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ARBS 2018 bigger and better than ever – with a huge focus on innovation and learning

Ian Hopkins
Ian Hopkins

If you want to shift to a zero-carbon built environment and make it as efficient and effective as possible, the first thing you need is a highly engaged collaborative industry, from the start to the end of the building life cycle. That’s exactly what underlies both the speaker series and the exhibition of ARBS 2018 (the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services Exhibition), starting on 8 May.

Topics on the agenda are designed to tackle the multiplicity of angles, from the macro-scale shifts that will come from the proposed changes to the National Construction Code for 2019, to the phase-down of refrigerants with global warming potential. Then there is big data and how this fast emerging and developing field can vastly improve the way assets are managed.

For ARBS chair and industry advocate Ian Hopkins, this is a priority.

Hopkins will use his influence to urge the industry to be more proactive than ever and to engage in active debate that can drive the change needed for wide-scale improvement.

Collaboration, he says, is the key to better results. And so is the ability to leverage all the assets and skills on hand.

Part of the gains will come from continual learning and networking.

“It’s essential to maximise core capabilities to enhance outcomes and extend service offerings through collaboration that results in more effective service outputs and continue to increase technical expertise,” he says.

ARBS’ long-term exhibition manager Sue Falcke – who has curated the evolution of this mammoth bi-annual exhibition and content series so that it now sits at the pinnacle of the industry calendar – is convinced this year’s ARBS will exceed all others in size of audience and the value of learning and engagement it will provide.

There will be more than 300 exhibitors, and more than 9000 visitors are expected, she says. “It will offer the industry access to the latest in HVAC&R that’s unrivalled in the southern hemisphere.”

The asset scale

At the asset scale, audiences will be able to learn from the experts in Australia who are leading the charge in building operations, in areas such as fault detection, predictive maintenance, performance analytics, district cooling and solar PV for domestic air conditioning. These are the people rewriting the rules of the game.

Breakthrough innovations

The new show floor precinct, IBTech@ARBS, will throw open the metaphorical doors of greater insights for attendees with breakthrough innovations designed to improve outcomes across the asset lifecycle, such as the latest in intelligent building technology and solutions.

Falcke says this is clearly a key outcome of the event.

“Data and technology is transforming our built environment. As smart buildings continue to evolve, they allow property developers and owners to reduce costs, improve energy efficiency and enhance occupant comfort,” she says.

“Recent advancements have meant greater integration and interoperability between key systems, resulting in highly sophisticated building control strategies.

“IBTech@ARBS examines this and more through a series of displays, presentations and hands-on sessions.”

The ICC venue and site tour

The venue for ARBS is the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, and audience members will be able to see what a state of the art building looks like, and how it functions in real time. A site tour will provide behind the scenes insights into the central energy plant and hear from the teams from AECOM, Johnson Controls and A. G. Coombs who made it happen.

The Speaker Series

A full seminar program running alongside the exhibition will stimulate an exchange of thinking and learning between peers. The focus will be on how we better design, control and innovate to sustainably and efficiently transform our built environment.

The latest research will be shared, such as findings from CSIRO on real-world fault detection and diagnosis (FDD), with case studies across a range of commercial buildings such as offices, airports, museums and retail.

This work involved six different FDD solutions from Australian service providers, with the results flagging how the next-generation of FDD tools and innovation in HVAC will function when put to the test.

Another session, Barangaroo South District Cooling from concept to operation, will step attendees through the process of designing, delivering and operating the system.

The district cooling system is one of the major contributors to the precinct’s overall carbon positive goal, providing chilled water to all buildings in the precinct.

The presentation will cover each stage, from laying the foundation of a workable sustainability strategy, design concepts and strategies for the system, integrating the detailed design of the individual commercial building cooling systems and the final step of transitioning from construction to achieving the specified operational performance.

Join the group tour of Barangaroo South

There is also an opportunity to join a group tour of the Barangaroo South precinct to see how the system and the precinct’s other sustainability initiatives function within the whole of this Green Star rated precinct.

Net zero buildings and how to get them

A hugely important and increasingly top of mind topic for many in the industry is net-zero buildings, and how to achieve them. Experts from the GreenBuilding Council of Australia, NABERS, the Department of Environment and Energy, and AMP Capitalwill lead a discussion on what the big trends are in net-zero buildings and what the implications are for the HVAC&R industry.

Presenters will outline a vision for a carbon positive future, including the outcomes required to achieve a permanent transition for the building sector and explore opportunities to future proof business success in a low-carbon economy.

And then there will be the gala awards

Part of every great endeavour is its rewards and at ARBS this will take the form of the Gala Awards night, on Wednesday 9 May.

The excitement has been building for months, according to Sue Falcke, with HVAC&R and building services nominees attracted from across all sectors.

Nominations have been assessed by a panel of industry experts against criteria including leadership, sustainability, performance and innovation.

However, there will be no leaks of winners. You need to be there to experience first-hand the glow of recognition for those high achievers who will be recognised for their transformational efforts to help the evolution of their part of the industry.

According to Falcke, ARBS is a unique forum for the entire industry to connect and develop mutually beneficial business relationships, to source and discover the latest products, systems and service evolutions, and to share knowledge of emerging technologies, methodologies and best practice.

But then, to fully appreciate how good ARBS 2018 will be, you really have to be there to see for yourself.

The ARBS 2018 exhibition and concurrent Speaker Series is on at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, from May 8-10. See all of the program details and how to register here.

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