It was definitely a case of “up here for thinking” when Airocle recently fitted some of the biggest heat and smoke vents ever built to the roof of the Visy Packaging Warehouse at Brendale in Brisbane’s north.

Such was the size and complexity of the job – the roof was approximately 100m long – Airocle devised a creative solution to this unique roof venting problem.

Rather than use a traditional crane to help our crew install the 30 smoke and heat vents needed to complete this massive task, we decided to deploy a helicopter.

We had not attempted this manoeuvre before, however it worked so well we will definitely consider repeating the exercise on our next large scale ventilation build or upgrade.

Making safety easy for Visy.

The helicopter, commissioned from Executive Helicopters Brisbane, completed the ventilation system upgrade quickly, safely and cost-effectively.

The chopper was much quicker than a crane would have been. In fact it took less than 4 minutes to carefully position each of the roof vents… with minimal disruption to the normal operation of the warehouse and an utmost regard for safety which Visy hold paramount.

Safety was a factor in Visy’s decision to upgrade the roof vent system in the first place.

The original smoke and heat vents had been in place for many years however it was ascertained that the old louvred system was not installed properly and the support system was found to be inadequate.

The new Australian engineered ventilation system is CSIRO and NATA tested for BCA compliance. It is activated by higher temperatures and pneumatically opens automatically in the event of a fire to reduce the dangers of radiant heat and smoke inhalation.

Furthermore, the stainless steel air lines that open and close the vents are braided to make them fully heatproof to ensure that they work precisely as planned when the heat is on.

The upgrade was also necessary because Visy Packaging had increased their suite of the sensitive packaging materials required to deal with high grade food and pharmaceuticals.

On top of that, Australian Standards now insist that a specific percentage of the floor area must be vented through the roof.

Ventilation System installs by helicopter could really take off

Executive Helicopters perform around a dozen specialist operations such as this a year, and are experienced in handling potentially dangerous situations.

However as pilot Gary Liehm points out, this job was more complex than most.

“Due to the unusual shape and size of the smoke vents, plus the downdraught, they just didn’t want to fly,” he said.

“The installation crew were in position on the roof of the warehouse and obviously their safety was our # 1 priority.

“Airocle (previously IVR Group) quickly ironed out this problem by creating supports for the vents and from then on, the job went like clockwork…all up it only took around 90 minutes to have all the vents in place ready to bolt down and connect to the master control system.”

Visy Packaging’s new ventilation system is a great example of Airocle understanding clients’ needs and coming up with creative solutions.

To discuss a new system or an upgrade, please contact our design experts on (02) 4677 7300.