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about

The AIRAH on Air podcast explores stories from the built environment in Australia and abroad, with a focus on the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry – a sector in a constant state of development and innovation.

AIRAH on Air is a chance to delve into topics covered at our major events and in Ecolibrium, AIRAH’s official journal, in a new way. Host Mark Spencer interviews experts on issues of national and international importance, such as global warming and big data, while also providing unique insights into site-specific projects and builds.

host

AIRAH on Air is hosted by Mark Spencer, a Melbourne-based podcaster. He is also a host on Climactic, a podcast collective highlighting the people, projects and ideas that are making a positive impact on climate change and the environment. He is always looking for new projects in the podcasting space.
“Working on AIRAH on Air has been an amazing experience for me, because I've been able to work with legends in the sustainability world,” Mark says.

“I was very new to the industry when this show started, but as my experience and confidence have grown, I'm looking forward to AIRAH on Air becoming even more interesting and relevant to a wider audience. We really appreciate everyone who's tuned in for our first episodes, and going forward, we look forward to bringing more stories from the HVAC&R industry to even more people.”

episodes


A new episode of AIRAH on Air is released each month. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or Apple to never miss an episode. You can also find each episode below, alongside links to original articles and more information on our guests.

 

Episode 1: What you need to know about HVAC&R and climate change


Despite playing a major role in global emissions, HVAC&R isn’t often a phrase associated with climate change. This episode gives an overview of how the refrigeration and HVAC industry interacts with climate change; the industry’s role and responsibilities; and why AIRAH is part of the discussion about climate change mitigation in our society.

  

Episode 2: What does “net zero” mean for buildings, and how will we heat and cool them without carbon?


How are we improving the design and construction of buildings? In the first episode of AIRAH on Air, we explore how we’re working toward a “net zero” future – and what, exactly, that means.

Adapted from "The zero effect" (Ecolibrium, September 2018)

Guests: Paul Cooper, F.AIRAH / Clare Parry, M.AIRAH / Tony Arnel


  

Episode 3: What is big data for the built environment, and what does it mean for HVAC&R?


Big data. It’s a big idea. It’s also moved from the “next big thing” to business as usual. But what does it have to do with the built environment and why does it matter to the humans who occupy it?
 
Adapted from "Big deal" (Ecolibrium, November 2018)

Guests: Chris Stamatis, M.AIRAH / Craig Roussac, M.AIRAH / Chris King, M.AIRAH


  

Episode 4: How is one of the oldest buildings at the University of Queensland one of its best? On retrofitting the Forgan Smith Building


When a building gets older, often the obvious option is demolition. But what if there’s a way to save it and preserve its history? How can that help increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions?

Adapted from "Law and order" (Ecolibrium, December 2018)

Guests: Danni Roberts / Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH

  

Episode 5: From dinosaur boneyard to Australia’s most sustainable housing estate: inside The Cape


It was the site of Australia’s first dinosaur bone excavation, then it was neighbour to a coal mine, and now it’s the future of sustainable housing. Join us for a visit to The Cape – a new development located about two hours south-east of Melbourne in the seaside village of Cape Paterson.
 
Adapted from "Cape crusader" (Ecolibrium, February 2019)  

Guest: Clint Hare


  

Episode 6: The long goodbye: what’s this HFC phase-down all about, and why should I care?


We explore a global issue: the HFC phase-down. This is a worldwide effort to slow down climate change by reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – synthetic gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration that are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming.

Adapted from "Low-down on the phase-down" (Ecolibrium, August 2018)

Guest: Vince Aherne, F.AIRAH


  

Episode 7: Talking natural refrigerants at AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2019 Conference with Michael Kauffeld


Refrigeration 2019 was held in Melbourne from March 2526 and welcomed 170 attendees, more than 30 expert speakers, and four international keynotes. One of these was Prof. Dr Michael Kauffeld, of Germany's Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, who spoke with AIRAH on Air about his area of expertise: natural refrigerants.

Guest: Michael Kauffeld

  

Episode 8: What is the Global Cooling Prize? How could you win a million dollars?


