The 2014 Air conditioning Refrigeration and Building Services (ARBS) industry award winners have been announced with six category winners narrowed from 17 finalists.

Running adjacent to the 2014 ARBS seminar series, the categories were designed to encompass all of the ABRS industries and included the Young Achiever, Outstanding Service and Maintenance Provider, Product Excellence, Refrigeration Project Excellence, HVAC Project Excellence and Outstanding Industry Education/Training awards.

Hosted by Australian stand-up comedian and award winning actor and television host, Shane Bourne, the winners were announced in front of 450 people at a gala dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 21 May.

Five industry professionals were also inducted to the ARBS Hall of Fame and recognised for their significant contributions to the industry. See inductees below.

The award winners:

Young Achiever – Brett Saunders

Passionate about business and the HVAC&R industry, Saunders is the 32 years old founder and managing director of Hiflow Industries Pty Ltd. ARBS says he is aspiring to be the industry’s leader in providing exceptional service delivery to clients.

Outstanding Service and Maintenance Provider – Precise Air – Homebush NSW

Focusing on partnering with customers to develop efficient, sustainable and cost effective solutions specific to each customer’s needs, Precise Air’s “Fresh Thinking” customer service strategy is driven by its flexibility.

“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,” said ARBS.

ARBS Product Excellence Award – Hercules Pakcaged 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,” said ARBS.

ActronAir research revealed the rising energy costs associated with HVAC equipment in 2012 and also revealed that commercial buildings operate at part load 98 per cent of the time.

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

Multi-disciplinary engineering design services were provided by Aurecon for the $570 million project. Aurecon delivered well concealed services that are sympathetic to the extraordinary degree of transparency and simplicity that the architectural vision demanded.

“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,” said ARBS.

Refrigeration Project Excellence – Coles Supermarket, Hallam

The Hallam (VIC) project, which saw a 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption, shows Coles is actively committed to ensuring a sustainable footprint for future stores, says ARBS.

“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,” said ARBS.

“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’s web-based training course offers access to online training for technicians anytime and anywhere as long 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,” said ARBS.


The Hall of Fame Inductees:

Alan Woodhouse

Chairman of the Association of Fluorocarbon Consumers and Manufacturers and instrumental in designing the HCFC phase-out in the mid-1990s, Woodhouse is affectionately known as the ‘Chairman of Everything’. He was 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

Having been an office bearer for Engineers Australia, President of AIRAH and fulfilling various councillor positions with RACCA and AMCA, Obrart has been heavily involved with various associations, institutes and industry bodies. 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 in the NSW joint CIBSE/SBSE committee.

Albert Watson

With more than 25 years of service to AMCA SA where he served as President on two occasions, ARBS says Watson’s contributions to the industry are a testament to his knowledge, commitment and leadership over a career that has spanned decades:

“Albert has been influential in the development and uptake of BIM, and the driving force behind the South Australian - BIM User Group.”

Bill Siganto

ARBS says Siganto is considered one of the most influential Australian HVAC&R engineers of recent times. He was involved in the conception of innovative engineering solutions during design and construction, to help further traditional air conditioning practices. After joining AIRAH in 1964, Signato 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

Lee has played key roles in the development of HVAC&R standards and regulations in Australia thanks to a career that has spanned almost four decades.

Lee 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.