Air time

Air time

During my time in the employ of this venerable Institute, it’s regularly astounded me how frequently our name is mispronounced. 

I mean, it’s such a simple, elegant acronym. Five letters. Two syllables. Pretty had to stuff up, you’d think. 

And still some manage to mangle it. ARR-I-AH, like the music awards, is a common one. AIR-HA is one that receives an, er, airing, as if our moniker concludes with a chuckle. I-RAH is a not-infrequent utterance. 

“It rhymes with fairer,” is the helpful instruction to which I usually resort, and which is met with  a nod and a “ahhh” as the penny drops. 

What makes mispronunciation of our sobriquet even harder to swallow is that there is a useful tip in the name itself if one is vaguely familiar with the industry in which we operate. 

Air. The stuff that surrounds us and on which all life depends. It’s right there at the start in an almost onomatopoeic way. 

Air is our provenance, our realm and our area of interest. It’s who we are and what we do. 

In this issue of Ecolibrium, you’ll see there’s a focus on indoor environment quality, or if you will, air. 

In “Deep breath” on p.22, you can read about the BREATH initiative led by the City of Melbourne. The program set out to test different air conditioning and ventilation rapid retrofit options that could be used to reduce the risk of aerosolised viral spread, particularly within a postCOVID return-to-offices context. At the same time the program considered the energy, cost and thermal comfort impacts of the proposed solutions.  

Three scenarios were tested, with the results perhaps not exactly what might have been anticipated. 

In “Airing the issues” (p.43) deputy editor Mark Vender discusses all things IAQ with world-renowned expert Professor Lidia Morawska, whose name recognition has risen considerably over the past three years as airborne viruses have come to the fore. 

Mark asked Professor Morawska about our delicate moment in time, where we seem poised – possibly stalled – between what we know and what we know must be done. 

“There’s a lot of interest, a lot of talk,” Morawska says. “But this hasn’t yet translated into action, because the action is quite complex. This is the next step: how it will translate into action, and what is our role as scientists, engineers or experts in this field to make that happen.” 

Making things happen and getting things done happens to be a forte of AIRAH. Remember, it rhymes with fairer. 

Matt Dillon, Editor

This article appears in ecolibrium’s April 2023 issue

Want to read more?


Click here to view our archive of issues and features.


Become an AIRAH member or subscribe to Ecolibrium.

Simon says

Simon says

For Simon Witts, M.AIRAH, it’s the complex projects and designs that keep him going. We chat with the national division director, engineering for VA Sciences, based in Melbourne. When did you first decide you wanted to be an engineer, and how did you get to where you...

The life aquatic

The life aquatic

Students and academics from the University of Melbourne joined forces with industry consultants and local government representatives to explore achieving net zero carbon design for those most energy-intensive buildings: aquatic centres. The university’s Brendon...

Condair appoints new MD

Condair appoints new MD

Condair has appointed Virender Rana as its new managing director. Rana will succeed Ian Eitzen, Affil.AIRAH, who is taking on a new position in the company as senior technical adviser.  Rana brings more than 20 years’ experience in the HVAC industry to the role....

Monitoring key to better IAQ

Monitoring key to better IAQ

Reliable Controls has added its considerable support to the push for better indoor air quality (IAQ), in particular through monitoring. “Integrating IAQ sensing technology into your building allows you to collect building data that helps you optimise building...

Rewards program

Rewards program

Recognising performance that goes above and beyond doesn’t always have to be expensive, writes Dr Gayle Avery. But it does have to be executed properly and appropriately.You’d think that using rewards would be a cinch – just give someone some money or something else...

Reliable Controls advertisement