A Climate Change at Crown Casino

Blazing hot summers and surging crowds of punters had been creating a localised greenhouse effect at Melbourne’s Crown Casino Complex, revealing an uncomfortable shortfall in cooling capacity as a result of continuous growth and redevelopment

5 Sep 2011

AE Smith successfully won the tender to implement the WSP Lincolne Scott design for an upgrade, which delivers improved cooling capacity, allows for future expansion of the complex and enables a staged redundancy of existing plant.

Over nine months on site, AE Smith installed all the mechanical equipment associated with the new Chiller Plant Room located above Kingsway at the Crown Casino Complex. Equipment installed included four new Chillers, four new two cell Cooling Towers, 14 Pumps, Ventilation and associated Ductwork and all reticulation Pipe Work – in some cases up to 700 mm Dia. The combined weight of the new plant and structural steel was around 400 tonnes, with some unusual individual components such as 700mm valves weighing 1000kg each, requiring three men and lifting equipment to install – while working right over the top of one of Melbourne’s busiest roads. Additionally, the new plant had to be installed, commissioned and brought on-line without impacting on the continued 24/7 operation of the complex and the existing cooling systems.

“AE Smith and WSP LincolneScott (Design Engineers for the Project) worked closely together during Design and Installation phases. Because of the location of the Plantroom at Crown and the limitations of weight restraints and storage, the coordination of deliveries to Site of the Major equipment was needed to be managed closely,” said AE Smith Construction Manager, Darren McGrath.

“The actual size of some of the components of material and equipment that was used on the Project were not readily available locally and had to be sourced with long lead times, so the programming and placement of Orders were critical in completing the Project on time. The Project was on an extremely tight installation period and the actual size of some of the components of the Project were far larger than what we commonly are used to – so the Site Staff that were involved on the install had to think outside the square in installing all the components in a safe and timely manner to meet the tight time frames.”

AE Smith have been keeping Melbourne landmarks cool for over a century. With a large and highly skilled workforce, backed by engineering expertise, and leading edge HVAC technology and equipment, the company is constantly engaged on multiple major projects. Concurrent with the Crown Casino installation, 170 AE Smith site employees were working on sites including the Melbourne Airport, WEHI, Crown 3rd Hotel, 150 Clarendon St and RACV Club Healesville.