Key Projects
Q1 wind challenge taken head on Print

July 1, 2005

Australia’s tallest residential tower reaches so high that on a clear night it will be seen from as far away as Brisbane to the north and Byron Bay to the south.

But being so tall, Q1 Tower on the Gold Coast has presented some intriguing challenges in the construction.

“The most interesting technical aspect for the installation of the mechanical services systems was to deal with the wind effect,” said Jim Godwin, Sales Manager of Air Design, who supplied a range of Fantech products.

“The systems that control the fans need to negate the effect of the wind blowing against the external exhaust grilles at varying speeds and from varying directions.”

The challenge was taken up by mechanical services contractor, Siganto & Stacey, experienced in high-rise development. Project Manager Doug Smith said the building is virtually fully encased in a glass skin.

However, mechanical services plants at levels 39-41 and levels 75-76, which discharge air, have outlet points exposed to the elements.

With the three units on the lower level operating at 20,000 litres per second and the ones on the upper level discharging air at an even greater rate, the trick was to maintain the right pressure.

“The solution was to monitor the air flow in all instances, and use variable speed drives or dampers to cope with the changes and negate the effect,” Doug said. “As the wind varies in speed, or shifts to a different angle, the system is designed to automatically cater for any change.”

A range of Fantech centrifugal and axial fans were provided for general ventilation as well as toilet and lobby exhaust. The two-level car park, which takes up the space of a residential block, also needed exhaust fans capable of discharging air at 25,000 litres per second.

Doug said that because of the sheer size of the project, there were initially some concerns about moving personnel and materials up and down the project. “But overall, we are very happy with the way it went,” he said.

Doug said commissioning had begun, with completion of the project scheduled for August 31.

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