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IKEA & Harvey Norman Supersize
February 27, 2012

Victoria’s largest bulky goods development is now open to the public. Located on a busy intersection in Melbourne’s southeast, the Springvale Homemaker Centre features Swedish furniture sensation IKEA and Australian retail giant Harvey Norman.

The northern portion of the eight hectare site is dominated by a 32,000sqm IKEA store, the second largest in the Southern Hemisphere, while the southern end has Victoria’s largest Harvey Norman outlet and 28 other retail stores. In total there is more than 70,000sqm of retail space spread over two floors and two levels of undercover parking for 2,700 cars.

“We all thought the IKEA Richmond store was big, but the one in Springvale is 35% larger and is enormous,” Allstaff Airconditioning Engineering Manager Haydn Walsh said. There are more than 1,000 products displayed in over 60 room settings in the showroom, and the market hall is almost 7,000sqm.

Allstaff was responsible for the mechanical services of the entire complex and began working on the project in May 2010. Haydn said working with Probuild Construction helped the project go very smoothly even though it was such a large building complex. “A lot of thought went into the selection of fans for the car park,” he said. “Although above ground, the two sublevel car parks were partially enclosed to fit in with the stylised facade and building size. This presented some problems because the developers didn’t want to use a traditional car park supply and exhaust system.”

There were multiple issues with the electrical requirements and installation, so Peter Cotterell from Fantech put together a team to find a solution. Fantech redesigned the JetVent fan to meet the specific requirements of this project; the result was a highly efficient new product for car park ventilation.

Known as the JetVent EC fan, it incorporates an EC (Electronic Commutation) motor with integrated speed control. This allows digital communication between fan units and the BMS.

Haydn said the system includes sensors in the car park to measure the level of carbon monoxide. “The BMS receives feedback from the sensors and automatically adjusts the speed of the fan to ensure carbon monoxide levels remain at an acceptable level. This means the fan produces more thrust when there are lots of cars using the car park, but when carbon monoxide levels are low, the fan slows down, which means they use less energy. 

Allstaff installed 94 JetVent EC units in the car park, a number of large smoke exhaust fans and various Fantech exhaust fans for the toilets, kitchen and loading dock areas.

Haydn said the IKEA store had been designed by BSE Consultants and incorporated a number of green initiatives. “For example, the cooling system has a unique chiller which uses cold condensed water to provide refrigerant-free cooling with minimal electricity input. The water is cooled to 4°C at night using the low ambient conditions and off-peak electricity. During the day the chilled water is reticulated from the fire sprinkler tanks, via heat exchangers to the air handling units and through chilled beams,” he said.

IKEA opened its doors in September 2011, with the remainder of the centre opening the following month.


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