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Y Suites - Australia

Y Suites


Adelaide CBD, South Australia


VRV units, splits and split-ducted units

Big Foot

LD Frames

Y Suites on Waymouth Street is a 17-floor, 813-bedroom development, with Sky lounge, in Adelaide’s city centre, providing accommodation for local and overseas students attending universities and colleges in the area. At 55.4 metres high, Y Suites is the largest student accommodation complex in South Australia, yet this superstructure is surprisingly unimposing and has been designed to give students the ultimate ‘student experience’ in a safe and secure environment.

The construction programme was an aggressive one, and the approach to the build reflected that with elements like the façade glazing being preinstalled offsite. When it came to supporting over 80 Fujitsu HVAC/R units, comprising a mix of splits, split-ducted and VRVs, on the rooftop, Big Foot was not the first choice. Synergy Construct had used fabricated concrete frames on a similar development and was considering that or making their own for this build. OP Industries, the mechanical engineers on the build, and Reece HVAC Wingfield (the wholesaler who was familiar with Big Foot Systems) recommended that Big Foot LD Frames should be considered because of its many benefits versus the alternatives:

  • Big Foot frames are not only lighter, but they also spread the load of the services evenly, without compromising the watertightness of the roof covering
  • Its feet are made entirely from post-industrial recycled plastic and are covered by bespoke rubber mats made entirely from recycled tyres
  • Maximum longevity is assured as the hot-dipped galvanised frames have a design life of at least 10 years, providing trouble-free service for the whole life of the units they support
  • Time-saving, as there’s no need to wait for other trades, such as concreting and water proofing, to be completed before their installation
  • The prefabricated system is not only faster to assemble, it removes the design risk and liability associated with onsite fabrication
  • Adjustable height facility allows pipe runs and cable trays to run under or between the units; this in turn makes the roof platform safe to access and move around, especially for maintenance workers, and to facilitate any future work

The space constraints on the roof deck, due primarily to the pipe runs, meant that only Big Foot’s modular frame design could provide the flexibility necessary to complete this project within the tight time frame and with minimum hassle. 

After much discussion on the best way forward with Big Foot, OP Industries and Reece HVAC Wingfield asked Brenton Powell, Territory Manager, Aspen Pumps Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, Big Foot distributor in Australia and New Zealand, for his input. Several design options for the equipment were tabled before the final design was agreed and approved. 

As part of the Aspen service, Brenton was on site to demonstrate to the OP Industries installation team how to assemble the frames. Once he was confident “they had this” installation began at pace. In fact, Synergy Construct completed the Y Suites development 2.5 months ahead of schedule.

Aesthetics matter on every build, and the matt silver finish together with the black finish on the base plates, complemented the design of the rooftop installation.

In July 2021 Synergy Construct was Highly Commended in the South Australian 2021 AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards.

There’s no doubt that the modular frame saved us valuable time; its flexibility made coordination with other services easy and was a contributory factor in the efficient completion of the rooftop plant works.

Gavin Dowling and James Pinnell

Synergy Construct

Y Suites 3
Y Suites rooftop 2
Y Suites rooftop 3

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