Page 1

Award Volume 1 Number 4


Showcasing Excellence In Australian Construction


Inside This Edition Special Precast Feature

Bob Hawke Centre Berry Sport & Recreation Centre Bishop See & Century City Office Tower Concrete Forming & Finishing Building GREEN in a Concrete World


Development approvals Project structuring Joint venture agreements Planning appeals




Design and Construction Contracts GMP, Consulting and Partnering Contracts Contract delivery systems Claim preparation and defence Advice and Contract Management Extensions of time and acceleration Disruption, delay and variation claims Negotiation Mediation Adjudication Litigation

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Award Showcasing Excellence In Australian Construction


Volume 1 Number 4

Page 44 Publisher/Managing Director

Brandon Vigon 03 9600 4786 Advertising Sales

Ashley Mardesic Michael Hoogzard Paul Milnes Editor

Spiro Lambropoulos contributing writers

Spiro Lambropoulos, David Said, Deborah Singerman, Dan Stojanovich, Jodie Thompson Professional Corners

George Xinos, Patricia Flores, Andrew Osboldstone, Stan Krpan, Jim Doyle


NPCAA Greem Building Council of Australia Australian Institute of Buildings Property Council of Australia Association of Consulting Engineers Australia


Niall Rutter Circulation

10 Award Magazine is published by:

Blythe-Sanderson Group

11 MediaEdge Communications PTY Ltd.

PO Box 21081 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Vic 8011 T: 03 9600 4786 F: 03 9602 2598

Accessibility Corner

...But what about Housing? By George Xinos, Patricia Flores

International PROJECT PROFILE 50 Ontario Tower - London, UK

By S. Lambropoulos

PRODUCT SHOWCASE 60 DTAC 61 PPG 62 Danley Systems

Legal Corner

On site Efficiency by off site Manufacture By Jim Doyle Doyle Construction Lawyers

12 Technology Corner Concrete Vision


Bentley Systems Pty Ltd

Kevin Brown

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WorkSafe Corner

Protecting Boards and their Business By S  tan Krpan

Page 18

WorkSafe Victoria


For information on article reprints or reproductions, please contact the publisher. Authors:

Award Magazine accepts unsolicited query letters and article suggestions. Editorial suggestion/submission:

Do you have a story idea, or would like to submit editorial for publishing consideration, please email: Š Copyright 2008 Australia Post Publications Mail Pub. No. PP381712102392

Cover image: Bob Hawke Centre Courtesy of Tim Meine

4 | Award Magazine


Workplace Safety Corner

Traffic Management - Not just vests and flashing lights By Andrew Osboldstone Noel Arnold & Associates

editorial advisory board Volume 1 Number 4

contents Page 50

Page 28

FEATURE EDITORIAL 16 Economic Trends

Delay: Who Should Pay?


