Bill Gates backs green air conditioning startup

Software billionaire Bill Gates is investing in air conditioning startup Blue Frontier, a company that aims to develop technology that will improve air conditioning efficiency and reduce harmful environmental impacts. Blue Frontier has received a $20 million round of funding, with backers including Bill Gates’ investment fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures, among others. According to its […]


Quick wins for energy-efficiency upgrades

A team from UNSW Sydney supported by the federal government has released a series of case studies that highlight the biggest opportunities for energy efficiency savings in existing commercial buildings. The project originated with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (now DCCEEW), which sought to develop case studies showcasing the top low-cost options […]


Marine life inspires dynamic buildings

Researchers from the University of Toronto have created a new, low-cost “optofluidic” system that could help buildings save energy by dynamically changing the appearance of their exteriors. The research is inspired by marine life such as krill, shrimp and crabs. Master’s student in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Raphael Kay, compares the new technology […]


Australian research project to focus on IAQ

The Australian Research Council has confirmed $5 million in funding for a new training centre to reduce airborne infections through improved indoor air quality for better public health in new building systems. The project, backed by various universities and industry partners – including many from the HVAC&R sector – will be led by QUT Distinguished […]

Cooling paper

Cooler buildings with rooftop wrapping

Researchers at Northeastern University have developed a new method of cooling buildings by wrapping rooftops in “cooling paper”. They believe the material could lower carbon emissions, electricity bills and reduce the need for air conditioning. College of Engineering professor Yi Zheng and PhD researcher Andrew Caratenuto started a company called Planck Energies to test the cooling paper in […]

Legislation Updates News

New mech services licensing coming to NSW

The NSW government is preparing to implement a new licensing system for mechanical services in October 2022. The changes were prompted by the need for medical gases licensing, but also include provisions that impact mechanical services workers across refrigeration, air conditioning and plumbing. The Building Amendment (Mechanical Services and Medical Gas Work) Bill 2020 amends […]


Thermal storage system based on sand

The world’s first commercial sand-based thermal energy storage system has been developed to back up a heating network in Finland. Technology company Polar Night Energy and utility organisation Vatajankoski joined forces to create the system, which is adjacent to a power plant. It has 100kW heating power and 8MWh capacity, and can heat the sand […]