Our team faced multiple challenges to install two new cooling towers on a rooftop in Sydney CBD.


Detailed planning and collaboration with subcontractors and suppliers – and a 250-tonne crane.


Our team delivered the project safely, sucessfully, on time and on budget.

Installing two new cooling towers on the rooftop of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in Sydney's CBD proved a balancing act between government approvals processes, installation schedule and unprecedented rain events, but our team delivered, due to careful planning and collaboration with contractors and suppliers.

Ensuring the delivery of projects on time, on budget and to a high standard is the daily challenge faced by every project manager, particularly with fluctuating material and resource prices and supply. 

At Ventia, we differentiate ourselves by focusing on three priorities; being client-focused, innovative, and sustainable to deliver service excellence to our stakeholders on projects, whether large or small.  

The skills and capabilities of our people are core to this success.  




Preparation is key 

Understanding the lessons from previous projects and having a good understanding of the deliverables with a contingency for factors beyond our control are the key elements to good project management. This also requires some innovative thinking!  

"We expect some factors will be beyond our control, so we allow for these and manage them with practical solutions to ensure timeframes are achieved," said Project Coordinator Melanie Wright. 

The Whole of Australian Government (WoAG) Projects and Workplace Solutions (PWS) team contended with a robust local government approvals process, an installation schedule that coincided with Sydney's VIVID festival and unprecedented rain events when installing two new cooling towers on the rooftop of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in Sydney's CBD. Despite these challenges, they were able to deliver on time and on budget due to careful planning and collaboration with contractors and suppliers. 

The Project Manager, Wassim Hawat, worked with Project Coordinator Melanie Wright, Facility Manager Rob Boswell, and SHEQ Advisor Karley Ayerst to deliver two new cooling towers as the existing infrastructure had reached its end of life.  

With the current 14 to 16-week lead time to build and deliver the cooling tower units, the team made sure to order them ahead of time. The team focused on approvals, detailed planning, safety assurance, and site preparations while the units were being manufactured in Australia.  


Collaboration to bring the best to our clients and communities 

Effective and collaborative relationships are the foundation of our approach. Through stakeholder engagement and consultation, we ensured all parties were aligned on the purpose and outcomes of the project.  

Collaboration enables continuous improvement and sharing of resources to get things done. Good relationships enhance cooperation among teams, enable rapid problem-solving, and improve project outcomes. It fosters an environment where teams show respect, listen to each other, and respond positively to different points of view to achieve successful project outcomes. 

Project Coordinator Melanie Wright reflected on how planning and collaboration ensured the successful delivery of the project.  

"On the day the towers were lifted into place, it was brilliant to see a very cohesive and organised team deliver a well-planned design. The team adapted well to supply chain challenges, changing lift conditions and wet weather," said Melanie. "We are happy to confirm that the towers are now fully installed and operational." 

Specialist building services engineers Aston Consulting provided the mechanical design expertise, which was crucial to delivering a more efficient, compact, and easier-to-maintain unit.  

The new fibre glass units are significantly smaller than the units being replaced. Weighing 800 kg per unit, each cooling tower was 1.9 x 1.9 m wide and 3m high and required approximately 2 tons of supporting structural steel framework and beams, and a 500 kg platform. All materials removed from the site were responsibly recycled including metals and plastics.  

As the principal contractor, Airmaster Australia ran the end-to-end installation on site and was responsible for the interface of the multiple subcontractor teams.   

Senior Project Manager from Airmaster, Glen Shipway says, "Airmaster would like to thank Ventia for giving us the opportunity to undertake this project for the Replacement of the Cooling Towers for the Commonwealth Law Courts."  

It has been a pleasure to work alongside the Ventia team and to give an insight into the capabilities of Airmaster and look forward to further projects in the future.


Putting safety and health above all else is our priority 

Nothing is more important than keeping our people and the public safe.  

A comprehensive lift study was undertaken, and a lift plan was developed. A 250-tonne crane was employed to conduct the multiple lifts, ensuring the loads were well below the crane's maximum rated capacity. All items were lifted and carried approximately 45m over the 13th floor of the building to safely clear the façade.  

A traffic control team implemented the traffic management plan to close one side of Goulburn Street at the front of the building. This ensured the safety of our crew, the crane, and public vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  

SHEQ Advisor Karley Ayerst says she appreciated the teamwork to ensure strong safety outcomes.  

"Viewing the project through a "safety lens" is a different perspective from the "operational lens" Wassim and Melanie provided," Karley says. "The combination of the two provides an extra level of surety that nothing has been overlooked or missed."  

"From the get-go, we were ensuring the contractor's work methodologies aligned with Ventia's Critical Risk Protocols. We had confidence the team would complete the works safely before they commenced as we knew the critical controls for each risk were in place."  

The constant rain and changing wind speeds were a challenge on the day of the lift. The anemometer on the crane was closely monitored by the crane operator, while the team on the ground kept a close eye on the weather radar.  

"The team responded well to the changing conditions," Karley explained. "Risk assessments were undertaken to ensure current controls remained relevant and effective and to determine any additional controls that needed to be implemented."  

The team is good at what they do. They didn't rush, picked the right moments to conduct the lifts, maintained communication with each other and got it done safely.


Demonstrated project management experience  

The team are managing projects like this every day. They have the expertise and skills to provide comprehensive and innovative support to clients regardless of the project's size, scale, type, or complexity. 

Our capabilities and services include project planning, scheduling, controls and governance, estimation, vendor management, compliance and change management. Find out more about those capabilities here