PROFILE SERIES | CORRECTIONSCapricornia Correctional Centre

Corrections and VAE

Corrections and VAE

VAE have been involved with the installation and maintenance of HVAC systems in nearly every correctional facility in Queensland. In gaining this experience, we have learned valuable lessons in the design, construction, and maintenance of correctional institutions.

Our profile series will showcase our expertise and understanding of the operational risk involved in working in correctional facilities.

VAE understand the importance of maintaining conditions within the prison environment, with mechanical and exhaust systems that are compliant with current standards. Systems need to be engineered and installed for absolute certainty of operation and any disruption to the facility must be kept to a minimum during construction, or whenever maintenance is required.

Safety in Design is critical within the prison environment, as well as a focus on long-term asset lifecycle and maintenance costs.

#The Project

Capricornia Correctional Centre is located 20 kilometres north of Rockhampton and provides facilities for remand, reception, and sentenced prisoners.

The centre includes both high and low security facilities and prior to the current project had a capacity for 500 inmates.

CPB Contractors are working with Queensland Corrective Services to deliver a significant upgrade to the centre increasing capacity and on-going prison services. Construction of the $145m upgrade commenced in early 2018.

CPB Contractors engaged VAE Group for both the early works, and main prison works packages at the centre in early 2019.

In the last three years VAE has worked in every major Correctional Facility in Queensland

#Capricornia Early Works

VAE conducted a comprehensive plantroom audit and risk assessment prior to work commencing on site. We identified the tight spacial requirements and access issues for the existing Air Handling Unit (AHU) replacements during this phase.

Our delivery methodology involved the replacement AHUs being ordered as complete assemblies, delivered off-site in Rockhampton, subsequent disassembly, and packaging ready for re-assembly onsite. The replacement units were reassembled in situ together with the associated ductwork, pipe connections, electrical fit-off, controls and commissioning.

#Capricornia Main Prison Works

The major prison expansion works are well underway, with VAE undertaking the following mechanical services:

• New central chilled water plant, and underground pipework reticulation to all new accommodation (348 new cells) and administration blocks

• New air conditioning plant to all prison blocks (eight medium security, and two high security), including smoke control and purge ventilation to prison accommodation buildings

• New air conditioning and ventilation of associated administration, visitors, industries and recreation buildings


Installation of approximately 300m of new underground pre-insulated Chilled Water (CHW) pipework, roughly 60m of which was tunnel-bore under the live correctional centre fencing


Completed new CHW Central Energy Plant (CEP) with four new high-efficiency Smardt Chillers and stainless steel EVAPCO cooling towers


Air Conditioning (AC) to 13 new prison blocks including medium, and high security accommodation. AC/ventilation to five (5) new support buildings, including kitchen, laundry, medical and processing buildings.