ARBS Foundation marks milestone in support for HVAC&R

The ARBS Foundation – the foundation for industry education and research – is celebrating nearly a decade of support for the HVAC&R industry.

Now in its ninth year, the foundation has made significant contributions to the air conditioning, refrigeration, and building services industry through grants for various projects and initiatives.

ARBS Executive Officer David Eynon says there are three broad categories into which ARBS funding has been directed.

“[These categories are] practical research, development and upgrading of training courses and materials, and funding students into training courses,” Eynon says.  

“A selection of notable projects include Team Catalyst, Training Programs and Education Support, and the Aboriginal Career Start Program.”

Team Catalyst

The foundation has been a partner with Team Catalyst on several ventures, including research comparing the performance of active chilled beam systems against two chilled water plant configurations.

The research was conducted against the background of changes in the National Construction Code, and the findings provide practical guidance to practitioners engaged in design and ongoing monitoring of HVAC systems in energy-efficient buildings.

Team Catalyst also conducted a study on the dispersion of airborne particles in indoor settings, and found that airborne particles travel much further than first thought. This helped authorities control the spread of COVID-19.

Training programs and education support

The foundation provided financial support for the development of training programs, such as the Professional Diploma in Sustainable HVAC Design and Operation developed by AIRAH.

The foundation also supported the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association (AMCA) and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia (AREMA) in conducting the Certificate IV advanced program for refrigeration mechanics.

As well, the ARBS Foundation provided support to the social fabric of the industry, such as sponsoring engineering students to participate in the Engineers Without Borders Design Summit, and offered 10 sole traders the opportunity to obtain accreditation in the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).

“Sole traders generally find it difficult to complete courses due to time and funding constraints,” Eynon says. “This program was a great success and appreciated by all of those who achieved accreditation.”

Aboriginal Career Start Program

The ARBS Foundation also supported the Aboriginal Career Start Program of NSW TAFE and provided grants to graduating students to purchase the tools they need to work in the trade.

ARBS Foundation Chair Ian Hopkins says the foundation’s aim “is to promote the growth and success of the industry, and these projects and initiatives are just a few examples of how we are achieving this goal”.

“[We are] dedicated to supporting the air conditioning, refrigeration, and building services industry and continue to make a positive impact on the sector through our grant-making activities,” says Hopkins.

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