By Jodie Thomson

30 Precast Concrete Supplement By S. Lambropoulos

Jane Foss Russell Building | USYD By Jodie Thomson


24 Construction Trends

InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto By Dan Stojanovich

The Way Forward


Centrelink NSO By Dan Stojanovich


Design Trends


Melbourne Convention Centre By David Said

26 27 28

Bob Hawke Centre


Perth District Courts By David Said


Darwin Middle School By Deborah Singerman

Building Green with Precast Concrete

Bishops See Berry Sports & Recreation Centre

Page 30

Page 26

Award Magazine | 5

Association Corner

It’s easy being green with precast


hoosing the right materials is a key consideration in green construction. Used for walling, flooring, structural elements (like beams and columns), bridges, noise walls, culverts, roads, stairs, grandstand units, lift cores, road barriers and a myriad of other products, precast offers a solution which is friendly to our environment. Benefits come from every angle… efficient manufacture, on site during construction and for the life of the building. During manufacture, precast uses less energy than that required for either structural steel frame components or glass curtain walling. Employment of lean production methods in the factory, as well as superior vibration and curing techniques, steel casting beds and specially designed mixes means a higher quality product with minimal production waste. In addition, many standard precast products are manufactured in one type of mould that is used repeatedly. Around 95% of waste materials (estimated to be only around 2%) are recycled. To reduce the use of virgin materials and the overall environmental burden, recycled materials such as fly ash, slag, silica fume, recycled aggregates and grey water can be incorporated into precast concrete. Use of such products diverts them away from otherwise being added to the growing landfill mass. On site, precast construction creates less air pollution, noise and debris. Local materials are often used and transportation is minimized. As well, site waste is reduced as exact elements (in both size and quantity) are delivered to the construction site. What happens after construction can also make a solid contribution to sustainable building strategies. Precast’s high quality means that it can be left exposed in order to maximise the benefits of its inherent high thermal mass. Because of its high density, precast has the ability to absorb and store large quantities of heat. This in itself may improve heating and cooling efficiency by as much as 30% compared to other building alternatives.

Further, the integrity of precast means that maintenance and operating costs are low. More durable than other materials, precast provides long service for high use applications and can have a life expectancy of up to 100 years. And when the time does come to reuse or renovate a precast structure, its durability means that the main portion of the structure is very often left in place. This helps the environment by conserving resources as a result of reduced waste (which otherwise goes to landfill) and avoiding the environmental impacts of new construction.

From left to right: Bob Hawke Centre, Bishops See, Berry Sports & Recreation Centre

Sarah Moore Executive Officer National Precast Concrete Association Australia



he Green Building Council of Australia launched in 2002 with the mission to develop a sustainable property industry for Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices through market-based solutions. Central to achieving this mission, the Green Building Council developed the Green Star environmental rating system for buildings, the only national holistic rating scheme for buildings in Australia. Green Star has established a common language and standard of measurement for green buildings, whilst promoting integrated, wholebuilding design and identifying building life-cycle impacts against nine environmental categories, including management, energy, water, indoor environment quality, emissions, materials, transport, ecology and innovation. Green Star rating tools are currently available for a number of sectors: commercial office, healthcare, retail, education, multi-unit residential and industrial. However, with these rating tools available as well as over 620 projects registered for Green Star certification and a further 108 already achieving a Green Star rating, it is still surprising that some industry and government representatives are asking: “Why should we build green?” In 2006, the Green Building Council of Australia released its landmark publication, Dollars and Sense of Green Building, which outlined the benefits for building green and aimed to break down the barriers such as perception of cost, lack of knowledge and lack of government incentives. Now, in 2008, Dollars and Sense of Green Building has been updated to reflect changes and developments within the industry. The Green

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Building Council of Australia has certified more projects in 2008 than the past four years combined! The key benefits of green buildings have not changed since 2006. Lower operating costs, greater tenant attraction, higher returns, increased property values, enhanced marketability, and reduced liability risk are attracting an increasing number of owners and developers to seek to achieve a 4, 5 or 6 Star Green Star rating. But the most important shift over the last two years has been in tenant demand. Many large organisations and government departments are now demanding Green Star certified commercial office accommodation. They have recognised the need to be in a building that is suitable for the next generation that offers, not only enhanced productivity benefits and increased attraction and retention of staff, but also strong brand association and credibility. As we move into 2009, the Green Building Council of Australia will continue to work with our 651 member organisations and other industry and government representatives to drive the uptake of green building and break down the remaining barriers to enable us to lay the foundations for a sustainable future.

