The Ian Potter Centre – Air Handling System Upgrade

SERVICES: HVAC System Design, Equipment Replacement, Control Strategy, Energy Efficiency Planning

OBJECTIVE: The Ian Potter Centre, located at Federation Square in Melbourne, is home to the National Gallery of Victoria’s Australian Art collection. To maintain the precious artworks, the centre needed to upgrade its air handling systems (AHUs). The original AHUs were struggling to cope with the changing climate, making it crucial to ensure consistent temperature and humidity control. Fed Square partnered with Bridgeford Group to design a solution that would replace and upgrade the existing air handling systems, optimizing energy efficiency and implementing a robust control strategy.

An initial site audit and analysis identified challenges, such as limited space in the plant rooms and AHUs in average condition. Bridgeford Group explored three options for the air handling system upgrade, and they recommended Option 2, which provided redundancy and increased operational efficiency. This option allowed each AHU to maintain night setback airflow with a single fan and reduced power consumption during occupied mode.

The concept report revealed that the existing AHU SAFs operated at different flow rates during occupied and unoccupied hours. Additionally, some AHUs needed replacement due to their average condition. To address these findings, Bridgeford Group made further recommendations, such as considering AHU replacement for units in average condition, exploring fan section replacements for improved efficiency, and engaging fan suppliers for potential additional scope.

The air handling system upgrade at The Ian Potter Centre demonstrated the significance of energy efficiency, redundancy, and operational considerations in designing HVAC systems for critical environments like art galleries. With Bridgeford Group’s expertise, the project successfully achieved its goals, ensuring the preservation of valuable artworks and enhancing the overall sustainability of the centre. This case study showcases how a well-planned approach to equipment upgrades can make a positive impact on both energy consumption and the preservation of cultural treasures.

OUTCOME: Bridgeford Group upgraded The Ian Potter Centre’s air handling systems (AHUs) at Federation Square to maintain consistent temperature and humidity for preserving valuable artworks. Their efficient control strategy and fan replacements improved energy efficiency and ensured redundancy, successfully safeguarding the art collection.