Queensland Museum CEP Cooling Towers Installation






Department of Environment and Science on behalf of the State of Queensland


Steele Wrobel


Construct Only


35 Weeks


June 2021

Located in the Queensland Museum (QM)/Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) service yard, is an existing Central Energy Plant (CEP), which provides electrical power, HVAC chilled water and heated water for the QCC site, namely:

• State Library of Queensland (SLQ)
• Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
• Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)
• Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
• Queensland Museum (QM)

The heat rejection capacity of the existing CEP had reached its limit due to site growth and limitations with the River Water Cooling System, and additional Cooling Towers were required to meet future demand. Working alongside the Department of Environment and Science on behalf of the State of Queensland, Arts Queensland, Steele Wrobel, NDY and PDT Architects, INTREC have delivered a new purpose-built Central Energy Plant to house the 4 new Cooling Towers, pipework, wiring and controls. These Cooling Towers will provide HVAC chilled water and heating across the QCC Site.

The project consists of the installation of driven concrete plies with capping beams, which makes up the substructure of the tower. Four new concrete columns (designed to match the finish of the heritage listed Museum façade) will support the PT suspended concrete ‘Level 2’ deck. The rest of the Cooling Tower structure will be constructed out of structural steel and clad with fixed acoustic louvers. As the tower is being constructed, large sections of pipework and mechanical plant will be craned into position. Coordination with all services trades will be key to ensuring  successful project delivery.

The site was extremely congested with the new tower being constructed within the existing loading dock of the Queensland Museum Site. INTREC are maintaining uninterrupted access to the loading dock, which is achieved by erecting overhead gantries. Prior to commencing works onsite, existing underground services such as ethanol lines and water feeds were relocated, as well as old asbestos pipework which was removed and disposed. Vibration and disturbance of the surrounding building footing structure and current exhibitions while completing the driven piles is a key risk for The Department of Environment and Science on behalf of the State of Queensland the project. During the tender phase, INTREC worked closely with our piling contractor to mitigate this vibration by preboring the driven piles three meters below the surrounding building footing structure prior to pile driving commencing.

INTREC has also engaged an independent consultant to monitor vibration and noise throughout the project across various locations within the Museum, to ensure noise and vibration are kept at acceptable levels. This project will deliver 10 MW of additional heat rejection by way of two new Cooling Towers, housed in a new stand-alone structure. The structure will be located next to the existing QCC CEP in the QM/QAG service yard and, in addition to the Cooling Towers, will provide vacant floor space for future  plant and equipment.

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