What is HVAC&R?

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) is primarily used to provide and control thermal comfort, as well as regulate a fitting indoor air quality. The HVAC industry manages indoor environments, and CCS provide installation and maintenance for all components, including chillers and boilers.
Heating refers to the convection-, radiation-, or conduction-based transfer of heat, through an air or water distribution system, generating warmth.
Ventilation is the deliberate movement and replacement (processing) of air in any space to improve its qualities (e.g. temperature, oxygen/CO2 levels, moisture/damp, odour, airborne particles and bacteria, pressure, stagnation). The many variables which CCS can control via ventilation mean each system is unique to the internal and surrounding ecology of a structure.
Air Conditioning (Aircon, AC, A/C, Cooling) is sometimes generalised to refer to the entire HVAC system, or the process of treating air so as to maintain and control its temperature, humidity and purity simultaneously. Air Conditioning may be required for either the comfort of the building occupants, or for some functional purpose.
The Building Code of Australia refers to Air-Conditioning, for the purposes of Section J, as a service that actively cools or heats the air within a space, but does not include a service that directly cools hot rooms, heats cold rooms, or maintains specialised conditions for equipment or processes (where this is the main purpose of the service).
Refrigeration systems function to remove heat from a place where it is not wanted and reject it into another place where the heat is unobjectionable. Refrigeration systems are closed systems; that is, they are sealed from the atmosphere.

HVAC&R is a sector that plays an intrinsic role in everything from keeping our food fresh, to making our interior spaces comfortable. You can always visit CCS Group’s many successful projects to see more of what HVAC&R really entails.

What should I look for when hiring a HVAC company? What makes your service the best in the industry?

CCS Group takes a whole-of-life perspective in targeting HVAC&R efficiency improvement, encompassing the design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance stages of the HVAC&R life-cycle. We uphold a commitment to excellent communication between all stakeholders, and we believe in working in partnership with our clients and other service providers. We aim to provide a quality service at a fair price, and make every aspect in dealing with CCS easy. We understand that in order to achieve optimal performance of systems, it requires quality control from design to commissioning, intelligent operation, and complete, well-documented maintenance.

CCS works with leading commercial enterprises, established and trusted builders, consultants, and architects, as well as employs in-house engineers, designers, drafters, project managers, commissioning and maintenance technicians, licensed refrigeration technicians, licensed electricians, technical sales people, and a highly astute financial team.

We have an ethos for constant improvements in the sustainability of systems and industry: New installations, items of plant, development of new systems, and in the industry’s delivery of services, which sets us on a course of readiness at the forefront of the building sector.

Apart from increasing a building’s sustainability, additional benefits CCS Group bring include; cost savings in utility bills, savings in operational costs, improved reliability of systems, and better thermal comfort. We promise achievements in innovation, energy efficiency, sustainability, originality, scholarship, and industry need, with clarity and reliability of method.

Do you do domestic air-conditioning? What is commercial HVAC?

Although commercial and residential air conditioners apply the same basic principles of air conditioning, there are a number of differences that make it imperative that only competent technicians with commercial experience work on commercial HVAC&R systems. The scale and complexity of checks, configurations and maintenance require specific training, qualification, experience, and registrations, for the knowledge and skill to properly perform. Supervision and coordination of all HVAC tasks on a larger site requires professional teams like those at CCS.

How long do HVACR systems last for? Is my HVAC system up-to-date?

Generally, package and split units have a lifespan of 12-15 years; Larger Central Plant, 15-20 years. Buildings of different vintage tend to have different types of HVAC Systems. In newer buildings, the priority would be to maintain peak performance of the equipment. In older buildings, consideration will need to be given for the replacement and/or upgrade of plant as part of the maintenance contract. The general industry rule stands that ‘continuing to operate obsolete, unreliable and inefficient equipment is likely to be more expensive than to replace’. In the past 25 years, components have increases in efficiency by as much as 40%.

If heating and cooling or hot water equipment (e.g. furnace, chiller, boiler) is more than 20 years old, considerations should be made for upgrades to the system.

Additionally, a noticeable spike in utility costs can be an immediate warning sign, as with noticeably unwarmed, uncooled, or humid or polluted spaces. With the phase-out of R22 in 2016, to replace rather than repair this refrigerant will be more economical. In any case, capitalising on today’s technologies, energy-efficient components, and observing regular facilities maintenance is key to reducing any wastefulness and securing property values.

If there’s a problem, will someone come after hours to fix it? How long will it take to respond in case of a problem? To who do I report problems?

Our technicians are punctual year-round, 24 hours a day, responding in less than 2 hours, covering an area which spans Canberra and the local region. Service speed priorities are in place for contract customers. Particularly in cases of breakdown and emergency, our clients have attested to the keen, considerate approaches CCS technicians take to maintenance and repair; treating assets with respect as though one’s own. CCS can provide complete facilities maintenance. CCS Group have over 65 technicians and tradesmen, engineer and managers and this number is growing as we remain the preferred choice of call. Service Emergencies 24×7, call 02 6203 2424

What is BEAM?

CCS Group has developed the Building Evaluation Asset Management (BEAM) system to provide a full evaluation of your building’s mechanical plant condition and performance, providing a rating the building as a whole.

BEAM highlights items (e.g. fan belts, compressors, chillers, etc) that require replacement due to their condition and or high energy use in the short and long term and provides future annual capital expenditure forecasting over the life of the building. Financial analysis is included to identify the cost and benefits of system upgrades so the most profitable actions can be prioritised. These recommendations are presented in a clear and measured way.

The system also provides recommendations for repairs and modifications to the control systems or design to optimise the performance of your assets. A forward looking capital expenditure plan is developed based on equipment condition, efficiency and financial return. CCS can include NABERS Energy ratings where appropriate to monitor the continual improvement of the building’s performance and ongoing tuning. BEAM minimizes unforeseen capital expenditure and equipment failure. A full BEAM report delivers the following for your asset:

  • Clearly states the condition of the plant and equipment.
  • Defines the efficiency of your mechanical plant.
  • Provides recommendations for repairs, upgrades or replacements based on achieving improvements in efficiency and reliability.

All maintenances are recorded on our maintenance sheets, developed in reference to the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating council’s maintenance manual (DA19) and specific manufactures specifications.

What is Maintenance?

Maintenance is concerned with ‘ITMS’ (AS 1851:2005); that is, Inspection, Test, (Preventative) Maintenance and Survey. For fire protection systems and equipment particularly, but also for emergency lighting and HVAC&R among other BMS/DDC connected systems, is the objective to maximise reliability, minimise risks and attend statistical probability of critical defect, make proactive decisions on scheduling, and meet the requirements of the relevant design, installation and commissioning Standards.

At CCS we pride ourselves on our thorough maintenance and inspection procedures that we implement in accordance with Autralian Standards. We have taken it upon ourselves to maintain our buildings to the current NSW regulations, which are some of the most comprehensive in the country, to give our customers peace of mind.

CCS Facilities Maintenance service and repair systems by means of an environmental, safety and quality system known as BEAM. In dealing with every aspect of HVAC&R, CCS Service Technicians are backed by the knowledge base of an engineering team who ensure that HVAC products are built to and perform to specification before, during and after they are built and installed

Why does my HVAC system need maintenance?

The essential services within your building are without doubt one of the most important parts of your HVAC system.

  • Fire and smoke in buildings are an extreme safety concern so property owners have an obligation to ensure that buildings where we work, live, shop or are entertained, are safe in the event of a fire.
  • The law requires installation and maintenance of Essential Fire Safety Measures, and (in most states) ongoing certification that these Fire Safety Measure work properly at the time of construction, and every year after.

Lack of maintenance leads to failures and breakdowns, time-consuming and costly upsets to tenants. Unkempt and ageing HVAC&R systems, especially those with harsh demanding climates and use-requirements, can find themselves clogged, contaminated, leaking and corroded, poorly lubricated and vented, and ineffectively programmed. Best practice maintenance can deliver utility cost saving of 10–40% compared with poor maintenance. Without regular checks and maintenance, even the best systems can cost you by wasting energy or using incorrect measurements and verifications. Thankfully, as well as dealing with unplanned maintenance, CCS conducts Planned Preventative Maintenance using a sophisticated computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). A well maintained and serviced system pays for itself.

From the Guide to Best Practice Maintenance & Operation of HVAC Systems for Energy Efficiency, ‘To achieve energy savings from HVAC systems, a strategy which incorporates planned preventative maintenance is essential. Scheduled maintenance, complemented with some condition monitoring using the capabilities of BMS to leverage maximum advantage, is the best option. Tracking system performance, fine tuning and ongoing commissioning are also important.’ In doing this, to ensure the lifetime of your HVAC&R system is healthy and performing at its peak, contact CCS Facilities Maintenance; communication and feedback offered by professionals like us is necessary to ensure important performance indicators are monitored and proactive identification of opportunities made to boost effectiveness.

Our HVAC System just got serviced, what actually happened/got done?

CCS supply in electronic format, detailed reports on completion of a maintenance visit, along with recommendations and any quotes for required repairs.

