HVAC Genius Under Foot on the Gates

Melbourne Airport’s new Terminal 2 has an air conditioning system everyone walks all over

4 Jun 2010

“The number of people in the terminal fluctuates wildly, in the morning it is crammed, in the middle of the day it can be almost empty,” said AE Smith Project Manager Peter Aumann, who has a decade of experience servicing the airport’s HVAC needs.

“We put 20km of floor coil piping into the floor slab, the thermal inertia of the slab maintains the warmth or cool, and people walking
through does not affect the temperature of it. The whole West face of the new terminal building is a 2 storey glass wall, 200m long which gives a panoramic view across the airfield. We installed a mechanical system which blows a curtain of air up the windows for some cooling, but it is the floor system which really makes it workable,” he said.

The new terminal is built to accept the A380 double decker planes with twin air bridges installed to the new gates. AE Smith also installed HVAC systems for the new apron level workshops, crew facilities and arrival and departure levels, in addition to the concourse. High temperature shell and tube heat exchangers were installed, and over 30 acoustic attenuators throughout the terminal to reduce the ventilation system and aircraft noise levels. Reducing the smell of aircraft exhaust fumes inside has been taken care of by the use of over 24 sets of carbon filters on intake ducts.

Working in a sterile security environment meant the 35 AE Smith plumbers had to follow strict protocols; all workers, tools and deliveries had to enter via the taxiways – a major logistical challenge involving enormous patience; and if fog descended the gate would be shut and no movement of men or materials allowed. Every load of Plant and ductwork had to be inspected, all workers given security clearance and all tools logged in and out. The entire installation took 18 months.

“We have an excellent relationship with both Melbourne Airport & the builder, John Holland; we have worked closely with them for the duration of the project,” said Peter Aumann.

AE Smith is a member of the Green Building Council of Australia with several Green Star Accredited Professionals on staff. The company is also a recognised Green Star Independent Commissioning Agent with NABERS Accredited Assessors based around the country. Its dedicated energy efficiency team (AE Smith Emerald Sustainable Performance) can also assist with compliance to forthcoming Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure legislation.

Other Melbourne projects AE Smith is especially proud of include MCG, Eureka Tower, the new Royal Children’s Hospital (JV), Crown Metropol, Flemington Racecourse and Herald & Weekly Times.

“AE Smith has played – and continues to play – a vital part in the delivery of landmark buildings in Melbourne. Our reputation and proven technical ability to deliver large projects is beyond approach; when it has to be done right, you can trust AE Smith,” said Peter Aumann.