Gold Coast University Hospital Gets a Check Up

AE Smith’s Brisbane Construction team have matched their technical expertise with information management prowess to deliver on one of the largest HVAC commissioning projects Australia has seen

17 Jun 2013


A team of 30 commissioning technicians on one project is arguably the largest this country has seen

The soon to be complete Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) saw AE Smith Construction in Brisbane pull together a team of 30 commissioning technicians to step into a project fraught with challenges.

The size, scale, design and technical specifications of the project was part of the challenge; the other was taking over from a previous contractor that had left the site with incorrectly engineered and installed equipment.

“We knew the key to meeting these challenges head on and providing an outstanding and on time result was planning and preparing well,” says AE Smith Queensland Commissioning Manager, Mark Jacobson.

But rectifying previous problems and taking on a site that was drastically behind schedule was not the biggest issue adds Mark, rather it was managing the 30 strong team needed to deliver the detailed project.

“A team of 30 commissioning technicians on one project is arguably the largest this country has seen and needed a certain approach – we knew we had to match our technical expertise with a really strong information management and data tracking system to ensure the whole team was across the detailed commissioning.”

Mark explains that breaking the management into three components helped with the vast amount of information exchange and administration that could trip up a project and team of this scale:

“Rather than just one Project Manager, we had a Commissioning Site Manager, a Commissioning QA Supervisor (dealt with the field technical requirements, testing methodologies, etc) and data management team.”

“Each element of the project’s commissioning also had a Work Pack created with details on every single system, work history, tracking logs and commissioning status logs so we could readily have all the knowledge on hand to transfer between staff,” adds Mark.

It’s this approach that assisted with minimising handover between team members, relearning any work, helping keep on top of the compounding deadlines and coordinating with our site’s construction team.

“We also made sure we involved the design consultant along the way and briefed their team via our document tracking, so handover was pretty seamless.”

And while AE Smith’s involvement in the country’s largest HVAC commissioning project is a source of pride for Mark, it’s how the different teams within AE Smith help and collaborate with one another that is vital to delivering the right outcome for its customers:

“Working on a hospital site always requires a great combination of design, engineering, installation and commissioning – so helping make this a successful project through our team’s combined expertise is also really rewarding,” concludes Mark.

Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) Snapshot

750 overnight beds
More than three times the size of the existing Gold Coast Hospital
State of the art health training facilities
Improved privacy and patient safety with over 70% single rooms
Clinical testing and research facilities
Located next to Griffith University
Centre of the future Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct

Elderly man smiling broadly while nurse with blond hair smiles and looks at him fondly.
Pic: Aerial view of Gold Coast University Hospital central energy plant.

The new $1.76 billion, 750-bed tertiary Gold Coast University Hospital is a vital component in Queensland Health’s vision to deliver state-of-the-art health service facilities designed to cope with extraordinary population growth in South East Queensland.