Project Description

The purpose built, state-of-the-art headquarters in Bowen Hills, QLD that operates 24/7, is the largest laboratory of its type in the Southern hemisphere and is currently undergoing stage 2 of its redevelopment. The $63 million development is a 4-storey laboratory, with stage 2 of the project seeing a new laboratory building adjacent to existing structures to facilitate the expansion (approximately 7,000 square meters). The expansion will also include a new ancillary office, entry, staff area, amenities, and associated works. The facility is to remain fully operational during the construction of Stage 2.

HansenYuncken, the builder and developer on the SNP project, is one of Australia’s most well-established builders who aim to expand and diversify the industry by bringing their extensive expertise and problem-solving approach to every project they deliver.

Contractor | VAE Group

HansenYuncken awarded VAE Group the Mechanical Design and Construct contract to complete the second stage of the project. VAE Group are HVAC specialists who engineer, construct, and manage smarter HVAC solutions. They pride themselves on assessing challenges and identifying the smartest ways to build in certainty into building assets. They deliver a fit-for-purpose solution that achieves optimum performance and maximises value throughout the asset’s lifecycle. Their capabilities and expertise allow them to provide a wide array of services to the industry.

With this expertise, VAE were responsible for delivering the “redesign of the mechanical services for the project that were cost effective, whilst still delivering the outcomes that the client required which were: being low maintenance, flexible and efficient in operation.”

The second stage mechanical services included:

  • Four new air-cooled York Chillers to match the existing chillers in stage 1
  • 26 new Air Handling Units.
  • 16 new single zone ducted units.
  • 16 under ceiling chilled water units.
  • Installation of new Fume cupboards and exhaust systems
  • Installation of two new Nederman arm exhaust systems
  • Separate condenser water system serving the pharmaceutical cold rooms
  • Outside air and exhaust ventilation systems for the flammable goods stores
  • Equipment exhaust systems including fans, ductwork, and discharge flues


MM Kembla provided training to the VAE Group install team which entailed a detailed training guide on how each Kembla product works, installation requirements and guided installation demonstrations to assist with timely and accurate installation and to minimise any potential future failures due to poor installation.

VAE Group used Kembla’s Integrated Piping System on the SNP Project. The products used included:

  • Kembla Copper Tube utilising unique and innovative Kemcore Technology to provide superior concentricity and consistent wall thickness. Such high-quality tube was important to deliver optimal structural integrity and superior performance with press fittings.
  • KemPress Copper Fittings incorporating the unique features and technologies of its KemGuard package. Features that included ‘Unpressed Fitting ID’, ‘Push and Stay’ and KemPress Tools equipped with Bluetooth technology which assisted in managing and reducing installation risk and providing the highest quality press fitting installation.
  • The highest quality Kembla Copper Capillary Fittings for brazing to Kembla Copper Tube where required for pressure applications and sizes where press-fittings were not used.
  • Kembla Insulation by K-Flex made from NBR material and highly resistant to water vapour transmission and excellent thermal resistance to ensure optimal system performance and energy efficiency.
  • Streamline ACR Press Fittings an industry-first double o-ring design for double the protection on HVAC-R installations. Designed specifically for HVAC-R installations due to smaller refrigerant molecules being notoriously difficult to contain and convenience of use.

VAE Group’s Site Resources Manager for Plumbing, Mick Roberts explains:

“On this project we also utilised the Kembla Streamline ACR Press product range for the new refrigeration system located in the existing occupied building, due the complexities of hot works procedures the press system has proven to be a fantastic alternative to brazing and the double O-ring system utilised in Kembla’s product provides some certainty of performance.”


VAE Group wanted to ensure the products they invested in were not just of high quality, but they were covered if there were a system or product fault in future. MM Kembla provided VAE Group with a project warranty to provide peace of mind well beyond the installation.

VAE Group also took advantage of a fixed copper price agreement, locking in the price of their copper for the entirety of the project’s duration, assisting with budgeting for the project.

The benefits of using one integrated piping system and subsequent project warranty are abundant. It means that the installer deals with one centralised team and supplier, not multiple during the installation, minimising the administrative back and forth throughout the process. In addition, MM Kembla provides dedicated support and technical teams who offer product and design support on projects like SNP. One brand, one system, backed by one warranty from an Australian company with a renowned reputation for quality, reliability, and service for over 100 years is what you can expect from Kembla.

“I have confidence that the quality of the products will be to a high standard and back up service is readily available. It’s always good to know that a manufacturer or supplier is there when you need them as it can often be when you least expect it.” – Mick Roberts, VAE Group’s Site Resources Manager – Plumbing

By identifying Kembla products as the solution to smarter HVAC installations, VAE Group were able to provide a fit-for-purpose solution to achieve optimum performance and value throughout SNP’s lifecycle. Using Kembla’s integrated piping system, VAE Group were also able to achieve their company mission of building in certainty into their building assets.

By using Kembla’s innovative Streamline ACR Press fittings, copper press fittings, copper tube, capillary fittings and insulation as an all-in-one integrated Kembla Piping System, VAE Group achieved their goal of efficiency of installation and effectiveness of maintenance post-installation.

For more information or to discuss MM Kembla’s range of integrated piping systems, project warranties, or on-site training and technical assistance get in touch via the relevant contact information on the Contact Us page on our website.