HVAC upgrade provides emissions savings

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A major upgrade to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Canberra Museum and Gallery located at the North Building in Civic will reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by 263 tonnes.

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, said the upgrade replaces a gas-fired system with a new electric system, and will also reduce costs by more than $120,000 per year.

“The upgrade to the North Building, which faces the ACT Legislative Assembly, is part of the ACT Government’s efforts to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of its buildings,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The large, multi-purpose facility houses offices, arts facilities including a museum, art gallery, cafe and multicultural centre, and operates 24/7 to maintain archival quality air for the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

“The move to air rather than water cooled chillers provides additional maintenance savings and negates the need for cooling tower maintenance and water treatment, registration and ongoing risk assessment costs.

“This is fairly new technology and the ACT Government will be actively monitoring this low-carbon innovative project, with the view to demonstrate that the technology is viable in the ACT climate,” Mr Rattenbury said.

In 2016 the project received a $650,000 loan under the ACT Government’s Carbon Neutral Government Fund to enable it to transition away from gas-fired power.

The Carbon Neutral Government Fund provides loans for agencies to implement energy and fuel saving projects.

“The fund has now supported 25 projects with a total of $13.6 million in loans provided across ACT Government which will provide around $2 million in annual cost savings,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Many of these projects are implemented in public buildings, such as libraries and schools, providing a direct community benefit from the government’s investment.” 

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