What is i-Hub?

The Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling (i-Hub) is an initiative led by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) in conjunction with CSIRO, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the University of Melbourne and the University of Wollongong and supported by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to facilitate the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry’s transition to a low emissions future, stimulate jobs growth, and showcase HVAC&R innovation in buildings.

The objective of i-Hub is to support the broader HVAC&R industry with knowledge dissemination, skills-development and capacity-building. By facilitating a collaborative approach to innovation, i-Hub brings together leading universities, researchers, consultants, building owners and equipment manufacturers to create a connected research and development community in Australia.

The i-Hub Initiatives

Integrated design studions


Core activities


Creating a better future with HVAC&R Innovation

Heating and cooling Australian buildings is energy intensive. Air conditioning and refrigeration accounts for 24% of all electricity generated in Australia. It is responsible for approximately 12% of Australia’s CO2 emissions, both directly (e.g. fugitive emissions from high Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants) and indirectly (i.e. via energy consumption). Air conditioning is also responsible for approximately 50% of peak electricity demand (and associated infrastructure cost) in many parts of the electricity network.

With rising electricity costs putting further pressure on consumers and businesses, the Affordable Heating and Cooling Innovation Hub vision is to help make a positive impact by supporting Australian innovation which delivers superior comfort, better energy efficiency (and therefore less running costs) and minimise peak demand.

Together with new regulations aiming for zero-energy buildings globally, the smart energy market for energy efficient products and services is forecast to grow and Australia is well-positioned to become a world leader in this market.

Australia is ready. Australian industry and government are converging to create a better future – through the National Energy Productivity Plan. The Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating and Cooling aims to facilitate the HVAC&R industry’s transition to a low-emissions future, stimulate jobs growth, and showcase HVAC innovations in buildings.

The Australian HVAC&R industry is large – it consists of approximately 298,000 people, employed in more than 20 000 Australian business, which contribute 1.7% of GDP. To create an industry step-change, i-Hub brings together leading businesses and institutions to develop an integrated approach to solving these issues.