In this special episode of AIRAH on Air, we talk with Iain Campbell of the Rocky Mountain Institute – a US-based not-for-profit working to find practical, market-based solutions that will shift dependency from fossil fuels to renewables. Part of the Institute's work involves administrating the Global Cooling Prize, an international competition calling upon inventors and innovators to develop the next generation of cooling technology.

Guest: Iain Campbell

  

Episode 9: ARUP, a firm famous for the Sydney Opera House, has a new headquarters in Sydney; it’s something special


In this episode, we take a trip to visit Investa’s Barrack Place – the new Sydney headquarters for Arup and the first Australian building to earn a WELL Core & Shell Precertification at the Gold Level from the International WELL Building Institute.

Adapted from "WELL and good" (Ecolibrium, March 2019)

Guests: Andrew Pettifer / Jack Noonan


  

Episode 10: Melbourne Forum – What is energy poverty, and how does it affect HVAC&R?


This episode of the AIRAH on Air podcast was recorded at the Melbourne Forum on June 25, 2019. We hear from Dr Nicola Willand, a lecturer at RMIT University’s School of Property, Construction and Project Management. In her presentation, Willand explains the concept of energy poverty; how it can be measured and understood; who’s most vulnerable; the social implications; and what can be done to assist those struggling to cool or heat their homes. 

Guest: Dr Nicola Willand

  

Episode 11: Melbourne Forum – Are energy suppliers giving people what they need?


The eighth episode of the AIRAH on Air podcast was recorded at the Melbourne Forum on June 25, 2019. Kerry Connors, the associate director of research at Energy Consumers Australia (ECA), details the Power Shift program and research underlining the link between energy and household health.

Guest: Kerry Connors

  

Episode 12: 25 King Street – Tall timber


Brisbane's 25 King is a timber building pushing boundaries in construction, sustainability and indoor environment quality. We speak to Danni Roberts, Affil.AIRAH, and Joel Fernandes of Aurecon, an engineering consultancy firm, on what it was like to not only deliver the structural engineering design, building services and ESD on the project, but also now occupy the building as its main tenant.

Adapted from “King in the north” (Ecolibrium, April 2019)

Guests: Danni Roberts, Affil.AIRAH / Joel Fernandes

  

Episode 13: Melbourne Forum – What’s involved in retrofitting low-income households?


In the last of three episodes from the 2019 Melbourne Forum on energy poverty, Michele Burton, formerly of Sustainability Victoria, details a pilot project in Victoria's Latrobe Valley that aims to retrofit low-income households. Burton's talk covers the advantages (including the energy cost savings and thermal comfort improvements) and challenges of the initiative, as well as the project's next steps. This episode also features a Q&A with Burton and the other Melbourne Forum speakers.

Guests: Michele Burton / Dr Nicola Willand / Kerry Connors

  

Episode 14: A career in a prosperous, stable industry? HVAC&R Salary Survey results


In 2019, AIRAH conducted a comprehensive analysis of salaries in the Australian heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. It is the first of its kind and covered professionals and practitioners across the sector. Almost 500 people participated, providing benchmarks for the industry. This episode offers insights into the findings from the survey analysts.

Guests: Dr David Iacuone / Leigh Funston / Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH

Click here to see the 2019 HVAC&R Salary Survey results.

  

Episode 15: AIRAH gets physical at Building Physics 2019


On October 23 and 24 at AIRAH's Building Physics Forum in Melbourne, over 100 attendees came together from the fields of building science, architecture and design to discuss topics related to different areas in constructed performance. From air movement to thermal performance, control of moisture, passive house principles, and window design, it was an insightful two days of discussions into how we can create buildings that are more environmentally effective, comfortable and healthier for their occupants.

Guests: Marcela Brauner / Dr Arianna Brambilla / Jenny Edwards, Affil.AIRAH

Find out more about AIRAH’s Building Physics Forum here.

  


contact


Thank you for listening to AIRAH on Air. For assistance or to send feedback and ideas, please contact AIRAH by email at airah@airah.org.au.