Romilly Madew Chief Executive Green Building Council Australia

Association Corner



s 2008 comes to a close we have time to reflect on the year that was. The property sector has faced some challenges this year. Signs of the global economic crisis were evident in January and we are facing interesting times as we head into 2009. How we tackle these issues moving forward is vital. Industries and associations need to stand tall and influence the way governments across the country tackle the fallout. Governments need to respond by providing a hit of adrenalin to stimulate the economy. Facing an economic downturn, rising unemployment and a rental crisis we need our governments to stand up in the face of adversity. We have recently seen the federal government provide a $10.4 billion injection through its ‘economic security’ package. For the property sector, a chunk of this package will go towards the domestic sector through the first home buyers grant. In contrast, we have seen the New South Wales government slug the property sector by increasing land tax by 25 per cent. At a time when the private sector is finding it increasingly difficult to generate capital, we need our governments to help rather than hinder investment. The Victorian Government must not to go down the path of New South Wales and slug the property sector with higher taxes. We have worked hard for over five years to lower land tax in this state. We do not want to see this progress reversed. The time is ripe for the Government to stand up and deliver. What we need in Victoria is investment in major infrastructure projects. We are not talking about a random spending spree, but investment in good solid projects that are of state and national significance. We are encouraging the Government to look at a range of options

Set The Building Code Free


he Australian Institute of Building (AIB) is spearheading a national campaign to make the Building Code of Australia (BCA) freely available online to all users. The initiative is designed to increase circulation of the BCA in order to improve compliance, particularly in the residential housing sector. Over more than a decade numerous government reports and independent inquiries have called for the BCA to be made freely available, however little action has been taken. Highlighting the importance of this issue, research completed by AIB in November 2008 found that some 55.8% of industry practitioners identified compliance with the BCA as a problem, with the cost of the BCA identified as the major cause. This research supports previous studies that have shown that conformance with the BCA is a major area of concern for regulators. Numerous inquiries have identified the same solution – make the BCA freely available online. Many industry stakeholders have tendered advice that the cost of the BCA is limiting its distribution and this, in turn, is leading to compliance issues. Indeed, in its 2004 report into reform of building regulation the Productivity Commission noted: The number of BCA subscribers is low relative to the number of potential users. This has implications for awareness and compliance. The cost of the BCA appears to be a barrier to improving access, awareness and usage. Supporting the Productivity Commission’s finding, the AIB research identified another alarming factor, this being that only 64% of stakeholders have access to the current edition of the BCA, with the

to fund infrastructure, including the possibility of debt funding. The private sector cannot shoulder this responsibility alone and we cannot watch Victoria come to a standstill as a result. As well as tax and infrastructure, planning reform is high on our agenda for 2009. The review of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 review has commenced and this is an opportunity to shape how our planning and development regime will operate moving forward. We will be working hard to cut red-tape; speed up the planning process and ensure Victoria’s planning regime is simplified. Now is the time for industry stakeholders to mobilise and take the mantle to governments around the country to ensure the property sector is not disadvantaged as times get tough.

Jennifer Cunich Executive Director Property Council of Australia

By Troy Williams remainder working from a version that was between one and five years old. Significantly, the same report went further and highlighted the need for the BCA to be made available free of charge. The Productivity Commission recommended: The revised Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) should provide sufficient ABCB funding for the reform agenda and to enable a minimum level of access to the BCA free of charge. Respondents to the survey were asked for their views on this recommendation and 89.7% those who completed the survey said that state and territory governments should provide the funding required to make the BCA available online for free. As the leading association for building and construction professionals, AIB is pleased to initiate the “Set the BCA Free” campaign. It reflects the Institute’s commitment to assisting building and construction professionals deliver projects in a best-practice environment. AIB is encouraging industry stakeholders to sign-up to the campaign online at

Troy Williams Chief Executive Australian Institute of Buildings

Award Magazine | 7

Association Corner

Starting at the beginning Primary School Science Education


he Association of Consulting Engineers Australia (ACEA) is an industry body representing the business interests of firms providing engineering, technology and management consultancy services. The ACEA presents a unified voice for the industry and supports the profession by enhancing the commercial environment in which firms operate through strong representation and influential lobbying activities. The ACEA also supports members in all aspects of their business including risk management, contractual issues, professional indemnity insurance, occupational health and safety, procurement practices, workplace/industrial relations, client relations, marketing, education, sustainability and business development. The ACEA are working to make primary school science education more experiential and experimental. On July 1 2008, we hosted the ACEA Primary School Science Education Summit at Parliament House in Brisbane. The Summit brought together curriculum developers and directors from each of the Australian states, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, industry, primary school practitioners and education groups to discuss primary school science education. The summit was extremely successful, with full attendance attracting innovative and worthwhile discussions. A range of ideas and initiatives were proposed relating to increasing the experimental and experiential aspects of primary school science education in Australia. ACEA’s task is now to compile a report for submission to the National Curriculum Board, utilising a range of ideas from the Summit. ACEA began consulting with state curriculum personnel prior to the summit in an attempt to identify what the current challenges facing the primary school sector are. The issues we uncovered were varied between different Australian States and ranged from issues of teacher confidence

