William Lane, F.AIRAH
Calling Melbourne home, William Lane, F.AIRAH, began his career in the industry with the completion of a plumbing apprenticeship at the Preston Institute of Technology and a licence as a Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works plumber.
In the last year of his apprenticeship, Lane earned the Albert Smith Award – recognition as one of the top 10 apprentices in Victoria, presented by then Governor General of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe.
The award was a launching pad into further studies in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. Lane broadened his technical skill base, completing a refrigeration mechanic’s course and completing an exam to hold a restricted electrical “R” licence with the State Electrical Commission of Victoria. He also undertook a testing balancing and adjusting course with the US-based National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB), becoming a certified NEBB supervisor in air systems, hydronic systems, and building systems administration.
Lane was a part-time teacher at RMIT in commissioning and balancing, HVAC duct design and maintenance (Certificate IV).
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
After completing my plumbing apprenticeship and winning the Albert Smith Award, I was given an opportunity to further enhance my thirst for knowledge. This allowed me to enter into the air conditioning industry.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
Over 30 years – I originally joined AIRAH on May 25, 1987.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
To conserve energy, I see the state of building construction becoming more positively airtight, similar to clean rooms. This would allow the energy losses and gains to be minimalised and more quantifiable, enabling the use of heat recovery units to maintain the comfort conditions of the building as the cost of energy will dictate this.
The use of reducing the power requirements will impact the selection of the boiler, chiller, and fan power necessary to obtain the correct convection currents within an air-conditioned space.
I also see the Coandă effect being more readily available.
I see commissioning being an integral part of this to ensure maximum energy savings – hence the importance of training the technician and also grading the technician to ensure the skills have been achieved and verified.
This can be the weak link within the whole process. The technician has a duty of care to ensure the readings are a true and provide a correct appraisal of what has been achieved.
What’s something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
I believe that the end user is entitled to receive the air conditioning system commissioned to the highest standard that can be achieved at this point in time. To achieve this, I believe that the commissioning technician should have a grading classification of competence.
The commissioning technician should be suitably skilled. The following four levels of accreditation would provide easily recognised, uniform standards for the industry, thus indirectly improving overall workmanship quality:
The introductory technician should be skilled in the following:
The senior technician should have the above skills, plus:
The master technician should have the above skills, plus:
It would be essential that ongoing training be part of the accreditation to ensure that the technician is keeping abreast of the ever-changing technology within the industry. This could be completed in 12 hours over two years in recognised training courses that would help advance participant knowledge and career opportunities.
Technicians’ aims should be to: