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When only the Best will do

November 12, 2021

Ductus’ fully certified/accredited pre-insulated duct systems

are paving the way forward within the HVAC industry. The significant advantages pre-insulated ductwork has over traditional sheet metal are widely recognised. They are the best performing duct systems in the industry as well as being the only feasible option in certain applications.

No example highlights this better than the recent renovations made to Australia’s renowned Sydney Opera House. Contracted to manage the HVAC renewal, Engie Mechanical Services are leaders in providing professional project management services around the globe, and they reached out to Ductus to provide a solution for the proposed works.

Ductus’ ALP pre-insulated duct was selected for being light-weight, easy-to-install, capable of intricate fabrication and its ability to adapt to the existing run of metal ductwork.

THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE –MAINTAINING HERITAGE Increasingly, OH&S measures for work conducted within the sails has been a prime concern. The rectification work involved the removal of hundreds of tonnes of ductwork and plant and replaced with considerably more tonnage of new plant and ductwork, adding platforms, and increasing overall stair safety provisions. This effectively reduced the available space for ductwork within the sails including the access needed for installers to pass ductwork through and join.

The ALP System™ due to its light weight and space saving properties, was selected to be used in a critical and difficult access area of ductwork. Fitted to a sound attenuator the ALP duct started on level 10 (approx.43M off the floor), and travelled out towards the sail, then down following the contour of the sail to level 6 and back into join with the remaining original ductwork.

A representative from Engie Mechanical Service states, “The prime objective of using ALP for this project is its light-weight nature. The Sydney Opera House was aiming for a reduction in the mass of services supported on their acoustically treated surface over the concert hall”.

Quality Air Equipment (QAE) were appointed by Engie Mechanical Service to carry out the fabrication.Their experience and “state of the art” manufacturing systems were critical to ensure the specified outcomes were achieved. “Traditional metal duct would be unfeasible due to the access and installation restrictions” said Peter Freney, Commercial Business Manager at QAE. “The lightweight R2.0 duct was faced with 2mm of external aluminium laminate and internally lined with 25mm Sekisui Acousti Plus insulation to maintain the sound absorption required.”

SAFETY, PERFORMANCEAND SUSTAINABILITY Further conditions required the use of specialised installation methods. Outside contractors trained specifically to work whilst being suspended from ropes were employed. The light-weight nature of pre insulated duct enabled this requirement to be met safely and efficiently, which no other product could do while meeting the required R2.0 performance rating.

Ductus’ ALP pre-insulated duct systems are accredited to withstand 2000 pascals of air pressure with under 5% leakage rate compared to traditional metal ducts, typically 15%. This means less energy would be consumed to maintain the 22.5˚C needed to keep instruments in tune which adds to the overall sustainability of the building.

ALP pre-insulated duct boards produce less embodied energy than sheet metal and leave a much smaller carbon footprint in the environment.

QAE’s expertise and experience in fabricating pre insulated ductwork was also needed to overcome the challenges mentioned above. “After almost 30 years in the industry it’s great to see this innovation in the Australian HVAC industry. With the uptake of new concepts becoming more prevalent in this region, modern technology and sustainability are within the grasp of engineers and project managers here and around the world”, said Mr. Freney

Ductus Managing Director, Jim Malek explains, “We are very excited to be part of this iconic building. Projects like the Sydney Opera House are a great example of the system acceptance and confidence within the Australian market, with the requirement of meeting the global environmental challenges ahead. It is time for us to step up and look forward to advancements within the building sector to help us meet our climate goals.”

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