to resourcing constraints. Working in the primary school science education area is part of our long term strategy to increase the number of Australian engineers. The ACEA engages with stakeholders across various areas of education including other industries, the Government and education providers to ensure that a seamless strategy, engaging all levels of education, can effectively tackle the current shortage of engineering professionals. The shortage of engineers in Australia is currently estimated at 28,000 professionals, and at a time where Australian Governments are relying on fast-tracking major infrastructure programs to stimulate economic activity, bridging this skills gap has never been more important. The ACEA believe that if young students’ develop a positive relationship with science early on, there is a far greater chance that they will enter secondary school with a constructive view of science and not be deterred from participating in classroom science. Too often teachers have told us that by secondary school, students are already disengaged from science due to their primary school experiences. Looking forward, we hope this then encourages students to choose science subjects in their later years of secondary school, affording them the option to apply for and study engineering at university. It is clear that student engagement in science relies on a number of factors such as resourcing, teacher quality and confidence alongside a contemporary curriculum. Through our submission to the National Curriculum Board we will be seeking to successfully influence better education outcomes through a national primary school science curriculum by making a series of recommendations pertaining to these issues. Caroline Ostrowski National Policy Officer Association of Consulting Engineers Australia

....but what about housing? O

ne in 5 adults in Australia currently has a disability. There is also a strong correlation between aging and disability. The Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that 56% of people aged 65 years and over have a disability. This age bracket currently represents 13.2% of all Australians and is the fastest growing demographic, with an anticipated increase to 30% by the year 2051. Only 5% of people with disabilities live in cared accommodation such as supported hostels and nursing homes, with the overwhelming majority living in households. Extremely limited funding is available to people with disabilities who are noncompensable to provide home modifications relevant to their needs (in Victoria, the Aids and Equipment Program provides $4,400 for home modifications per lifetime). People with disabilities are less likely to be in the labour force (53%) and public housing wait lists for accessible accommodation can be in the order of years. Clearly accessible housing is and will increasingly become a formidable problem well into the future.

Current Requirements

There are currently no requirements in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) for Class 1 and 2 new buildings. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) under section 23 states that it is unlawful to discriminate against people with a disability in relation to access and use of premises that the public is able to enter or use. Therefore providing accessible common areas and pathways up to the entry of each dwelling within a Class 2 building is considered to meet the spirit and intent of the DDA. The DDA however is enforced via a complaint based system (complaints are lodged with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission), which consequently means that the frequency at which even this occurs in new building works is relatively low. Some states and municipalities have policies and legislation which require a proportion of new dwellings to be ‘accessible’ or ‘adaptable’. For instance, South Australia require that 5% of dwellings should be ‘accessible’ where the development includes 20 or more dwellings; the City of Sydney Development Control Plan has a scale for ‘adaptable’ housing numbers required depending on the size of the development; in the ACT 10% must be ‘adaptable’ in a development with 10 or more dwellings; Victoria are to announce a

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‘low cost / no cost’ ‘accessible’ housing policy in the near future. No universal policy or legislation however currently exists for all Australians.

