Australia’s tallest residential tower reaches so high that on a clear night it
will be seen from as far away as Brisbane to the north and Byron Bay to the
But being so tall, Q1 Tower on the Gold Coast has presented some intriguing
challenges in the construction.
“The most interesting technical aspect for the installation of the mechanical
services systems was to deal with the wind effect,” said Jim Godwin, Sales
Manager of Air Design, who supplied a range of Fantech products.
“The systems that control the fans need to negate the effect of the wind blowing
against the external exhaust grilles at varying speeds and from varying
The challenge was taken up by mechanical services contractor, Siganto & Stacey,
experienced in high-rise development. Project Manager Doug Smith said the
building is virtually fully encased in a glass skin.
However, mechanical services plants at levels 39-41 and levels 75-76, which
discharge air, have outlet points exposed to the elements.
With the three units on the lower level operating at 20,000 litres per second
and the ones on the upper level discharging air at an even greater rate, the
trick was to maintain the right pressure.
“The solution was to monitor the air flow in all instances, and use variable
speed drives or dampers to cope with the changes and negate the effect,” Doug
said. “As the wind varies in speed, or shifts to a different angle, the system
is designed to automatically cater for any change.”
A range of Fantech centrifugal and axial fans were provided for general
ventilation as well as toilet and lobby exhaust. The two-level car park, which
takes up the space of a residential block, also needed exhaust fans capable of
discharging air at 25,000 litres per second.
Doug said that because of the sheer size of the project, there were initially
some concerns about moving personnel and materials up and down the project. “But
overall, we are very happy with the way it went,” he said.
Doug said commissioning had begun, with completion of the project scheduled for