Australian Unity owns Peninsula Private Hospital (Peninsula) located in Frankston in Melbourne’s South East.

Peninsula is a 344-bed acute emergency, surgical, medical, cardiac and obstetric hospital that was built in 1999 and is a member of the Ramsay Health Care network.

Peninsula prides itself on being a fully accredited healthcare facility with the most advanced equipment and technology of its kind.


The existing air conditioning system that serviced two operating theaters and two set up rooms was installed upon hospital construction over 20 years ago. Due to its age, the system started showing evidence of rust, water leaks and overall lack of functionality. Therefore, Peninsula required a full upgrade to the old, rundown air conditioning system.

Peninsula clearly specified that during upgrade works the most important consideration was the remaining hospital areas as they remained open and functional throughout construction.


On behalf of Australian Unity, property managers Napier & Blakeley contracted Baxter Projects (Baxter) to install a new air conditioning system, including a chilled water plant and boiler unit that serves the air handling unit.

As the project presented complex elements, such as a specific timeframe, live hospital environment and various trades on site at one time, Baxter knew sharp project management was going to be key in delivering the project on time and to Peninsula’s standard. Baxter set out a schedule of works with a two staged approach, as this allowed them to work within the confines of the busy hospital facility.

Robust hoarding was installed to safeguard the rest of the hospital and was checked daily upon infection and contamination audits. The contractor team worked in close consultation with each other and the project manager to ensure they were on schedule without disturbing other areas of the hospital. Any particularly disruptive work was carried out on weekends to cause minimal interruption.

A crane was required to install the new chiller plant and was carried out in close consultation with hospital staff to guarantee no lifting occurred above occupied hospital spaces. The new boiler unit included three individual boilers to function seamlessly without any faults or failures. Installation of the new air conditioning ducts and air handling units transformed the interior hospital roof, immensely improving the functionality.

Once installation and repair works were complete, it was time to balance the air and ensure the cascade of pressures was accurate. Then thorough air testing was completed to confirm the new system was functioning effectively as Peninsula required.

Throughout the project, all works were completed in accordance with Australasian Health Facility Guidelines and National Construction Code rules and regulations.


Peninsula’s upgraded air conditioning system is a flexible solution that meets the hospitals current needs and will continue to do so well into the future.

“Baxter Projects were easy to work with and extremely professional on site, they were across all aspects of a very technical build”.

– Paul Bullen, Performance Assurance Manager at Peninsula Private Hospital
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