Accessible vs Adaptable

The term accessible housing describes housing with spaces and functions which can be used with relative ease and safety by people with a disability. It should ensure that its occupants are able to engage in all activities without barriers being imposed by the environment. In new works, adherence to AS1428 – Design for access and mobility Parts 1 and 2 would provide what would be considered an ‘accessible’ dwelling. An ‘adaptable’ house is a house which can be easily adapted to individual requirements at minimal additional cost. This should account for a wide range of lifetime needs. To continue with the example for an individual growing older, it may initially mean meeting the needs of the person using a walking aid and having difficulty operating taps and door hardware due to conditions such as arthritis. Into the future, it may mean meeting the needs associated with using a wheelchair as their general mobility and function decreases. Examples of items which contribute to making a home ‘adaptable’ include an absence of steps and rises, wider door openings, circulation in kitchens and bathrooms for ambulant and wheelchair users upon adaption, as well as reinforced walls in toilets and bathrooms to allow for the future provision of grab-rails. The Australian Standard 4299 – Adaptable Housing, outlines the requirements which need to be met in order to provide adaptable housing and is the standard referred to by most municipalities which require adaptable housing to be provided.

The Benefits

‘Accessible’ and ‘Adaptable’ housing allows older persons to live within their communities and stay connected with their existing networks and supports for longer, prolonging the onset of the need for costly relocations, or a move into supported accommodation. Importantly, it also reduces the possibility of becoming socially isolated as a result of a move. ‘Accessible’ and ‘Adaptable’ housing is safer for older people and for people with mobility and sensory difficulties, reducing injuries caused by falls and reducing the social costs of hospitalization, medical procedures and increased levels of care. In Australia 144,000 hospital day beds annually are attributed

Image courtesy of UNKNOWN

Accessibility Corner

Modified entrance with a level-entry door, an enlarged opening and circulation to the latch side. to admissions due to falls. A significant proportion of these are preventable with more appropriate housing. An obvious benefit is creating a housing stock that is more readily adapted or suited to a much larger group of people. It can be inferred that this type of design provides a connection to the concept of ‘Universal Design’, where environments are designed to meet the needs of as many people as possible regardless of ability (e.g. young families negotiating prams; people varying in stature and size; removalists and other contractors; etc.), making them more saleable to a potentially larger market. Extending this type of housing of course also provides much needed access to housing for a large proportion of people with disabilities who are currently failing to secure suitable housing, or are unable to modify their current accommodation due to economic constraints. A more substantial commitment to this type of housing is required by designers, developers, governments and the like in order to realise the immense benefits possible, and sustain the positive momentum gained in previous years due to the diligence of a small amount of municipalities. A By George Xinos, Patricia Flores Blythe-Sanderson Group

Legal Corner

ON SITE EFFICIENCY BY OFF SITE Manufacture T he modern building site incorporates a number of components which are constructed on site and a number of components which are prefabricated or manufactured off-site and delivered to site for installation. The efficient combination of on-site construction with manufactured components mean the difference in a modern construction project between success and failure. The trend away from on-site construction commenced in earnest some 120 years ago. The builder in those times employed a wide variety of labourers and tradesmen to carry out all of the construction on site. With the exception of lifts and sanitary fittings, the building was fully constructed on site by skilled tradesmen. The time taken for those projects was of course much longer than we would expect as reasonable for a project of the same size and complexity today. With the pressure on the modern builder to achieve tight programs and tighter budgets he must carefully integrate on-site construction and components manufactured off-site Construction contracts, and the law that underpins them, developed with the expansion of commerce in the 19th century; many of the standard contracts follow the cases and principles developed at that time. Standard construction contracts do not provide adequately for the issues arising

for all stakeholders when prefabricated and manufactured components are incorporated into a the modern building. The standard construction contracts usually provide that off-site materials will not be part of the contractor’s payment claim until they have been incorporated in the works. Usually a payment in the discretion of the superintendent is allowed on condition that the goods are properly stored and insured and a bank guarantee for their value is provided in exchange for the progress payment. Unless the standard contracts are amended to take account of the legitimate interests and risks of all stakeholders one or the other are likely to have little protection if the project goes other than planned. The complexity of modern building construction requires careful planning and programming of all of the works on site. The planning and programming must also be implemented for all of the off-site manufactured components in order to ensure that the total project is brought to a well organised and successful conclusion. The benefits of off-site manufacture followed by efficient and expeditious installation are numerous. However, the risk of loss is greater when on site construction and off-site manufacture from a variety of sources has to be tightly coordinated than when a team of multiartisans moved from activity to activity in the

traditional approach on site. Accordingly, special care should be taken to ensure that the contractual terms are modernised to reflect the modern reality of the obligations and expectations of the parties in achieving the maximum benefits of off site manufacture of project components.

