Automatic Heating was engaged by a mechanical services contractor to prefabricate a skidframe and platform to accommodate a new chiller and boiler plant at the Harold Holt Swim Centre in Melbourne’s inner-east.

Prefabrication is increasingly being adopted within the HVAC industry, thanks to its many advantages. Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components offsite, and moving them to the building site where they are placed into position. Prefabricated HVAC plants, for instance, not only ensure more accurate assembly but also save the client money by removing the costs and risks associated with on-site construction.

For the recent refurbishment of the Harold Holt Swim Centre in Melbourne, Automatic Heating was approached by the contractor to prefabricate the skidframe and platform. Built to fit precisely into the available space on the swim centre’s rooftop, the platform was constructed at Automatic Heating’s state-of-the-art assembly facility and transported to the site before being lifted into place using a crane.

Since the plant had been pre-commissioned in a controlled environment, commissioning onsite was seamless and the new systems were up and running in a matter of hours.

Automatic Heating has been a long-term advocate of prefabricated plants. According to sales manager Terry Plaisted, prefabrication is today’s best practice design. Prefab solutions not only provide for an accurate installation, but also reduce labour costs, condense construction timeframes, and ultimately deliver financial savings to the project. By prefabricating in a controlled environment, rather than in the challenging construction environment, there is reduced risk and greater accuracy.

Observing that the level of accuracy achievable in a controlled environment is much greater than that afforded on the construction site, Terry Plaisted adds that the superior prefabricated product is good news for the engineer, contractor and equipment supplier.