The Calculating Cool Online HVAC Rating Tool currently being developed by Sustainability Victoria is set to have a profound impact on the reduction of energy use in Australian HVAC systems.
As a world-leading initiative, the project aims to provide a dynamic assessment tool to rate, reward and encourage best-practice HVAC systems in buildings. It will capture both quantitative and qualitative data,
“HVAC systems typically account for around 40-75 per cent of the energy use in buildings, and usually represent far more than 50 per cent of the potential energy-efficiency improvements that could be made,” says Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) CEO Phil Wilkinson.
“Calculating Cool will bring particular focus and importance to the performance of a building’s HVAC system.”
The online calculator, which is part of AIRAH’s work to progress the federal government’s HVAC High Efficiency System Strategy (HVAC HESS), will coordinate operation and maintenance practices, including data collection, long-term monitoring and comparative analysis.
Calculating Cool will also be utilised to rank different HVAC systems and drive improvements.
“Because it’s designed to be incorporated into NABERS and the Green Star Design – As Built Performance – suite of rating tools, Calculating Cool will have a substantial effect on the design, installation commissioning, operation and maintenance of HVAC systems,” Wilkinson says.
A range of industry bodies, including the AIRAH, Property Council of Australia, Facilities Management Association of Australia, and Air conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association, have been working with the government to progress the Calculating Cool project.
Currently in the development stage, trials and a public review for the tool are set for later this year.