Prefabrication provides ready-made advantage at UQ

ABB has shared details of its involvement with a progressive example of prefabrication construction used at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Andrew N. Liveris Building.

The 11-storey Andrew N. Liveris Building will be the new heart of chemical engineering at UQ. ABB describes it as “a nerve centre for their students and researches to solve the world’s greatest challenges in sustainable energy like safer water, smarter resource management healthier populations, and secure food and agriculture”.

The building will house ABB’s ACH580-01 HVAC drives to operate and control a range of HVAC components such as air handling and climate control in facilities such as the student learning centre, state-of-the-art laboratories, and a pilot hall which will showcase fundamentals of processes used in industries like energy, water, bioengineering, metals, mining, and petroleum.

Engaged on the project was Queensland-based electromechanical contractor Versatech Electrical. The contractor used an innovative offsite prefabrication process for this project which includes preassembled panels of the ABB HVAC drives.

Several frames were constructed for the project, featuring between eight to 12 ABB ACH580-01 HVAC drives per frame.

“We significantly reduced our fit-off time onsite with each frame,” says owner of Versatech Beau Sandall. “We’ve been using ABB drives on all our projects for years. They are just very easy and quick to set up.

“There were a number of additional benefits gained through the offsite assembly. We pre-wired and assembled the ABB drives on frames in our factory ready for transport to site. This was a much easier form of construction, in a safer environment, which saved us both time and costs compared with the usual assembly onsite.”

ABB Authorized Value Provider Control Logic supplied the HVAC drives for this project, and Michael Walker of Control Logic agrees with Sandall’s comments.

“There are many features in the ABB ACH580 drive that help our customers,” says Walker. “There are simple wizards that make setup easy. You can backup and transfer parameters between drives using the standard control panel. There’s even a free Drivetune mobile app that allows you to connect, configure, and operate the drive via the optional Bluetooth control panel. This ability to remotely commission the drive offers greater flexibility when compared to traditional methods, where it may have been a 2-person, onsite job.

“The ability to record and store the commissioned parameters using these complementary product tools also gives my customers long term security and traceability.”

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