Excellence in Sustainability award for regional NSW first

During the holiday period, HVAC&R News is featuring the winners of the AIRAH Awards 2022.

The AIRAH Award category for Excellence in Sustainability is open to all individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, recognising work carried out during 2020/2021.

This award recognises Australian initiatives that have made clear improvements in the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the HVAC&R industry. The initiatives may be new air conditioning or refrigeration installations, retrofits or improvements to existing air conditioning or refrigeration systems or the development of new systems, items of plant or other improvements, or in the industry’s delivery of services.

This year’s winner was Benmax, for its work on the University of Newcastle’s Q Building.

The University of Newcastle’s Q Building is the first in regional NSW to achieve the GBCA’s 6-star Green Star Design and As Built rating. The 3,200m2 four-storey construction comprises CLT structure, rainwater capture (20kL) for cooling towers and toilets, 46.7kW rooftop PV, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and electrochromic façade.

The building delivers a 92.4 per cent reduction in embodied carbon compared to a reference concrete building, and with sustainability measures implemented will be carbon positive through its operation. Green Star modelling shows the HVAC systems will use 63 per cent less energy for heating, 70 per cent less energy for cooling (compared to a Green Star reference building), and contribute to a 30 per cent building water reduction.

Other finalists in the Excellence in Sustainability category included:

  • Conserve It – Optimal scheduling of air conditioning systems with renewable energy resource and thermal storage 
  • Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH – Building code airtightness and moisture management 

More information on the AIRAH Awards is available here.

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