HVAC Design & Construct Slashes Project Costs in Perth

The $15m conversion of a 7000m2 former BBC Hardware site in the Perth suburb of Cannington to a 16,500m2 bulky goods outlet was always going to present problems in terms of air and mechanical services, particularly when it came to meeting the individual requirements of retailers

15 Mar 2012

Developer Dome Property Group had previously used AE Smith for minor mechanical services projects on the original site and decided that a design and construct arrangement would be more cost and time efficient than calling in a design consultant for the re-development.

Because sites had been leased off the plan up to 12 months in advance of construction, time was of the essence and Dome Property Group has no doubt that utilising AE Smith saved at least four weeks just in the mechanical services area.

Dome Property Group, who have worked on a diverse range of shopping centres, apartment and office blocks and medical centres, said that 
AE Smith’s designs also afforded significant savings over an initial proposal from a builder.

“From our point of view the major benefit was having a one-stop-shop for design and construction of air and mechanical services. That was an effective strategy in this particular case,” Dome Property Group said.

The project required the installation of mechanical services to some 20 separate areas which were a mix of separated commercial offices and shops, each with its own inverter ducted split system with external fresh air make up.

To add to the difficulties, the main retail areas, averaging 2000m2 each, had a range of differing systems. Some had industrial evaporative coolers sized on 45 air changes delivering over 400,000m3/hr while others had ducted, refrigerated cooling by way of 80kW roof-mounted units.

Plus, as major tenants came on board their respective requirements differed. For example The Good Guys wanted to have all feature internal “oval” spiral wound ducting and due to the height above the finished floor this required manufacturing diffusers to get the conditioned air down 10 meters to the sales area.

By comparison, Anaconda required visible feature “round” spiral ducting. Here the height necessitated side wall stand-off boxes to get the double deflection side wall diffusers set pointing down at 30 degrees.

The site had its fair share of difficulties with mezzanine floating floors and difficult “delta–core laminated structural beams.”

In addition to the core work, AE Smith was also called on for washing and toilet facilities mechanical services throughout the complex, in total some 60 pieces of plant worth more than $1.2m.

Despite the complexities the project was completed on time and on budget.

Dome Property Group said that apart from AE Smith’s advantage as a one stop shop for design and construct projects, the firm’s expertise in the areas of NABERS and Green Star ratings was a real plus.

“If we were to buy a rundown building we’d definitely call AE Smith to advise us how to improve the building’s rating.

“Because AE Smith can provide a turn-key service it makes our life easier.

“The fact that they can provide design and construction services at a competitive price and deliver within a reasonable time gives them a competitive advantage as we don’t have to go down the traditional path of engaging a mechanical/electrical consultant and then go out to tender to various mechanical contractors.”

Since the completion of the Cannington Bulkyplex complex, AE Smith has been appointed to look after the facility on an ongoing basis under a service contract.