Representatives of Australian heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and building services industries have recently celebrated the achievements of the industry with the announcement of the ARBS 2014 Industry Awards winners.

At a gala dinner at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, more than 450 people were present to congratulate the winners and to induct five nominees into the ARBS Hall of Fame.

MC Shane Bourne (Tricky Business, Thank God You’re Here) hosted proceedings as award winners were announced by industry luminaries and presented by Ian Hopkins, Chairman of the ARBS Board.

Young Achiever – Brett Saunders

Brett Saunders, the 32 year old founder and Managing Director of Hiflow Industries Pty Ltd, is passionate about business and the HVAC&R industry, aspiring to be the industry’s leader in providing exceptional service delivery to clients.

Outstanding Service and Maintenance Provider – Precise Air – Homebush NSW

Precise Air’s “Fresh Thinking” customer service strategy is driven by its flexibility. It centres on partnering with customers to develop efficient, sustainable and cost effective solutions specific to each customer’s needs. Precise Air pride themselves on establishing collaborative relationships with their customers, implementing programmes to reduce ad hoc calls, increasing and/or maintaining NABERS ratings and improving the safety of their customers, employees and the general public.

Arbs Product Excellence Award – Hercules Packaged Air Conditioning Unit – Actronair

ActronAir’s commitment to product excellence has been evident since the company was first established by Garry Mundy and his two sons, Kevin and Robert, in 1984.

Rising energy costs associated with HVAC equipment was highlighted as a major concern in 2012 industry research undertaken by ActronAir. The research also revealed that commercial buildings operate at part load 98% of the time.

ActronAir revolutionised the >100 kW rooftop packaged unit category with the Hercules™ product. The Hercules range has been optimised for seasonal energy efficient performance. A recent trial in a shopping centre in Sydney showed energy consumption savings of up to 69% over a comparable unit at part-load, with overall savings of 40% during the period.

Arbs Project Excellence Award – Queen Elizabeth II Courts Of Law, Brisbane – Aurecon Australia

Located in Brisbane’s CBD, the QE II Courts of Law project will see the transformation of an entire block between George, Roma and Turbot Streets, with the new building linking with a major public square and the existing Brisbane Magistrate’s Court.

Aurecon provided multi-disciplinary engineering design services for the $570 million project to delivering well concealed services that are sympathetic to the extraordinary degree of transparency and simplicity that the architectural vision demands.

One of the key features of the building is the unique, dynamically adaptable, double-skin façade which provides the building with a practical solution to privacy, sunlight penetration control and enhanced energy efficiency.

Refrigeration Project Excellence – Coles Supermarket, Hallam

Coles is actively committed to ensuring a sustainable footprint for future stores. Through the Hallam (VIC) project, a 20% reduction in energy consumption was realised through better Engineering design of Refrigeration and air conditioning plants along with initiatives in lighting, mechanical services and water and waste management.

Hallam has now become Coles’ base model with a focus on obtaining 4 star Green Star rating for new Coles stores.

Outstanding Education/Training – Web-Based Training (Technicians) – Daikin Australia

Daikin Australia’s web-based training course offers technicians access to online training anytime and anywhere as they have Internet access. With courses including Basic Air Conditioning, New Refrigerants and Troubleshooting, Daikin is contributing to the ongoing professional development of our industry.

Hall Of Fame Inductees

Recognised for their significant contributions to the industry were five inductees to the ARBS Hall of Fame.

Alan Woodhouse

Affectionately known as the ‘Chairman of Everything’, Alan was Chairman of the Association of Fluorocarbon Consumers and Manufacturers and instrumental in designing the HCFC phase-out in the mid-1990s. He was also involved in the formation of Refrigeration Reclaim Australia, the National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Council (now the Australian Refrigeration Council), and was awarded the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award in 2004 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for leadership in Australia’s responsible use of fluorocarbon refrigerants.

Alan Obrart

Alan Obrart has been heavily involved with various professional associations, institutes and industry bodies, having been an office bearer for Engineers Australia, President of AIRAH and fulfilling various councillor positions with RACCA and AMCA. He remains active in the industry in the Society of Building Services Engineers, the Australian Building Codes Board ‘Energy Efficiency Working Group’, the Green Building Council of Australia’s Education Committee and is the NSW joint CIBSE/SBSE committee.

Albert Watson

Albert Watson’s peers have described him as a modest, unassuming man whose contributions to the industry are a testament to his knowledge, commitment and leadership over a career that has spanned decades, including more than 25 years of service to AMCA SA where he served as President on two occasions. Albert has been influential in the development and uptake of BIM, and the driving force behind the South Australian – BIM User Group.

Bill Siganto

Bill Siganto is considered one of the most influential Australian HVAC&R engineers of recent times. He helped pioneer the use of innovative engineering solutions during design and construction, to help further traditional air conditioning practices. After joining AIRAH in 1964, Bill served as President from 1975–1975. This was a time of substantial change in the construction industry as commercial high-rise buildings came to prominence.

Kevin Lee

With a career spanning almost four decades and manufacturing, Kevin has played key roles in the development of HVAC&R standards and regulations in Australia. Kevin has acted as Chairman for a variety of committees responsible for the development of the CO2, Hydrocarbons and Ammonia training courses for TAFE, the AIRAH Flammable Refrigerants Safety Guide and connecting AREMA with international industry colleagues through membership of ICARHMA.

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