Daikin ducted VRV split systems were installed in the luxurious apartments at the Waterfront, Brisbane’s new riverfront community located less than two kilometres from the CBD.

One of the largest urban renewal projects ever undertaken in south east Queensland, Mirvac’s billion-dollar redevelopment of the former Newstead gas works site on the Brisbane River is now the epitome of modern apartment living. Waterfront’s five-star luxury apartment project offers all the modern conveniences along with million-dollar river views. The first two stages have been completed following several years of site remediation and head infrastructure works.

Stage One completed in 2011, saw the development of two premium residential apartment buildings – Pier South and Pier North – located on 250m of prime Brisbane River frontage. Comprising of a total of 99 state-of-the-art apartments and penthouses, these buildings showcase exceptional craftsmanship including the use of natural stone tiles and timbers. While the apartments offer three- and four-bedroom configurations plus multiple living areas, the nine penthouses extend the level of luxury to include a study, walk-in robes, butler pantry, wine cellar, sauna, media room and outdoor kitchen. The common areas also build on this sense of luxury with residential facilities such as a concierge service and meeting rooms as well as lifestyle amenities including a private gymnasium, recreation and lap pools in addition to cycling and walking paths throughout the five-hectare Waterfront Park.

The Waterfront’s second stage, Park was completed in 2012. Featuring 102 apartments in one, two and three-bedroom configurations, the project also offered a number of ground floor retail spaces, injecting a sense of vibrancy into the community.

One of the challenges of delivering consistently high quality, premium residential apartments is ensuring every aspect of their design, build and finish meets the industry standard. Mirvac is able to achieve this through the company’s strict quality control processes, which conducts all aspects of development in-house – from sales and marketing to design, construction and after-market maintenance.

Site Engineer Grant Richardson says Mirvac uses an integrated model allowing them to control quality throughout the entire process.

To provide the residents of the Waterfront Pier and Park buildings with the ultimate indoor environment experience, each apartment has been designed to take advantage of the lifestyle afforded by its riverside location. Along with openable doors and windows, bedrooms and living rooms are typically provided with independent temperature control so that the owners have the flexibility to open their balcony doors and windows, or utilise the HVAC system during hotter or colder periods.

Every apartment across the two Pier buildings is individually serviced by its own Daikin ducted VRV split system, with separate in-ceiling fan coil units installed in each bedroom and living room. An apartment with three bedrooms and two living rooms would, therefore, feature five fan coil units.

According to Richardson, there are a number of advantages to this design. Since the owner remains responsible for maintenance and usage costs, it helps to keep ongoing fees down, which in turn prevents disputes.

One of the many challenges during the HVAC design for these buildings involved determining heat load and occupancy numbers well before the apartments were sold. Given that parties can be comfortably hosted in some of the larger apartments, while others might be occupied by a retired couple only, meant it was important that the mechanical services design was able to accommodate all circumstances. Additionally, heat gain through untreated glazing remained an unknown during the design. Since Mirvac does not install window coverings as standard, they have no control over whether the glass has shading or not. According to Richardson, both of these factors can affect mechanical design parameters and equipment sizing.

Architecturally, the aesthetics of the mechanical services installed in each apartment was another important consideration. The HVAC systems needed to blend in as part of the building fabric without being seen or heard.

Mirvac commissioned custom made, powder-coated, linear slot air grilles for this project, and spent considerable time and effort with the mechanical contractor, Quantum Air, confirming the installation and placement of all panels and grilles. Daikin in-ceiling fan coil units were specified to be concealed in bulk heads and dropped ceilings, while the placement of air grilles had to strike a balance between being centred uniformly on bulk heads, and being best located for functionality. Return air grilles also had to be installed in inconspicuous locations, with above ceiling return air plenums designed to ensure optimal equipment performance.

To provide for individual room temperature control, every apartment is fitted with a number of sleek, gloss-white Daikin control units – an upgrade from the standard control units supplied with each fan coil unit.

The building management system (BMS) of each apartment building also provides an ‘all off’ function on exiting the apartment to provide each owner with a further level of energy efficiency.

Reliability and performance were key considerations in the selection of equipment, particularly as servicing and maintenance needed to be conducted with minimal disruption to residents. To provide for fuss-free maintenance, all in-ceiling fan coil units have been installed with a flush set access panel beneath it for ready access to pipe and electrical connection points. Additionally, all outdoor condenser units have been located in a central roof top location and provided with separate maintenance access. According to Richardson, the main challenge during the installation and commissioning of the building’s mechanical services was timing. Very often, lower level apartments were ready for commissioning well before the roof top condensers and mechanical services switchboards had been installed.

Richardson concludes that collaboration between all key stakeholders including suppliers is paramount for the success of premium property projects.