Parklea Correctional Centre
Client: Maico Property Services
Project: Parklea Correctional Centre
Project Highlights: Installation of high level of ventilation to minimise the risk of smoke inhalation in the event of a fire
Parklea Correctional Centre, situated in North-West Sydney, is a correctional facility exclusively housing male inmates, catering to both minimum and maximum security requirements. Established in 1983, this privately owned prison has played a crucial role in the Australian justice system, housing up to 1230 inmates at any one time.
In 2021, inmates were suspected of instigating a fire, which quickly engulfed one of the wings of the facility. Thankfully, all building occupants were swiftly evacuated, and no casualties were reported. Despite the successful evacuation, the incident raised serious concerns about the potential for future fires and the overall safety of the prison.
As a result of the fire incident, the correctional authorities promptly initiated a thorough assessment of the prison’s infrastructure. It was determined that certain areas, particularly the roof and natural ventilation systems, needed urgent replacement and enhancement to improve safety measures within the facility.
In response to these concerns, the management of Parklea Correctional Centre collaborated with experts in prison safety and modern infrastructure to devise a comprehensive plan. The plan involved upgrading the natural ventilation systems to meet the latest safety standards and ensure effective smoke management in case of any future emergencies. These improvements aimed to minimise risks, enhance safety protocols and provide a secure environment for staff and inmates.
Airocle was contacted to provide a natural ventilation solution that met the needs of the facility. Our 2 Series ventilation system was put forward to use for this project as it met specifications relating to discharge of air and met fire safety standard AS2428.4 while also meeting AS 2428, Parts 1 and 2, wind and rain. As part of the BMS needs, we proposed the solution of adding automatic motorised shut off dampers to this vent, to open and close depending on weather and fire safety needs. We programmed the vents to be able to close the dampers in the event of a fire, to allow the smoke spill fans to take over and evacuate the smoke.
The Airocle 2 Series ventilation system provided an ingenious solution to the prison’s safety concerns. Its high performance capacity allowed for effective and consistent airflow throughout the facility, promoting natural ventilation while efficiently managing smoke dispersion in the event of emergencies. This significant upgrade has improved the overall air quality within the prison but has also addressed the critical issue of fire safety.
Beyond the safety aspect, the improved ventilation system played a pivotal role in the overall well-being of the inmates. Adequate airflow and ventilation are essential in any confined space, our ventilation systems allowed for improved airflow, while not compromising security. A study into incorporating biophilic design into prisons has shown to improve mental health and cognitive functioning.
Additionally, efficient airflow management had a positive effect on energy consumption within the prison. The Airocle 2 Series ventilation system, designed to optimise air circulation while minimising energy usage, helped to reduce operational costs and decrease the facility’s carbon footprint, aligning with modern sustainability initiatives.