The Mercure Hotel Williamtown is a 4-storey, 4-star hotel located within walking distance of Newcastle Airport. With 95 guest rooms as well as a restaurant, bars, gymnasium and four conference rooms, the hotel complements the newly developed terminal at the airport, and is popular among both business and leisure travellers.

Local construction company GWH Build was responsible for the design and construction of the hotel, with construction commencing in mid-June 2014 for an ambitious 12-month construction timeframe. The developer engaged NSW (M&H) Air Conditioning to provide quality air conditioning and mechanical services to the hotel under a design and construct (D&C) contract.

The HVAC installation commenced in December 2014 with the project brief specifying appropriate air conditioning and ventilation to the hotel’s 95 guest rooms, commercial kitchen, restaurant and two bars, as well as the conference rooms. According to NSW (M&H) Air Conditioning’s Martin Swift, the design of the hotel meant that the installation was relatively straightforward; however, the time constraints created obvious challenges.

To ensure accurate temperature control was provided across the different spaces of the hotel, NSW (M&H) Air Conditioning sought product assistance at the initial design phase from the technical team at Fujitsu General (Aust.) Pty Limited.

This led to a system design that incorporated six Fujitsu VRF (variable refrigerant flow) VR-II Series units with heat recovery, as well as Fujitsu’s J-IIS heat pump system, taking the hotel’s total system capacity to 237kW.

Providing simultaneous cooling and heating, Fujitsu’s VR-II Series was particularly suited to the lengthy pipe runs that resulted from the hotel’s low-rise design. Fujitsu’s advanced refrigerant control technology allows for a total refrigerant piping length of up to 150m to be achieved. A heat pump type inverter helps the VR-II Series provide economical cooling while a high EER (energy efficiency ratio) is realised due to the unique 4-face heat exchanger structure and the use of a highly efficient DC twin compressor that substantially increases refrigerant intake and also delivers compression efficiency.

The available space for condenser units was also a determining factor in the selection of these units. The space saving design and high seasonal efficiency of the J-Series made this unit particularly suitable for the Mercure Williamtown project. The seven outdoor units service a total of 102 individual indoor units deployed across the interior spaces of the hotel, including guest rooms.

NSW (M&H) Air Conditioning also selected Fujitsu’s ARXD bulkhead units to provide accurate temperature control in the 95 guest rooms. Compact in design, these units could be easily installed in areas where the space above the ceiling was narrow, while air intake direction could be selected to match the installation location – either at the bottom or back of the unit.

According to Martin, the choice of the smaller bulkhead units for the bedrooms allowed them to maintain higher ceiling heights in all areas. Their low noise operation additionally made them ideal for use in bedrooms.

Energy efficiency of the HVAC system is further enhanced thanks to room entry cards in all guest rooms automatically turning off the system when the card is removed and the room is left vacant.

Both split ducted and cassette-type fan coil units (FCUs) from Fujitsu have been used to provide comfortable indoor conditions in the hotel’s conference and public areas, including restaurant, bars, gymnasium and lobby.

Martin said the installation process was made easy due to the support provided to NSW (M&H) Air Conditioning by the Fujitsu technical department.

Construction of the Mercure Williamtown hotel reached completion in June 2015, with the hotel opening for business from August. The HVAC system has performed well since the hotel’s opening.