• Meriton suites in Sydney.
    Meriton suites in Sydney.

Parramatta City Council is the first Local Government Area (LGA) in Australia to mandate all new air conditioning and refrigeration equipment use refrigerants with a GWP (global warming potentials) of less than 10.

The ruling is part of the Parramatta City Centre Development Control Plan and was formally

City of Parramatta Town Hall.
City of Parramatta Town Hall.

adopted by Council in December, 2022.

Under the plan all new air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment must use refrigerants with a GWP of less than 10 which is effectively a ban on synthetic refrigerants.

To comply with a GWP of less than 10 equipment would need to rely exclusively on natural refrigerants.

The best practice synthetic refrigerant currently available is R32 and it has a GWP of 675.

The aim of the plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and future proof HVAC systems from the global phase-down of Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol.

The plan is being supported by major developers such as Meriton which has already introduced hydrocarbons to a number of its projects in Sydney.

As reported previously in CCN, a 12-storey riverfront apartment in Parramatta has replaced R22 units with 157 split systems provided by Pioneer International.

The units are specifically designed to use hydrocarbons and have delivered outstanding energy efficiency results.

Hydrocarbon refrigerant has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 3.

The second Meriton development to introduce natural refrigerants is Eminence, a 15-storey tower with 254 apartments based in Zetland, an inner-city suburb of Sydney which is part of the City of Sydney municipality.

To accommodate the move to natural refrigerants technical services providers such as the Grosvenor Engineering Group have introduced dedicated natural refrigerant technology support.

Grosvenor managing director Nicholas Lianos, said the business case to upgrade HVAC systems to natural refrigerant technology is strong.

He said Grosvenor is already working with a number of commercial property owners to utilise natural refrigerant chillers within office towers and other buildings.

Councils are being encouraged to take action on climate change under the NSW government’s Net Zero Plan.