Lab upgrade wins retrofit accolade

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

The AIRAH Awards category for Best Retrofit or Upgrade is open to all individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, recognising work carried out during 2020/2021.

This award recognises excellence in the retrofit or upgrade of a HVAC system, and can address the complete delivery of a project. This can include planning through to engineering, documentation, procurement, teamwork, installation quality and workmanship, working in operational facilities, commissioning, fit-for-purpose outcomes and handover, including training and documentation. Products are not eligible in this category.

The project must have been commissioned in the past two years.

This year’s winner was McClintock Engineering Group, for its Otto Hirschfeld Dissection Laboratory AHU upgrade project.

University of Queensland embarked on an innovative approach to replacing the Medical School Dissection Laboratory HVAC system at its St Lucia campus. The laboratory function is a dissection teaching environment, requiring the HVAC to dilute embalming fluid vapours.

Challenges included fresh air (over 6,100L/s), low room temperature (19°C), and low room moisture content (7g/kg) with relative humidity controlled at 50 per cent RH. The original plant relied on overcooling and 90kW of electrical reheat. The system operates 24/7.

An innovative approach created by McClintock Engineering Group used a multi-coil processing AHU with free energy recovery, energy transfer and reuse and overall system efficiency (COP) improvement.

The solution has reduced plant energy consumption by more than 60 per cent.

Other finalists in the Best Retrofit or Upgrade category included:

  • NDY – Griffith University’s N79 Super Lab 
  • ESBS – Australian Institute of Sport’s testing and training pool and recovery centre
  • Air Engineers – Woolworths Shoreline Tasmania

More information on the AIRAH Awards is available here.

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