The benefits include: • The site is protected from many industrial issues including old demarcation issues arising from multiple trades being employed by the on-site contractor for short periods. • The speed of installation far exceeds the speed of on-site construction. • The quality, precision and finish achieved in off-site manufacture often far exceeds the one-off quality available on the busy construction site. • Off-site manufactured components with long lead times can be ordered well before the on-site construction is commenced. • The value for money available from a manufacturing facility undertaking repetitive work is likely to be much higher than can be generated on site. A

By Jim Doyle Doyle Construction Lawyers

Some of the considerations when working with off-site components are indicated in the table below:

1. P  roperty and payment, particularly payment at certain stages of manufacture while retaining an agreed portion for installation costs. 2. Risk of loss or damage. 3. S  ecuring ownership of raw materials to be combined with partially manufactured components. 4. R  ompala (or reservation of title) clauses included in the supply contracts with the off-site manufacturers and transfer of title from sub suppliers. 5. P  reserving the time allocation in the manufacturing programs which are critical to the completion of the offsite manufacturing. 6. Moderating the impact of on-site delays on the cash flow of off-site manufacturers. 7. E  nsuring that appropriate licences to use copyright and other intellectual property have been obtained. 8. P  roviding for the rights of the parties in the event of termination of the various contracts in the supply chain by breach, for convenience or by frustration. 9. P  roviding for the assignment or novation of installation contracts 10. P  roviding for the assignment or novation of transport contracts where the same are an important part of the site installation. 11. P  roviding for the parties rights in relation to delays and costs caused by design changes or other variations particularly after manufacture has commenced. Award Magazine | 11

Technology Corner

Concrete Vision Image courtesy of WSP Cantor Seinuk

Engineering the United Kingdom’s tallest residential post-tension concrete building

The tower has a 3-metre-deep concrete raft foundation that sits on sandstone rock


ith a slender tower measuring 155metres high, the 48-story Beetham Hilton Tower in Manchester features 279 hotel rooms and an additional 219 apartment units. A glass and steel blade tower with an adjacent five-story steel-frame podium structure that houses the hotel ballroom, restaurants, and bars extends an additional 15 metres above the main roof for a total height of 170 metres from ground level, making it the tallest post-tension concrete residential building in the United Kingdom. The tower foundation is a 3-metre-deep concrete raft foundation that directly bears on sandstone rock. Using a raft design instead of piles delivered significant cost savings. Pad foundations support the lower structural steel podium block, and the perimeter walls for the basement are contiguous bore pile

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walls that retain the surrounding ground and external services adjacent to the site. The core walls provide lateral stability against wind and dynamic performance, and outrigger shear walls act as a cantilever from the basement raft. Two concrete cores that measure 8 metres by 9 metres with shear walls running from front to back extend through the building’s full height. One of the cores incorporates stairs, lifts, and services; the other is purely structural. Reinforced concrete columns around the building’s perimeter supplement the shear walls. The different functional areas within the building – hotel, residences, and the ground-floor lobby area – required the column layout to change from the top level to the ground level. Walking columns are used as transferred structural systems for the two short edges of the building. The edge columns walk in two directions at two different levels over several metres. Below the 23rd floor, the maximum width of the tower is 16 metres. The height-towidth slenderness ratio of about 11 is relatively high. Above the 23rd floor, the floor extends a further 4 metres beyond the north face of the main core to accommodate different functional requirements for residential use. A combination of post-tension slab and in situ concrete cantilevered beams extend from the main core walls to support the extended cantilevers.

