Auckland Council Offices – 135 Albert St

Located in midtown Auckland City, this 31 storey, 33000m2 building constructed in the 1990’s became home to the Auckland Council in 2012.

The council needed to make significant upgrades to the building which included replacing the original chiller plant. The original York YTH R-22 Centrifugal Chillers had come to the end of life.

The council engaged services consultant Lawrence Jones Partners Limited to investigate appropriate equipment and prepare a technical specification of works to replace the aged chillers.

The Goal

The council had to consider what the right solution for their building was. The new chiller plant had to be energy-efficient, environmentally responsible and have low ongoing maintenance plant expenditure. As to deliver value for money for their ratepayers, total cost of ownership had to be the main focus. A significant decrease in chiller plant operating costs was a major goal of this project. This would be achieved by utilising high-efficiency chiller technology.

The Challenge

Chiller replacement projects in existing buildings can be very challenging. Making sure that the new chillers will be able to be accessed is a critical assessment made by the council’s engineer. With the plant room being located below ground, down a winding driveway and through a restricting wall meant that the units had to be dismantled to a degree and rebuilt on site.

The Solution

The council opted to replace the existing York machines with SMARDT Chillers and a plant optimisation package, all installed by Auckland mechanical services contractor, Economech Services Limited.

Two SMARDT Water Cooled Chillers were installed to minimise energy consumption and maximise running cost savings

This system provided the best value proposition for the council and the city ratepayers. Moving to oil-free magnetic bearing technology as offered by SMARDT meant that reduced running costs and ongoing maintenance expenses would be realised. Being oil-free meant that there would be no degradation of energy efficiency over time as there is with traditional oil-lubricated chillers.

Advanced monitoring and optimisation with SMARDT Central Plant Energy Control System (CPECS)

Operating costs would be further reduced by the deployment of the SMARDT CPECS. The CPECS ZEN provides not only chiller plant automation but also optimisation where all power-using devices to make chilled water are managed in a holistic manner.

Flexible, light-weight compressor technology for simple application

The access issue was mitigated thanks to the Danfoss Turbocor Compressors only weighing 135kg each. Removing the three compressors easily meant that the overall height of the assembly was reduced to negotiate the penetration available to Economech to access the chillers into the plant room.

The Result

A well-planned installation was executed by Economech in a short time period. The new SMARDT Chillers along with SMARDT CPECS were commissioned in December 2017. This solution’s efficient performance meant a significant reduction in energy consumption and greater energy savings could be realised.

Equipment breakdown

Total Capacity

Cooling Capacity: 3200kW


2x 1600kW SMARDT WA145.3H Water Cooled Chillers
1x SMARDT CPECS ZEN Chiller Plant Automation and Optimisation Control Package

Services Consulting Engineer