How building offsite HVAC infrastructure cuts time and costs


Prefabrication is often used in modern construction projects to increase efficiency, reduce time and reduce costs. The practice of assembling components at a factory or other manufacturing site and then transporting complete assemblies or subassemblies to the construction site for final completion has been used in the construction industry for some time. time already.

While much attention in construction is focused on the benefits of off-site assembly of larger prefabricated steel and concrete structures, today mechanical and electrical contractors are also finding new ways to increase efficiency, speed up construction, improve health and safety and reduce costs through prefabrication techniques.

When customers want complete, reliable climate control and effortless operations, building HVAC infrastructure offsite means workers can be on job sites for less time, avoiding jobsite costs, potential safety issues. and common construction disruptions such as troubleshooting space and access issues. .

Offsite assembly also means contractors have more autonomy over time control and can work to specifications with focused precision, eliminating the traditional need for multiple rework and fit tests.

We looked at a step-by-step example of this via a prefabricated construction model used in the Andrew N. Liveris building at the University of Queensland (UQ). UQ has always sought to solve the most important challenges. The 11-story Andrew N. Liveris building will be the new heart of chemical engineering at UQ, a nerve center for their students and researchers to solve the world’s greatest sustainable energy challenges, such as cleaner water. safe, smarter management of resources, healthier populations and food and agricultural security.

Currently in the final stages of construction, the building will house ABB’s ACH580-01 HVAC drives to operate and control a range of HVAC components, including air handling and air conditioning in facilities such as the powerhouse. student learning, advanced labs. , and a pilot room, which will present the fundamentals of processes used in the energy, water, bioengineering, metals, mining and petroleum industries.

Queensland-based electromechanical contractor Versatech Electrical, one of the contractors involved in the project, used an innovative off-site prefabrication process for the pre-assembled panels of ABB HVAC drives.

Versatech owner Beau Sandall said, “There were a number of additional benefits from offsite assembly. We have pre-wired and assembled the ABB drives on frames in our factory, ready to be transported to the site. This was a much simpler form of construction, in a safer environment, which saved us time and money compared to usual on-site assembly.

Several chassis were built for the project, with 8 to 12 ABB ACH580-01 HVAC drives per chassis. “We have significantly reduced our on-site adjustment time with each frame,” said Sandall. “We have been using ABB drives on all of our projects for years. They are just very easy and quick to install.

ABB Authorized Value Provider Control Logic supplied the HVAC drives for this project.

“The ABB ACH580 drive has many features that help our customers. There are simple wizards that make setup easy. You can save and transfer settings between readers using the standard control panel. There’s even a free Drivetune mobile app that lets you connect, configure, and operate the player through the optional Bluetooth control panel. This ability to commission the drive remotely provides greater flexibility compared to traditional methods, where it can be 2-person on-site work, ”said Michael Walker of Control Logic.

“The ability to record and store parameters ordered using these complementary product tools also provides my customers with long-term security and traceability,” he added.


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