Delivering custom-engineered solutions to an iconic heritage building

Pacific Ventilation supplied The Bondi Pavilion with tailored solutions that meet the heritage building’s unique dimensions as well as IAQ and comfort ventilation requirements

Bondi Pavilion, Australia

Unique installation and sound requirements

With Bondi Pavilion being an almost 100-year-old heritage site, the refurbishment project faced installation constraints, strict sound requirements and limited plant room space.

Strong collaboration

To overcome the retrofit project’s unique requirements, Pacific Ventilation worked closely with the team to provide several design ideas.

Custom-tailored solutions

Pacific Ventilation provided a unique and custom-tailored solution for the customer providing ultra-quiet, double skin air handling units, very thick panels, and an additional layer of acoustic insulation in the fan chamber.

Bondi Pavilion: An Australian Icon

Set in one of Australia’s most visually spectacular and recognisable locations, Bondi Pavilion in Sydney, New South Wales, is an outstanding beach cultural icon and a much-loved historic building.  Featuring a beach, park and surf lifesaving club, Bondi Pavilion has been an essential part of the community fabric and "has come to represent the Australian culture of beach bathing and outdoors living", according to the National Trust.

Constructed in 1928-29, the structure is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register and managed by Waverley Council. Waverly Council commissioned the upgrade and conservation project of Bondi Pavilion, which includes significant community consultation and consideration of long-term actions for the site with critical changes and improvements to the building.

It is almost 100 years since the Commission of Inquiry into the development of the pavilion, and tastes, culture, technology, and demographics have changed substantially in that time. The Waverly Council’s vision is for Bondi Pavilion to be a beautiful landmark building, well-maintained and looked after, with a mix of cultural, community and commercial uses and, importantly, a financially sustainable future.

Pacific Ventilation worked closely to support WSP, the principal consultant of the project, in refurbishing one of Sydney’s most iconic sites. The restoration has finally been completed after two years of work, given the project’s size and depth.

Navigating the unusual constraints of a heritage building

Being a heritage site, the Bondi Pavilion team had to navigate unique challenges, as outlined by Mike Fleet, Senior Mechanical Engineer, WSP. “We were working with a heritage building with extremely tight tolerances for installation and very onerous acoustic requirements that need to be maintained,” he says.  

In the early stages of the project, I reached out to multiple AHU manufacturers, and they never really provided any practical solutions or adapted to work within the constraints. Pacific Ventilation was the first manufacturer to properly get involved with the requirements and engineer ways of modifying their products to meet the criteria.

Mike Fleet
Senior Mechanical Engineer, WSP

Fleet added that a DX air handling unit, as specified, typically results in a larger external condensing unit than what Pacific Ventilation was able to provide through its collaboration with Panasonic. It is due to both the customer service and support in the design and the reduced outdoor DX plant footprint that made Pacific Ventilation the only option for this project.

“The ability to utilise a typical VRF outdoor unit footprint as opposed to a typical DX AHU outdoor unit footprint was another major consideration,” he says.  “Pacific Ventilation came to the table with options on how we could work with the constraints we have and provided options that differentiated them from their competitors.”

Thinking outside the box

Overall, Pacific Ventilation was the only manufacturer able to provide a custom-tailored engineered solution for this project. Over the course of more than one-year, Pacific Ventilation supplied the following:

  • DX-AHU with Panasonic VRF

  • Fans ( ICQ/ RCD/MFP/CS/AX)

  • Sound Attenuators

“The team was very involved during the design and construction to ensure that all the requirements were understood and met. This project is interesting as it refurbishes one of Sydney's great landmarks at arguably one of the world’s greatest and most iconic beaches."

Bondi Pavilion will continue to sit proudly in the centre of Bondi Park on Bondi Beach as it has done for almost a century. It is a great honour to be able to provide the design for such an iconic building, but also a design that is of the highest quality that has been thoroughly designed and coordinated to ensure that it complements the pavilion and does not take away from its character.”

- Mike Fleet, Senior Mechanical Engineer, WSP

Every once in a while, you stumble upon a special project that prompts you to think outside the box. Bondi was this project where we got heavily involved with the consultant to find a technical solution meeting all the requirements of a heritage building from the early 1930s, which is also very well known in Australia.

-Alexandre Stubert,
AHU Product Manager, Pacific Ventilation