AIRAH Awards finalists – Excellence in Sustainability

In the lead-up to the AIRAH Awards gala dinner on November 15, HVAC&R News is profiling finalists in some of the different categories.

The AIRAH Awards recognise excellence and achievement within HVAC&R, with initial nominations coming from those working within the industry. Click here to see all the finalists for the 2018 awards.

The Excellence in Sustainability award, sponsored by Heatcraft, recognises Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry. This includes new installations, retrofits or improvements to existing systems, new systems and items of plant, as well as improvements in service delivery.

Previous winners include Norman, Disney & Young for its work on International Towers Sydney at Barangaroo (pictured), Umow Lai for its work on the School of Design at the University of Melbourne, and Steensen Varming for its work on the University of Technology Sydney’s Thomas Street Building.

The finalists for 2018 are:


Refrigeration Innovations – Ritchies IGA Supermarket

After a disastrous fire in 2016, Ritchies Super IGA in Beechworth, Victoria, committed to rebuilding the store for the local community as quickly as possible, on the same site with the same footprint. Refrigeration Innovations won the job and took a holistic view of the supermarket’s requirements.

“We needed to provide not only reliable refrigeration,” says principal David Redden, F.AIRAH, “but also we took the view that we could incorporate the rejected heat from the plant, the cooling capacity of smart control of compressor capacity, and the co-efficient gains of CO2 refrigerant to supply comfort cooling and heating.

“We were also cognisant that this system had to work in the variances of the Australian climate as this area of Victoria is subject to temperature swings between summer and winter condition. To that end we decided to incorporate a first for Australia and employ gas ejector technology.”


BUENO – Crown

BUilt ENvironment Optimisation (BUENO) is an innovative, Australian-founded technology company that has been operating since 2013. BUENO has developed bespoke technology and IP that targets opportunities for improved data utilisation across the property sector.

During this time BUENO and Crown have developed a collaborative and cooperative working relationship, enabling data to be utilised across the complex to increase the site’s sustainability.

BUENO’s analytics platform has reduced energy, gas and water consumption across Crown sites. It has also helped identify maintenance works, reducing disruptions to visitors and improving overall comfort levels.

From day one, data analytics has produced genuine actionable information and is continuing to provide insights at a frequency, resolution and accuracy that was not possible with traditional manual point-in-time review methods.

The project has been integral to Crown’s strategic environmental commitment initiatives to become leaders in innovation, energy, water and life-cycle management.


Norman Disney & Young – RN Robertson building

The RN Robertson building in the Australian National University in Canberra is a three-storey concrete-framed structure with a large central atrium space that was originally completed in 1972. In 2016, NDY was commissioned to deliver mechanical and electrical design services for the building as part of a comprehensive refurbishment.

The design included a “neighbourhood” grouping of similar use spaces, and the placement of plant and system around existing reticulation spaces to minimise modifications to façade and slab and reduce coring and waste to landfill. It also incorporated a comprehensive mechanical services strategy for improving energy efficiency.

The newly refurbished school has been described as an “unexpected joy”.

“The adaptive re-use of the building showed that with careful planning, design team engagement and user group consultation, a building many people had written off and marked for demolition can be revitalised and regenerated to provide a home for the various schools for another 40-plus years,” says NDY.


CIM Enviro – 99 Elizabeth Street

Landlord Kyko Group set operator CBRE a target of lifting the NABERS star rating of an A-grade commercial office at 99 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, from 1.5 to 4 stars. Typically, this would require significant capex investment, but in hopes of leveraging advances in data analytics, CBRE went to market in search of a smarter way of getting “more for less” for the client.

CIM Enviro won the project and through in-house engineering expertise and the ACE building tuning analytics platform, enabled 99 Elizabeth Street to improve from a 1.5 Star indicative NABERS rating up to a NABERS 5.5 Star performing building between 2016 and 2018.

“This demonstrates the impact tuning and optimisation can have on the sustainability of the HVAC industry,” says CIM Enviro’s Scott Beauman. “The seven half-star jump has been achieved with $48,000 opex, but most impressively, no capex expenditure. Furthermore, tenant comfort complaints have reduced to less than 5 per cent.”


A.G. Coombs and AECOM – International Convention Centre

The new $1.5 billion International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour represents one of the largest ever urban renewal projects in Australia. It replaces the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre that was built in 1988.

The ICC is the first Australian facility of its kind registered with the US Green Building Council for LEED, achieving Gold Certification in July 2017. It also achieved a 6 Star Green Star Communities (v1) rating from the GBCA.

To support the demands of the precinct and events, the HVAC systems needed to be efficient, reliable, durable, and maintainable. Building and service designs incorporated sustainable initiatives such as a 520kW solar PV array, centralised energy plant comprising highly efficient chillers configured in series counterflow arrangement, heat pipes in all displacement cooling air handling units and rainwater harvesting.

“The project is unique in many aspects,” says A.G. Coombs’ Bryon Price, F.AIRAH, “and the particular focus on sustainability and the achievements made on this front are world class.”


Kingspan Insulation – Kingspan Insulation manufacturing facility

Also nominated in the Excellence in Innovation category, Kingspan’s new manufacturing centre in Somerton, Victoria, is Australia’s first manufacturing facility to be built to 5 Star Green Star standards and is seeking a 5 Star Green Star Performance Rating (awaiting certification). It is likely the factory will be net positive energy for 2018.

The building includes an energy-saving smart lighting system and high-performance insulation products. It was built using sustainably sourced or manufactured materials. It also uses energy-renewing ventilators, providing occupants with 100 per cent more fresh air than required by the building code, and harvests rainwater for bathroom and landscape use. Energy recovery from process heat is used to heat hot water on site and a 750kW solar system is designed into its roof structure.

Kingspan says it was well worth the slightly higher capital cost.

“Ultimately, we achieved a better facility with an improved working environment, reduced operating costs, and a far lower environmental footprint.”

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