Brisbane Girls Grammar School Case Study

Mitsubishi Electric Delivers Maximum Comfort at Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

When the Brisbane Girls Grammar School wanted to bring the comfort levels of its main building, which was built in 1883, into the 21st century it installed a new City Multi Y Series VRF air conditioning system controlled by the G-50a Central Controller from Mitsubishi Electric.


Brisbane Girls Grammar School was founded in 1875 to provide girls with the same educational opportunities as their brothers. The School has built on its history and today is committed to providing a caring, student-focused learning environment. Students at the School are encouraged to become independent, flexible and autonomous learners through access to a quality education that balances tradition with innovation. 

Brisbane Girls Grammar SchoolBalancing Heritage and Innovation

The School moved to its current site in 1883 and now has 10 buildings to house its 1,100 pupils. The oldest of these buildings, which is currently being heritage listed, is the main school building which was designed by renowned Brisbane Architect Richard Gailey. 

The challenge for David Foreman, Facilities Manager at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, was to install an air conditioning system that was sympathetic to the history of the building but offered a state of the art solution. Mr Foreman explains: “We needed a system that could be concealed on the outside of the building, within the ceiling space inside and could meet our functional requirements.” 

These requirements included a system that was reliable, energy efficient, minimised the number of split systems the school used and combined central control with individual flexibility. The system also had to be quiet in the classrooms. 

A Reliable Experience

The School had recently installed two City Multi systems from Mitsubishi Electric: one in December 2002 in its science block and one of its classroom blocks in July 2002. “We were happy with the reliability of the two systems we had installed,” explains Mr Foreman. “So, we decided to look at a similar system for the main building.”

The School has worked over the last 10 years with Tritech, a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Dealer, for the implementation and support of its air conditioning systems. Steve Smart of Tritech comments: “We recommended the City Multi as it best suited the School’s requirements. They were used to the system and happy with the levels of reliability and quality.”

Brisbane Girls Grammar SchoolMeeting Expectations

The School decided to implement the City Multi Y series controlled by the newly released G-50a Central Controller. The concern over concealing the outside units was solved quite simply , the shape of the building lent itself to putting them in a valley on the roof. Mr Foreman adds: “The new system is completely concealed. If you’re looking at the building you can’t see it at all – unless you’re in a helicopter of course!” The School has installed 19 fan coil units inside the main building and 3 condensers on the roof. 

The system was installed over a 4-week period during the mid-year break in June/July 2003. The units in the classrooms were installed over the school holidays to ensure minimum disruption to teaching but much of the preparation on the roof of the building was carried out during term time.

The system has met the School’s expectations from day one. Mr Foreman comments: “The installation went smoothly and there were no real challenges. Because we used the City Multi in two of our other buildings we knew what we were getting.”

Energy Savings

One of the school’s key requirements was for energy efficiency and savings. The Central Controller G-50a enables Mr Foreman to zone the main building so he can cool each part of it only when it is being used. For example, the system is programmed to turn off in the classrooms at 3.20pm when classes end . Cleaners are able to turn on the system when they come into the rooms later , and it is then programmed to turn off again at 6pm.

This couples central control, ensuring the units are off when the area is not occupied, with the individual flexibility to turn on a unit when entering a room. The system’s VRF (Variable Refrigeration Flow) technology varies the capacity of the system to meet the temperature requirements while saving energy and providing indoor comfort.

Matching Control & Flexibility

Mr Foreman is also able to control the temperature of the zones of the building whilst sitting at his PC. The G-50a Central Controller is part of the School’s local area network (LAN) and is accessed through the School intranet. The temperature for the school is preset at 23°c to minimise the energy used by the system. “This provides a pleasant environment for students and teachers,” Mr Foreman explains. “If the temperature needs to be changed in one room though, an individual can do so without changing the temperature in the rest of the school.”

If the system malfunctions Mr Foreman can log-on and get an error report or a message is sent to him via email. An endorsement for the reliability of the system is Mr Foreman’s comment: “I’ve not seen many of these error reports at all since we installed the system.” 

Maximum Comfort

Perhaps the best endorsement for the system is the School’s future plans. Mr Foreman explains: “We’re going to be installing a City Multi system in two further buildings over the Christmas holidays. That will mean 95% of the School will be air conditioned.” 

The City Multi Y Series has delivered the air conditioning system the School required. Not only is it unseen from the outside of the building but it is reliable, energy efficient, easy to control and flexible.


Solution at a Glance

Products Used

G50A central controller

TG2000A software

City Multi VRF R2Y range

3 outdoor condensing units

19 indoor units


Designed By
Tri Tech Airconditioning

Installed By
Tri Tech Airconditioning

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