A maintenance audit must be carried out at regular frequencies and includes but is not limited to checking logbooks, checking service records and analysis, checking items, supervisions and staffing of the HVAC&R system.

Inspection of BMS controls will generally cover parameters like temperature, RH, and pressure; sensor calibration; plant schedule times (i.e. updating public holidays); separate metering; performance diagnostics and ratings (e.g. NABERS); software, KPI’s, BMS trends and fault histories.

Responding to call-outs, our technicians have found their experience developing on common procedures and assets, noting and attending to the likes of deformations, discoloration, oxidation, corrosion, scale, leakage of fluid or vapour, excessive noise/vibration, loose fasteners, ice, frost or condensate, worn or damaged insulating materials, design and operational criteria and controls. It is imperative that only competent technicians with commercial experience like those of CCS work on commercial HVAC&R systems.

What kind of work environment can I expect with CCS service and operations?

A happy and strong team environment, CCS workers participate in all required health and safety education and training, are provided with adequate first aid facilities and services, and personal protective equipment. Any place where work is carried out, or where a CCS worker goes, the provision and maintenance of an environment that not only protects the health and safety of all workplace participants, but also facilitates a safe, productive, clean and efficient space respectful of colleagues, customers and others can be expected.

The platform as well as resources to deliver for large-scale projects: Sustainability, collaborative procurement, new tools and technologies, improved communication, and engagement with the community have emerged as the primary drivers for change and innovation at CCS.

CCS Group has a strong belief and commitment to apprentice training, knowledge sharing, and collaborative approaches to ground-breaking technology. CCS understands the future of our industry lies in growth and development of well rounded and high quality junior tradesman. We provide specific in-house training and emphasize the need for senior tradesman to pass on their years of experience. This ensures our apprentices and junior tradesman feel confident in their abilities as well as knowing they have expertise they can draw on whenever required.

Can you supply us with HVAC&R equipment?

CCS Group utilises cutting-edge and industry acclaimed products and support for commercial air conditioning, air treatment and HVAC applications. Although not a dedicated manufacturer, CCS designs, constructs, and maintains HVAC&R systems, supplying the best fit product for commercial, institutional an industrial building needs. All parts and materials installed by CCS comply with the relevant Australian Standards and project specifications. HVAC options are assessed on cost, efficiency, performance, and the ability to integrate with existing structure and design aspirations. CCS FM supplies specialists to conduct preventative maintenance on all types of HVAC&R equipment as well as providing asset reporting and life cycle analysis.

What’s going to help me think about/fix Indoor Air Quality?

While some guidance has been provided by authorities such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (which defines indoor air as air within a building occupied for at least one hour by people of varying states of health) and the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) sets the basic standards for indoor air quality (IAQ). Standards are also in place regarding airborne particulate cleanliness classes in clean rooms and clean zones. The ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality Guide and Standards (55:2013) provide a long-needed resource to the building community. CCS has available people trained to test, evaluate, and correct situations that are harmful to the occupants.

Managing Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) thinks about more than just air. People are spending well over half their time indoors. Problematic air tends to affect the eyes and respiratory tract. In noting health, the Australian population appears to suffer more cases (per capita) of asthma, rhinitis, eczema and other atopic disorders than anywhere else in the world. Thankfully, modern mechanically ventilated buildings depend on a supply of external air which is usually pre-filtered and treated by cooling systems; pollutants are minimised, and since the 1980’s research into mechanical filters has shown extremely effective screening of pollens and dust from entering rooms or buildings. CCS uses new technolgies for, and investigates, odour and acoustic factors, helping minimise disturbance from building systems.

The increased use of synthetic materials and new technology affects indoor air quality and management of VOCs. Non-smoking laws across Australia have vastly improved air quality; however latent smells may still be ingrained in older structures. Used on a regular basis, air quality reporting can be incorporated into a management plan to provide proactive facility protection.

Also ubiquitous in the air and general environment, bacteria and the metabolites they release can appear in dirty or poorly maintained systems, thriving on moisture laden surfaces caused by water condensation. Generally, the majority of bacteria do not survive well; affected by temperature and relative humidity. A dry environment will rapidly render most cells non-viable. Studies have proven that ventilation systems are unlikely to play a significant role in the spread of viral illness; viruses are most commonly spread person-to-person. ‘Stale’ air, and feeling ‘stuffy’ or ‘tired’, is usually a case of poor ventilation; similarly locations which produce significant odours and high concentrations of contaminants (e.g. copy rooms, bathrooms, kitchens) should be accompanied by additional ventilation and cleaning strategies. In any case, maintenance is the key to reducing risk in all environments.

