AIRAH has named Paul Bannister, F.AIRAH, as the 2021 winner of the James Harrison Medal for notable achievements in the Australian HVAC&R industry.
Over his career, Bannister has focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings, especially energy related to HVAC.
Bannister was heavily involved in the development of the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating System, which grew to become NABERS. This went on to become a success story of the built environment – over the past two decades it has saved $1 billion in energy bills for users, and avoided 7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Now, 78 per cent of all Australia’s office space is rated with NABERS.
For the 2019 update of Section J (Energy Efficiency) of the National Construction Code, Bannister led a team of 20 staff to undertake the huge project. It resulted in significant improvements in the energy-efficiency requirements for new commercial buildings.
In 1999, Bannister established Exergy, an energy management consultancy that grew to more than 30 staff over the next 15 years. He currently serves as director of innovation at DeltaQ.
“It’s a great honour and genuinely quite out of the blue!” says Bannister. “It is really nice to get recognition for what I hope has been a significant and positive input to the industry.
“I am incredibly lucky that I have been able to make a career out of something I feel passionate about: making the world a better place. This passion has kept me going through thick and thin and continues to be the thing that keeps me coming back for more.”
The James Harrison Medal is the highest honour AIRAH can bestow upon an individual. Bannister will accept the medal at the AIRAH Awards 2021 ceremony, scheduled for February 17, 2022, in Sydney.