Crowning glory

The building design and signature blade feature posed a number of challenges for WSP Cantor Seinuk. The firm provided all engineering services for the building, including structural, building services, fire, and environmental engineering. WSP relied on an assortment of structural design and analysis software applications, including STAAD.Pro for transfer structure, feature blade frame, and spiral-stair analysis and design, and RAM Frame for lateral analysis of the core and frame. The 22-metre-tall structural steel feature blade forms a striking visual statement for the building. WSP used STAAD.Pro to model the structural framing for the blade and to analyse the design. The team studied the structural forces and dynamic behaviour of the structure, with STAAD.Pro allowing easy changes to

section properties, support conditions, and connection options during various stages of the design development. This enabled the engineering team to quickly assess the steel weight of the frame and study temporary stability conditions to determine constructability and the best method for erecting the blade on top of the building. Also, engineers could make late modifications to the design to accommodate construction methods and the lifting capacity of the tower crane. Additionally, unexpected wind-noise effects surfaced during installation of the roof blade. To devise a solution to the problem the engineering team used STAAD.Pro to study the dynamic behaviour of individual elements and identify the natural frequency of the members. Analysing the walking columns also proved challenging. The engineering team again used STAAD.Pro for the finite element analysis of the walking columns and loadtransfer system. For the core wall and framing of the building the engineering team deployed RAM Frame. During conceptual design, the program was used for varying concrete properties and crack factors and for assessing wall thickness and geometry required for the core. During design development and detailing, RAM Frame evaluated and adjusted the design to accommodate changes such as new openings, wall lengths, and slab openings. During construction, the program helped assess temporary conditions caused by changes in construction sequence and out-of-tolerance conditions. The products’ ability to easily modify input data and produce adequate and sensible output helped the team make informed decisions during various stages of the project. This proved critical for late changes that required rapid decisions and affected cost and project schedule. When the landmark building opened for guests in October 2006, it was regarded as a symbol of Manchester’s recent economic resurgence. In fact, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat selected the Beetham Hilton Tower as the Best International Tall Building for 2007. A Bentley Systems Pty Ltd

WorkSafe Corner

Protecting boards and their business


ompanies, particularly public companies, are increasingly concerned about reputation, their ’brand’ and the impact of perceptions of the organisation among shareholders, customers and the wider community. In tight economic times when the pressure to perform is really on, reducing avoidable distractions must be a priority. The consequences of a serious safety incident or high-profile prosecution can be as damaging to a company’s reputation as poor performance by a Board in another portfolio area. It is important that within this environment that Boards set clear strategic objectives for improving safety performance. Australia’s OHS (Occupational Health & Safety) laws adopt an approach to occupational health and safety laws based on a UK model which relies on establishing desired outcomes rather than prescribing how risks should be controlled. A system of overarching responsibilities is at the core of this model which ensures everyone in the chain of management and risk control has a role to play. Although the specifics differ around the country, this positive duty requires workplace parties, including company directors, to take an active role to ensure safety standards are maintained. For most businesses, asking “Am I doing what a reasonable person in my position would do to ensure the organisation complies with the law”, should be the basis for overseeing health and safety performance. It can be tempting to consider OHS as another regulatory burden, however, the

advantages of good management of OHS are considerable. In large and publicly listed companies in particular, most Board members will have only a high-level understanding of the company’s management systems and structures. The commitment of the Board and through it, senior management, is crucial to the success of any systematic approach to safety. It can also position the company as a leader or industry front-runner. Boards are key facilitators which must ensure that the system is adequately resourced despite the temptation to cut costs when commercial pressures are being felt. The obvious return is the reduction of downside

