as a result of major research by the Australian Building Construction Board (ABCB). The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the energy efficiency of the country’s building stock by 40 per cent by 2030. It also looks to provide more flexibility on verification options, including NABERS Energy and Green Star to prove compliance against the code.

Presenter: Ken Thomson, M.AIRAH

Thomson has over 25 years’ experience in the building industry, and has completed numerous projects in ESD and mechanical design. These projects include HVAC system design, documentation and commissioning (including undertaking CFD analysis, façade design and analysis, and daylight and glare assessments), as well as post-occupancy inspections, energy audits and building condition audits. 

The Global Cooling Prize Workshop

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) held a Global Cooling Prize (GCP) Workshop on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at Rendezvous Hotel, 328 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Vic.

About the Global Cooling Prize

The Global Cooling Prize is initiated by the Rocky Mountain Institute; the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology; and Mission Innovation.

This ground-breaking competition is designed to incentivise the development of a residential cooling solution that will have at least five times lower climate impact than today's standard room air conditioner units. This technology could prevent up to 100 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions by the year 2050, and put the world on a pathway to mitigate up to 0.5°C of global warming by the year 2100, all while enhancing living standards for people in developing countries around the globe.

Workshop facilitator

Iain Campbell, Rocky Mountain Institute (USA)

Iain is a senior Fellow at RMI, where he is dedicated to the identification and scaling of sustainable cooling solutions globally. 

Iain is the principal initiator of the Global Cooling Prize and the chair of the prize’s technical review committee.

Workshop slides

The presentation slides are available to download here.


HVAC&R Maintenance

AIRAH held a half-day seminar series that highlighted the key changes to DA19’s 2019 edition, how to use the manual in everyday practice, and why maintenance of HVAC&R systems is so important.

This seminar series included:

  • The objective, scope and application of DA19 and its role in improving maintenance practices
  • An overview of the major changes to DA19
  • How industry can adopt and adapt to the changes.

What’s in DA19?

For over 20 years, DA19 has been the definitive reference for HVAC&R maintenance in Australia. It defines what maintenance is and why it’s performed. It also discusses the roles and responsibilities of supply-chain stakeholders.

Outlining how best to manage maintenance, DA19 defines a structured process for the development of a system of maintenance, appropriate to a specific building or application.

The 2019 updates to DA19 HVAC&R Maintenance are aligned with industry standards. Maintenance activities have been categorised and are tailored for each site based on minimum compliance and good or best practice, additionally promoting transparency in maintenance specifications and budgets.

New sections covering the growing trend for digital and smart maintenance practices are also covered. 

Presenter: Brett Fairweather, M.AIRAH

Brett has represented local engineering practices for over 20 years, and now runs a mechanical services consultancy to support other practitioners throughout the industry. On behalf of AIRAH, Brett is regularly involved in delivering training relevant to the maintenance of essential safety measures; design of smoke control and fire dampers; and building ventilation. Brett is a member of Standards Australia’s ME-062 subcommittees, which are responsible for standards on a range of HVAC requirements in buildings. 

Ventilation in Buildings Seminar Series AS 1668 Overview

AS/NZS 1668.1 | AS 1668.2 | AS 1668.4


This seminar series highlighted the key principles, design opportunities and common oversights when applying the AS 1668 series of Standards.

There was an overview of: 
  • AS/NZS 1668.1 – The use of ventilation and airconditioning in buildings. Fire and smoke control in buildings;
  • AS 1668.2 –  The use of ventilation and airconditioning in buildings. Mechanical ventilation in buildings
  • AS 1668.4 - The use of ventilation and airconditioning in buildings. Natural ventilation of buildings

Each of these Standards form the bread and butter of the HVAC&R industry, but we are regularly asked to provide training and education on these standards. In this new overview seminar series, we will look at some of the main areas industry has told us that they need more support with and outline some of the content under development for our new Ventilation sessions. 

This series will include content outlines, case study examples and support you with questions such as:
  • Do you know the difference between introduced outdoor air and effective outdoor air and how much of each is necessary?
  • Do you really know how to design filtration to reduce outdoor air to 7.5 L/s/person?
  • Are you still over-designing car park ventilation? Can you identify opportunities available in the latest National Construction Code (NCC) and Standards to simplify your design?
  • How do you use jet fans for car parks, as DTS, without any fire engineering?
  • Is your kitchen hood exhaust compliant?
  • Does this room need ventilation?
  • Make-up air. Where can it and where can’t it come from?
  • Where are fire dampers required and when do they need insulation?
  • Which penetrations need smoke dampers?
  • Fire Dampers, Smoke Dampers and Air Dampers: what’s the difference?
  • Stair pressurisation: how many doors do you really need to measure?
  • Natural ventilation: 5% vs AS 1668.4.

Who should attend:
  • Regulatory authorities
  • Certifiers
  • Mechanical services designers
  • Mechanical services contractors
  • Equipment manufacturers and suppliers
  • Maintenance contractors
  • Facilities managers
  • Building owners. 


Brett Fairweather, M.AIRAH 

Brett is a member of Standards Australia’s ME-062 subcommittees responsible for Standards on fire and smoke control, mechanical ventilation in buildings and natural ventilation of buildings. He has represented local engineering practices since the 1990s and now runs a mechanical services consultancy to support other practitioners throughout the industry.