CCS Group prides itself on the proper education and management of indoor air quality. Our projects include specialty fit-outs like indoor swimming pools, hospitals, commercial kitchens, galleries and archival storage facilities. The attention to detail CCS provides ensures the best moisture control, control of capture and exhaust and entry of outdoor contaminants; inspection, cleaning, and maintenance.

Some useful shortcodes from the industry?

AAS ~ Australian Acoustical Society

ABCB ~ Australian Building Codes Board

ABGR ~ Australian Building Greenhouse Rating

ACADS ~ Association for Computer Aided Design

ACDB ~ Australian Climate Data Bank

ACE ~ Air Change Effectiveness

ACEA ~ Association of Consulting Engineers Australia

ACIF ~ Australian Construction Industry Forum

AHU ~ Air Handling Unit

AIRAH ~ Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating

AMCA ~ Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors

APCC ~ Australasian Procurement and Construction Council

ARC ~ Australian Refrigeration Council

A(H)RI ~ American Refrigeration Institute

ASHRAE ~ American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers

AS/NZS ~ Australian, New Zealand Standard

AVA ~ Air Ventilation Assessment

AQ ~ Air Quality

BCA ~ Building Code of Australia

BEAM ~ Building Evaluation Asset Management

BEEC ~ Building Energy Efficiency Certificate

BEED ~ Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure

BEIIC ~ Built Environment Industry Innovation Council

BIM ~ Building Information Modelling

BMCS ~ Building Management and Control System (also BMS, BAS, BACS)

BoM ~ Bureau of Meteorology

CAV ~ Constant Air Volume

CBD ~ Commercial Building Disclosure

CCS ~ Canberra Conversion Services

CFD ~ Computational Fluid Dynamics

CoP ~ Coefficient of Performance, Codes of Practice

CSIRO ~ Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

DE ~ Department of the Environment

DA ~ Mechanical Services Design Aid

DDC ~ Direct Digital Control

EC ~ Electronically Commutated

EMC ~ Electro Magnetic Compatibility

EER ~ Energy Efficiency Rating

EPA ~ Environmental Protection Agency

ESD ~ Ecologically Sustainable Development

FM ~ Facilities Maintenance

FMA ~ Facility Management Association of Australia

FCU ~ Fan Coil Unit

FWBC ~ Fair Work Building and Construction

GECA ~ Good Environmental Choice Australia

HCFC ~ Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

HESS ~ High Efficiency Systems Strategy

HEPA ~ High Efficiency Particulate Air (Filter)

HIRAC ~ Hazard Identification Risk Assessment and Controls

HLI ~ High Level Interface

HP ~ High Pressure (Safety)

HVACR ~ Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

HVLS ~ High volume, low speed

IAQ ~ Indoor Air Quality

IEQ ~ Indoor Environment Quality

IEMS ~ International Environmental Management System

IPLV ~ Integrated Part Load Value

IQMS ~ International Quality Management System

IRHACE ~ Institute of Refrigeration Heating Air Conditioning Engineers

KPI ~ Key Performance Indicator

LP ~ Low Pressure (Safety)

M&V ~ Measurement and Verification

MCE ~ Ministerial Council on Energy

MEPS ~ Minimum Energy Performance Standards

MPC ~ Model Predictive Control

NABERS ~ National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme

NCC ~ National Construction Code

NIWA ~ National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

NRD ~ Non-Return Damper

NSEE ~ National Strategy for Energy Efficiency

OA ~ Outside Air

O&M ~ Operation and Maintenance

OHS ~ Occupational Health & Safety

PMV ~ Predicted Mean Vote

PPE ~ Personal Protective Equipment

PSP ~ Project Safety Plan

RA ~ Return Air

RAC ~ Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

RH ~ Relative Humidity

ROI ~ Return on Investment

RPL ~ Recognition of Prior Learning

RTO ~ Registered Training Organisation

RTS ~ Room Temperature Sensor

SA ~ Supply Air

SAT ~ Supply Air Temperature

SHGC ~ Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

SMACNA ~ Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

SWMS ~ Safe Work Method Statement

TAB ~ Testing, Adjusting, Balancing

TLA ~ Tenancy Lighting Assessment

UFAD ~ Underfloor Air Distribution

VAV ~ Variable Air Volume

VCD ~ Volume Control Damper

VFD ~ Variable Frequency Drive

VOC ~ Volatile Organic Compound

VRT ~ Variable Refrigerant Temperature

VSD ~ Variable Speed Drive

WHS ~ Work Health & Safety

WMO ~ World Meteorological Office

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