News
Feb 2018
The Australian Building Codes Board has released for public comment a proposed updates to NCC documents.
The ammendments includes options in the for Airtightness Testing of buildings to gain compliance. 

This is a landmark moment for Construction in Australia
  • a chance to significantly lift the; standard, quality, efficiency and comfort of homes, workplaces, institutions, public buildings and facilities.
  • a chance to significantly improve our carbon footprint.
  • a chance for a healthier Built Environment.
  • a chance to "Lift our game" and get on board to building a better and environmentally sustainable future.
The sooner we start, the better.

One way to locate some of the ammendments is to do a "Find" (ie. control F) on "9972" (the ISO standard on testing)

Draft NCC's
June 2017
Wanting to improve your building's performance in terms of energy, water or waste, but concerned about the financing of such works?

An initiative from the:
to help building owners in improving the efficiency of their buildings.

"Environmental Upgrade Finance

smart finance for better buildings"

"A new and growing form of finance provided by major financiers in Australia for upgrading commercial and other buildings, reducing operating costs and improving energy, waste, water or energy efficiency or increasing renewable energy."



March 2017
Passive House (Passivhaus or PH) is not limited to 'houses,' it is applicable to almost any building.
Commercial buildings designed and built according to passive house principles can achieve extrordinary gains in energy efficiency.

A new study funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for high rise buildings has been released. Titled, "Feasibility of Implementing the PASSIVHAUS STANDARD for Tall Residential Buildings" the aim of this study was to quantify the benefits of applying PH principles to commercial multi level buildings.


"... Passivhaus is a standard for energy efficient buildings that results in energy reductions for heating and cooling of approximately 70%-90% compared to typical buildings   ........"

"....Additional construction costs are estimated to be less than 2.5%............."
".........these results also suggest that Passivhaus is broadly applicable to cities in many climates.........."


In years to come, it is likely that the efforts of today's "standard" builds will be heavily criticised and their economic viablility come into question.


March 2017
GBCA is seeking input on achieving “carbon neutral” built environment via a 26 page discussionpaper entitled, "A Carbon Positive Roadmap for the Built Environment."
You can view their webinar here: GBCA Carbon Positive
You can read more on it and access the discussion paper to provide your input here: Roadmap
Input due by 22 May 2017

March 2017
AIRAH has called for "Abstracts" for its upcoming  2 day conference "The Future of HVAC 2017" in Sydney during the comining September.
Have you got ideas or topics for a presentation to improving HVAC and buildings in general?
Don't be shy now!


December 2016
The Green Building Council of Australia is calling for input into a "minor update" for Design and As-Built Interiors, and is looking to include Airtightness Testing as a requirement in "Commisssioning & Tuning."
This in-between update may be the last before a bigger revamp.

March 2016

3ARK in action over three days at ARBS 2016 in Melbourne - a premier industry event for Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Buiding Services.

We had the privilege of talking to many interesting people about the impacts of  Airtightness on improving the energy performance and liveability of buildings and Thermography applications.


September 2015
Australia and New Zealand took a significant step and joined the ranks of countries that are striving to improve the energy efficiency of buildings with the adoption of a new standard.  Released on 1st Sept. 2015, the new ISO standard covers how the testing of buildings (including domestic dwellings) should be performed.

AS/NZS ISO 9972:2015    Thermal performance of buildings - Determination of air permeability of buildings - Fan pressurization method.

This new Standard will help make the benefits and practice of testing the airtightness of buildings to become more uniform and more appreciated.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage says:
"The structure of buildings influence energy consumption of HVAC equipment and components. The thermal performance of a building facade, air leakage and internal electrical loads within a building will affect the operation and performance of HVAC systems. Energy wastage can be built into the design and construction phase of buildings......       
This wastage is often masked by the HVAC system itself,........but at a higher energy cost."

The Australia Building Codes Board says:
"Energy used in buildings accounts for almost 27% of all energy related Green House Gas emissions."

The Department of Commerce of the Government of Western Australia documents some terms applied to unexplained illness or symptoms exhibited by workers in Australian workplaces - typically offices:
           SBS - Sick Building Syndrome
           BRI  - Building Related Illness
The corrective actions for such buildings typically focus on ventilation issues.
The Green Building Council of Australia   has an "Innovation Challenge" initiative which provides for awarding of Green Star points for conducting airtightness testing on buildings:
  • 1 point is awarded where whole building airtightness testing is carried out in accordance with a recognised industry standard.
  • 2 points are awarded where whole building airtightness testing is carried out in accordance with a recognised industry standard and the results demonstrate the achievement of a ‘best practice’ outcome.
At the following GBCA link, scroll down to the table titled "Current Innovation Challenges" and then select "Building Air Tightness" to find out more...

From the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage - HVAC Optimisation guide July 2015:   
"Where is energy wasted?
The structure of buildings influence energy consumption of HVAC equipment and components. The thermal performance of a building’s facade, air leakage and internal electrical loads within a building will affect the operation and performance of HVAC systems.
Energy wastage can be built into the design and construction phase of buildings. Minor alterations during operation, made to provide a quick fix for compliance or equipment problems, can accumulate to contribute to energy waste.
This wastage is often masked by the HVAC system itself, which continues to provide adequate comfort to occupants, but at a higher energy cost."

Australian House Survey - Star Ratings for dwellings.
“Pressure testing was also conducted in 20 houses in Melbourne . . . . Only one house achieved a result below 10 m3/hr at 50 Pa which is considered to be good sealing. Around half the houses achieved close to 15 m3/hr at 50 Pa, or average sealing. Of concern are the 20 per cent of houses that exceeded 30 m3/hr at 50 Pa . . .”

* Source: CSIRO study in 2012 of 400 detached houses in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne - as reported in HVAC&R Nation magazine Feb 2015 article “Open House.”


Examples of Thermography


Fan Door equipment examples:
Time Lapse and IR Video examples :

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Watching machinery in action can reveal potential issues that a still picture might miss.

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Time Lapse images of PC motherboard start up

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Video of house ceiling insulation gaps.

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