Mater Private Hospital Air Handling Units Replacement Program






Mater Health Services





VAE were directly contracted by Mater Health Services as the Head Contractor for a major retrofit of the Mater Private Hospital in Brisbane.

The complex staged replacement of 23 Air Handling Units (AHU), their associated (3-off) Mechanical Services Switch Boards (MSSB), and the site wide Building Management System (BMS). All undertaken within a live operational hospital environment, replacing critical HVAC equipment first placed into service in 1993.

#The Project

Through effective and clear communications with all stakeholders, VAE planned and delivered a complex alternative cutover staging design that “changed the game” and saved the client significant capital expenditure.

VAE worked closely with Mater and DMA Consultants to add significant value management benefit to the project, helping the client overcome initial budget shortfalls.

#Project Scope


  • Advisory Services
  • Design
  • BIM Drafting
  • Drafting co-ordination
  • Audit


  • Prefabrication
  • Installation
  • BMS
  • Automation
  • Electrical
  • Co-ordination of Services


  • BMS
  • Bureau Performance Management
  • Maintenance
  • Compliance
  • Upgrades


Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade AIRAH Awards 2019

Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade AIRAH Awards 2019

VAE and DMA proudly accepted the National AIRAH Industry award for Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade in 2019

#Key Achievements


Game-changing alternate design offered by VAE


Significant CAPEX savings for Mater


Minimised anticipated disruption to Hospital operations significantly

#VAE's Smarter HVAC Solution

VAE worked in partnership with the project consultants (DMA) to develop an alternative design philosophy for the main air handling plantroom, significantly reducing the ductwork and plant footprint of the space by re-purposing the entire plantroom as a common pre-conditioned plenum. This pivotal change in the design removed significant ductwork and cost, significantly reducing the client's investment amount and improving servicing accessibility to the plantroom as a whole.

In addition, we also identified an alternative electrical arrangement for the project utilising existing electrical infrastructure in lieu of new cabling, allowing for staged cutover of services, reduced client investment, and entirely removing the need for a full electrical shutdown of the hospital as originally planned.

#Before & After

#Built in Certainty

The Mater Private Hospital AHU Replacement project is a perfect example of VAE providing “Built In Certainty”, with VAE's project team ensuring that every detail of the project is reviewed and meticulously planned prior to execution in order to safeguard the facility's operations from unplanned disruption.  

#Key Stats


hours maximum transition period per live system


air handling units

#Project Gallery