Project Summary

Working under a redevelopment certainly has its challenges. This project was no different. We liken it to living in your house while renovating. The key is to ensure nothing goes unchecked.

The Royal Australian Navy Diving School (RANDS) and the Submarine and Underwater Medicine Unit (SUMU) at HMAS Penguin, including the RANDS Pittwater Annex, were extensively redeveloped between November 2011 and December 2013. While predominantly a building construction project, the recompression chamber facility (including the diver’s charging system) was upgraded. This created a significant impact and presented us with a unique challenge.

It was up to the team at HIFraser to maintain the capability and availability of the recompression chamber facility and diver’s charging systems, whilst the buildings they were housed in, were literally rebuilt around them. We won two separate subcontracts for this project, namely the design services and installation/project management for the hyperbaric systems.



HMAS Penguin Redevelopment

Project Details

The redevelopment included:

  • Setup of temporary hyperbaric facility – at the more remote building 81/82 at Penguin to enable ongoing recompression treatment and diver’s charging capabilities during construction. This involved the relocation of the existing 35 Series recompression chamber with oxygen and mixed gas supply systems from building 88, diver’s charging panel and gas booster pump drive-air supply panel from building 30, and the diver’s maintenance room test panel from building 47. The relocated equipment was supplemented by a new breathing air compressor, new cylinder banks and the associated pipe work and valves.
  • Temporary modifications to 345 bar breathing air supplies – particulate filtration was added on the ducting of the existing breathing air compressors to mitigate the risk posed by construction dust. The exhaust pipe work from the 10-man recompression chamber was permanently redirected to enable construction of the mezzanine level in building 30. The route for the HP air line between buildings 47 and 48 was run at a higher level to allow access for construction equipment and then continued onwards to the wharf SCUBA air charging and SSBA supply.
  • Establishment of a permanent recompression chamber facility training room – in building 47 at Penguin. This room involved the second and final relocation of the 35 series recompression chamber (with oxygen and mixed gas supply systems) and the diver’s maintenance room test panel, all from building 81/82. The training room also included breathing air, oxygen and mixed gas supply systems to the Transportable Recompression Chamber Systems (TRCS).
  • High pressure breathing air system modifications – This involved temporary removal of HP breathing air system equipment within the building, and isolation of the HP breathing air system to the wharf, to enable the construction phase. It subsequently involved reinstallation of the HP breathing air system within the redeveloped facility and reconnection of the HP breathing air system to the wharf equipment.

Scope of Work

The scope of work for the hyperbaric systems included:

  • Detailed design and documentation
  • Procurement
  • Fabrication
  • Factory testing
  • Installation
  • Set-to-work
  • Commissioning
  • Functional testing
  • Certification
  • Operator training
  • Project management

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