PUSCH Workshops at the Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference


Promoting the Use of Solar Cooling and Heating (PUSCH) in Australian buildings is an ongoing effort supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to help improve the market uptake of these technologies. As a part of this project, an industry roadmap is under development. This roadmap has identified few potential barriers and opportunities for improving the market uptake of solar heating and cooling technologies. 

These seminars form part of the Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference, and provide an opportunity to look at some of the global initiatives that could be adapted to Australian market conditions. Activities coordinated through the International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Program (IEA SHC) will be discussed. 


Seminar I: 11am to 12.30 Price reduction of solar thermal systems (IEA SHC task 54)
Korbinian Kramer, Fraunhofer ISE, Germany
Although solar thermal is already very well developed and has a high market penetration, costs are always an issue when it comes to deciding which heating system to use. IEA SHC Task 54 aims at a cost reduction for end-users of installed solar thermal systems by evaluating and developing sustainable means to reduce production and/or installation costs on material, sub-component, system-component and system level. Special emphasis is placed on the identification and reduction of post-production cost drivers, e.g., channels of distribution. Extensive market research, including defining reference systems, cost analyses, and the study of socio-political boundary conditions for solar thermal prices in selected regions will provide the basis for the evaluation of cost-structures and the cost-reduction potential. The main activities and achievements will be presented.

Seminar II: 2pm to 3.30pm: Solar district heating (IEA SHC Task 55) 
Jan Erik Nielsen, SolarKey Int., Denmark
For quite some time now district heating has been widely used in many European and Asian countries. Traditionally these systems use fossil fuels, but in many places these have replaced by renewable energy: solar, biomass and heat pumps (on renewable electricity). Some rather large solar district heating systems have been installed in Northern Europe. The biggest to date is 157, 000 m² (110MW). A project with almost 500,000 m² (350MW) is being prepared. And because it is now possible to store the heat from summer in underground storages to use in winter, solar fractions of more than 50 per cent are now possible. The principles for these solar/renewable systems will be demonstrated and some examples shown – including a solar district cooling system. The ongoing activities in the international group IEA SHC Task 55 will be presented.





Heating and cooling systems account for over 40 per cent of commercial building energy usage in Australia with significant impact on building star rating. Solar energy can reduce building energy consumption, and solar resource availability has a natural fit with the cooling needs of a building. 

There are many ways to take advantage of solar. However, introducing solar creates additional design considerations and requires greater integration of building services and architectural design disciplines. A holistic approach during design stage will result in easy adaption of energy efficient technologies in buildings. 

In this seminar, participants will gain an understanding of available solar cooling and heating solutions for integration with commercial and residential buildings. The seminar will provide guidelines for incorporating sustainable heating and cooling solutions while designing a building envelope. Real world examples from CSIRO installations from Australia and global installations from International Energy Agency task 53 (IEA) will be discussed during the seminar. 

Participants of this seminar will be able to: 
  • Gain familiarity with market available solar cooling and heating solutions 
  • Recognise the design and installation requirements of sustainable heating and cooling technologies in buildings 
  • Include sustainable heating and cooling solution options in the conceptual design stage of a building.

Download the presentation

Presenter – Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH 

Dr Stephen White, F.AIRAH, is a world authority in solar air conditioning and a member of the ARBS “Hall of Fame”. Stephen is domain leader in CSIRO’s Grids and energy efficiency program.

AIRAH and Standards Australia presented a seminar series in February and March on the recently adopted and published refrigeration safety and environmental standards; AS/NZS/ISO 817:2016 Refrigerants – Designation and safety classification which replaces AS/NZS 1677.1:1998 and AS/NZS 5149 Refrigerating systems and heat pumps – Safety and environmental requirements: Parts 1 to 4, which replaces AS/NZS 1677.2:1998. 

Each of these new adoptions have had major modifications and revisions over the previous AS/NZS1677 series and are critical as we move to low global warming potential refrigerants.  AIRAH will be holding the update seminars throughout Australia in February and March 2017 to provide an introduction and overview to the main changes that will affect the HVAC&R industry.

Highlights of the seminar:

  • Changes to refrigerant safety classifications
  • Changes to safety and environmental standards

The AS/NZS 5149 standard is published in four parts comprising over 160 pages of technical safety and environmental requirements under the general title, Refrigerating systems and heat pumps – Safety and environmental requirements:
  • AS/NZS 5149.1:2016 Part 1 Definitions, classification and selection criteria
  • AS/NZS 5149.2:2016 Part 2: Design, construction, testing, marking and documentation
  •  AS/NZS 5149.3:2016 Part 3 Installation site
  • AS/NZS 5149.4:2016 Part 4 Operation, maintenance, repair and recovery. 

Standards Australia will also provide an outline on the following topics:
  • Standards Australia overview and how Standards are developed
  • Background to AS/NZS ISO 817 and AS/NZS 5149 projects
  • Engagement and participation with standards development.

Presenter – Kevin Lee, M.AIRAH

Kevin Lee, M.AIRAH, has a strong technical background in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, with nearly 40 years of local and overseas experience in manufacturing, product design and regulatory compliance. Kevin is a former director and chair of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Board, former chair of the Standards Australia technical committee on refrigeration safety requirements, and represented Australia as a technical expert on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) technical committee for refrigeration safety. Kevin was chair of the joint industry and government task group that authored the Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide

Further information

Please contact the AIRAH office on (03) 8623 3000 or email