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ARBS 2014 Industry Awards: Meet the winners


The 2014 ARBS Industry Awards were recently presented at a special event at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Melbourne. The awards celebrate the Australian heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and building services industries.

Over 450 guests attended the event, which also included the induction of five nominees into the ARBS Hall of Fame. MC Shane Bourne (Tricky Business, Thank God You’re Here) hosted the ceremony. Various industry experts announced the winners and the awards were handed out Ian Hopkins, Chairman of the ARBS Board. Here’s the list of winners:

Young Achiever – Brett Saunders
Brett Saunders, 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 revolutionised the >100 kW rooftop packaged unit category with the trademark 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 percent over a comparable unit at part-load, with overall savings of 40 percent 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 facade, which provides the building with a practical solution to privacy, sunlight penetration control and enhanced energy efficiency.

Refrigeration Project Excellence – Coles Supermarket, Hallam
Through the Coles Hallam (VIC) project, a 20 percent 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.

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 the industry.

Recognised for their significant contributions to the industry were five inductees to the ARBS Hall of Fame. Here’s the list:

Alan Woodhouse
Affectionately known as the ‘Chairman of Everything’, Woodhouse 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
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
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
He is considered one of the most influential Australian HVAC&R engineers of recent times. Siganto 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, Lee 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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