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AIRAH Awards 2023: Unimelb and USYD share research honour

The University of Sydney’s open-source multiplatform has shared the honours with the University of Melbourne’s BREATH project at the AIRAH Awards 2023, with the institutions named joint winners of the award for Excellence in HVAC&R Research.

BREATH – University of Melbourne

In this research project, three different ventilation systems were evaluated in a vacant CBD building over three months: displacement ventilation air conditioning; in-ceiling air filters; and natural airflow through open windows.

The project team found that the displacement ventilation was the most effective and energy-efficient system tested, reducing COVID-19 transmission by 83 per cent, while also reducing energy consumption by 20 per cent.

Open-source multiplatform – University of Sydney

The Sydney University team has developed several research tools that are widely used by researchers, practitioners, educators, policy-makers, and facility managers worldwide.

The CBE Thermal Comfort Tool is a web application for thermal comfort calculations and visualisations with 70,000 users a year and 201 citations. Pythermal comfort is the only Python package for thermal comfort calculation. It is used in the back end of other web applications and has 51 citations. Cozie for Apple and Fitbit is an application for non-intrusive data collection, while the CBE Clima Tool is a website used for analysing climate data.

The Excellence in HVAC&R Research award recognises outstanding achievements in research that have produced additional knowledge of HVAC&R systems, which could lead to future improvements in these technologies. 

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