Airmaster delivers chiller replacement program at Brisbane’s iconic Waterfront Place

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

Waterfront Place and the adjoining Eagle Street Pier entertainment complex occupy a stunning CBD location on the banks of the Brisbane River. A recent multi-million dollar chiller replacement program conducted by Airmaster will ensure this iconic building remains one of Brisbane’s leading office towers.



On the Waterfront


Occupying a site that was once part of Brisbane’s original port, the Waterfront Place office tower was constructed in the late 1980s before being officially opened on 15 February 1990.

Standing 162m tall, the 40 storeys of office space afford spectacular views over the Brisbane River, Storey Bridge and Moreton Bay – making it a much sought-after location for tenants.


To maintain its stature as one of Brisbane’s premium office towers, a mechanical services upgrade was one of the first items of refurbishment when Dexus Property Group and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund took ownership of the building in mid-2015.


Consequently, Airmaster was successful in winning the tender for a multi-million dollar chiller replacement program in early 2016 and began work on the site by April the same year.


The Airmaster Solution


The project consisted primarily of replacing the buildings’ existing and aging chiller sets.


These were made up of four 1800kW York centrifugal water-cooled chillers serving Waterfront Place, and one 470kWr air-cooled chiller serving the Eagle Street Pier restaurant, retail and entertainment complex.


Unfortunately the Waterfront Place building’s configuration and plantroom design meant that these chillers could not be removed by crane. Instead, each had to be physically dismantled and removed from the plantroom via the goods lift.


Likewise as the replacement chillers could not be craned into position, Airmaster made its chiller selection based on the ability to construct the new chillers on site.


“The new chillers needed to be dismantled and brought up (to the plantroom) via the goods lift,” says Airmaster’s Wayne van Aken, State Manager – Queensland.


“As a result, we selected GeoClima chillers that feature a split vessel design and Turbocor compressors for this project.”

A total of seven 1100kW GeoClima air-cooled chillers replaced the existing chiller set serving Waterfront Place.


The chiller upgrade also included the replacement and installation of 14 chilled water pumps, and 14 condenser water pumps featuring VSDs (variable speed drives).

A large fluid cooler serving the building’s secondary condenser water loop was also refurbished as part of the chiller replacement program.


The existing air-cooled chiller serving the Eagle Street Pier complex was likewise replaced by two 850kW Climaveneta ERACS magnetic bearing (TurboCor) water-cooled chillers.


Commonly used in Europe, ERACS chillers offer a number of efficiency advantages including the ability to produce free heating or cooling. Additionally, the plant’s existing four chilled water pumps and four condenser water pumps were also replaced with energy efficient pumps featuring VSDs.


Airmaster was also successful in having the award-winning PlantPRO system included in the chiller replacement project.


Its integration required BMS (building management system) modification works in both Waterfront Place and the Eagle Street Pier complex.


Winner of the AIRAH Product of the Year Award in 2015, PlantPRO provides control of the chiller plant system in a way that delivers efficiencies beyond that of the individual components.


Engineered and developed by Melbourne-based company Conserve It, the optimisation and control software solution uses feedback from it’s on board real time analytics, diagnostics, measurement and verification systems to continually re-adjust the chiller plant for optimal performance without the need for proprietary tools.


Dexus also approved the implementation of data analytics and reporting by BUENO as part of the project, providing further ongoing optimisation and energy savings potential.

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