19 December 2011 – Umow Lai has won the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating excellence in sustainability award for its work on Melbourne’s Pixel building. The judges also granted a new award for excellence in economic sustainability to engineers WSP for One Shelley Street, Sydney.
Built on the site of the former Carlton United brewery on the northern fringe of the Melbourne CBD, the Pixel Building’s standout sustainable feature is an anaerobic digestion system for heating and cooling that is powered by captured sewerage gases.
The building also features a vacuum toilet system that reduces water consumption to an “absolute minimum”, photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, a sophisticated energy capture system that only distributes and uses fresh air, reed beds to cool the air on its northern and western facade as well as reduced car parking.
AIRAH chief operating officer Neil Cox said: “Pixel impressed the judges as a demonstration project – an advanced prototype from which the industry can learn how to integrate new technologies into high-performance buildings. Not only has Pixel achieved a six star Green Star rating, it is the first building to achieve a 100 per cent Green Star score.”
The excellence in innovation honour went to Seeley International which uses the cooling power of evaporation to reduce air temperature.
The WR Ahern Award for the best technical paper published in Ecolibrium, AIRAH’s official journal by an AIRAH member was won by Dr Mike Dennis and Dr Paul Kohlenbach.
System Solutions Engineering earned the best sustainable retrofit award for its work on 19 Grenfell St, Adelaide while UGL Services’ Nathaniel Galindo was judged the future leader of the year. The student of the year was Qbuild’s Liam Janetzki.
Simon Hill, principal of Sydney-based Professional Engineering Solutions won the James Harrison medal which is awarded to an individual who has made a notable contribution within the sphere of AIRAH’s interest, and who has shown commitment to achievement, excellence and performance.
He conducts design reviews, advises on regulatory compliance, concept design, and air conditioning design, troubleshoots, and performs tender evaluation and value engineering for building owners, consultants, developers, major contractors and builders. He also conducts training.