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Keeping the kids cool in major regional school

School HVAC design


Schools Infrastructure Division, NSW Department of Education


Central Coast, NSW

About The Project

The Schools Infrastructure Division within the Department of Education was planning a significant upgrade to the Wadalba Community School – a major regional school on NSW’s Central Coast. The upgrade included:

  • Complete gutting and refurbishment of an existing building;
  • Construction of a block of three, single storey buildings; and
  • Construction of a pair of two storey buildings.

Given the short time frame and the limited availability of detailed architect’s concept sketches, Schools Infrastructure approached CNF to design and develop the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems needed as part of the major upgrade.

As part this, CNF:

  • Prepared the electrical design for each building, including provision for Building Codes of Australia (BCA) Section J Energy Monitoring.
  • Identified that the site needed a new main switchboard and electrical supply kiosk to provide the significantly increased electrical load.

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Major Achievements

  • The entire design was completed in under eight weeks, which was a remarkable achievement given the architectural layout drawings were not available until halfway through the project.
  • Short turnaround for a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC design, which included over 130 drives, over 700kW of sensible cooling load, 3,000 m2 of floor area, 14 Mechanical Services DBs (900 amps).
  • The design encompassed offices, meeting rooms, data rooms, a canteen, amenities and teaching areas.
  • The design included actual equipment selections, duct and louvre sizes and electrical panel details. This assisted the architectural detailing.

Project Innovations

  • CNF developed a unique visual HVAC schematic for each building to show each room with its associated HVAC equipment and ducts.
  • Each line item in the HVAC schedule linked to the corresponding mechanical services DB and C/B details to assist cross-discipline design checking.

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