Events and conferences

AIRAH celebrates excellence in sustainability

As the annual AIRAH Awards draw closer, HVAC&R News will be showcasing the individuals and companies whose outstanding achievements have earned them a place in the final selection this year.

The AIRAH Awards 2020 will be shown online on November 10, as part of AIRAH’s Outlook 2020 International HVAC&R Conference. The event celebrates outstanding achievements from around Australia’s HVAC&R industry across 11 categories.

Among the categories, one stands out for its timely significance. The Excellence in Sustainability award recognises Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the industry.

“As the Australian HVAC&R industry navigates the myriad challenges to meet various national goals and targets in emissions control, energy efficiency and sustainable design,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, “awards like Excellence in Sustainability are created to recognise the people and organisations that are leading the charge forward.”

This year, the Excellence in Sustainability award is sponsored by ActronAir.

Norman Disney & Young and Plumbing Industry Climate Action CentrePlumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) Narre Warren is Victoria’s first Net Zero Energy education and research facility. The centre provides vocational training to support Victoria’s construction industry.

Featuring strong passive design, the building utilises indirect evaporative cooling units, relaxed temperature conditions, in-slab heating, and geothermal energy wells integrated into the structural piles.

The unique combination of more than 200 geothermal energy wells of varying depths and solar PV has been determined, though energy modelling, to supply enough onsite renewable energy to meet the demands of the entire building.

As a training centre for HVAC practitioners and plumbers, the PICAC building also incorporates unique “teaching” elements in its design. A prime example is the fully displayed plant room installed in the heart of the building. As far as possible, the building services were incorporated as permanent teaching exhibits through the use of “in-floor and in-wall” plumbing displays.

These efforts were recognised by the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which supported the project with a $500,000 grant.

Ample TechInterContinental Sydney Double Bay

The InterContinental Double Bay is a first-of-its-kind project that optimises existing air conditioning systems in real time to reduce their carbon footprint.

The project combines inherent functionality in building management systems (BMS) with state-of-the-art machine learning (ML), which produces rolling predictions of the carbon content of electricity. This allows for the shifting of chiller loads towards times of plentiful renewable energy.

Within the first five months, the InterContinental Double Bay has already achieved absolute savings averaging 3,000kg CO2e per month – amounting to a 17 per cent reduction of carbon footprint of the air conditioning load.

The savings were achieved through Ample Tech’s software solution, which uses AI and ML to predict both the availability of renewable power and HVAC electricity needs. Combining these predictions, the existing BMS automatically increases the amount of renewable generation used.

Plenary GroupMelbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) expansion building has earned the Green Building Council of Australia’s 5 star Green Star rating for building design.

A joint venture between architect firms NH Architecture and Woods Bagot, Probuild was the developer on the project, with WSP handling HVAC services design. The expansion building’s environmentally sustainable design ensures the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are kept to a minimum.

Key features include CO2 sensing control and ventilation; high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives on pumps; heating and cooling pipework and ductwork insulation; water‑efficient toilets and taps; and a rainwater capture tank for rainwater to be treated and used in the venue’s amenities.

The AIRAH Awards 2020 will be held as a free-admission virtual event on Tuesday November 10 at 4.30pm (NSW, Vic, ACT, Tas) | 4pm (SA) | 3.30pm (Qld) | 3pm (NT) | 1.30pm (WA).

For more information and to register for the Awards ceremony, click here.

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