MEP Engineering Award of Excellence: Capitol Grand Tower, Melbourne

Sam Aloi
Australian Regional Director
Norman Disney & Young, Melbourne

An Uncluttered Cooling System Facilitates a Clear Glass Building

Capitol Grand Tower delivers 379 new apartments to the Melbourne market, with a strong focus on ambience and aesthetics. Its mechanical, electrical and hydraulics services facilitate the architectural intent of a clean and uninterrupted façade. A direct-expansion (DX) variable refrigerant flow (VRF) cooling system optimizes pipework by reducing the need for pressure breaks, therefore allowing for a clear glass building without the clutter of balcony condensers. A centralized ventilation system was adopted to avoid apartment exhaust impacting adjacent units.

The commissioning of a thermal plant on the lower levels ensured early-stage handover could be supported while the tower levels remained under construction. Once the upper levels were completed, plant functions were spread throughout the tower in three locations. A flexible electrical design supports the modifiable floor plates, allowing buyers to significantly remodel or combine apartments, and easily connect to the base building system.

Additionally, the low-noise/high-efficiency electrical services included infrastructure for music and presentation facilities, and a private cinema. A central hydraulic water loop system, with pressure breaks throughout, was designed to address peak pressure vulnerabilities, minimizing the risk of equipment failure.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center