Accordingly, there are opportunities for companies to build ‘social capital’ by seeking to improve and promote OHS performance to employees, families, shareholders and local communities. As approximately 35% of total global investment comes from pension and superannuation funds which seek sustainable investments with minimal risk, building OHS into a company’s sustainability initiatives can position it favourably with investors. The Australian Council of Super Investors recently found 71% of Australian super funds take environmental, social and corporate governance responsibility into consideration in deciding on the content of their investment portfolios. Boards that accept the link between safety and productivity will ensure there is a ‘score-card’ which integrates safety with other core business measures. Most progressive companies will ensure OHS measures and accountabilities are integrated into business planning and performance plans for regular reporting. Occupational health and safety can be incorporated into existing risk management frameworks and be reported-on through a board’s Risk Management or Human Resources Committees, or via corporate social responsibility or corporate affairs teams. Whatever the formal reporting line, an effective approach to safety ensures there is systematic management of OHS risks and clear accountabilities for individuals who lead and undertake roles in the system. Regular auditing of compliance ensures this system is rigorous. This will reduce the opportunity for exposure of the business to safety failings and the commercial effects of that. Ensuring safety is part of ‘business-as-usual’ means it is measured along with all other parts of the company’s performance. For boards and

Am I doing what a reasonable person in my position would do to ensure the organisation complies with the law

risks such as incidents, injuries or illness to workers and reduced productivity. Managing a worker injury and their eventual return also has a considerable cost that extends far beyond any premium impact. In many instances, improving OHS performance over time will contribute to improved employee engagement and profitability. The reputational risk of safety incidents, or so-called ‘near misses’, can be considerable in environments where the expectation is for companies to be ‘good corporate citizens’ or where they are under fire in other areas.

senior management these measures can be added to the vital signs of the company’s health along with profit and loss statements, and help them discharge their oversight role. Whatever happens as State, Territory and Commonwealth laws are harmonised, the opportunities for Board members to influence safety performance will remain. The opportunity to insulate the business against avoidable commercial damage is great, but it takes leadership from the top. A By Stan Krpan WorkSafe Victoria Award Magazine | 13

Workplace Safety Corner

Traffic Management

Not Just Vests & Flashing Lights!

By Andrew Osboldstone Noel Arnold & Associates


hen traffic management is mentioned, high visibility vests and flashing lights often come to mind. Whilst certainly these items are important in the quest to build a safe and compliant workplace, they are only part of the story in creating and implementing a successful Traffic Management Plan.


Dealing with vehicle and pedestrian interaction in the workplace can be a significant challenge for employers and controllers of workplaces, with certain obligations and duties imposed by the various Health and Safety legislation across Australia. This includes providing safe systems of work, safe items of plant, suitably trained and qualified personnel, and safe access and egress to and from workplaces. Although much improvement has been achieved in managing traffic in our workplaces, it remains a major source of injuries. Effectively controlling the traffic related risk at work is the challenge for employers.

providing a safe workplace and safe systems of work as required by the OHS Act. (Source: Victoria WorkSafe.) This case highlights how important it is to implement and enforce a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan.

How big is the problem?

Key Risk Factors

Almost 10,000 compensable injuries were attributed to inadequate traffic management in Australian workplaces in FY05/06 (10% of total claims). (Source: Australian Safety and Compensation Council NOSI database). In Victoria from 1st January 1985 to 30th January 2006, 56 fatalities were reported related to forklifts. This includes 10 operators crushed by a roll over. Over $130million in forklift related injury compensation was also paid out over that period. (Source: Victorian WorkCover Authority)


In recent years the management of traffic movement on and around workplaces has been targeted by WorkCover authorities. The following prosecution is one reason why: A 55-year-old truck driver was hit from behind by a forklift which turned and reversed unexpectedly as it loaded pallets onto his truck. The truck driver sustained injuries to his left foot resulting in him being off work for three months. The Company was fined $25,000 at Dandenong Magistrates Court in 2004, for not

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Traffic management in a residential area

There are many risks involving traffic movement and clearly these vary from workplace to workplace. Common issues across workplaces include: • Inadequate separation and segregation of vehicles and pedestrians. • Poorly laid out loading/ unloading areas, with truck drivers either not aware of or not following site rules. • Inadequate control of traffic speed on site, from both road vehicles and powered mobile plant. • Not dealing with breeches of the site traffic management rules. • Inadequately laid out workplaces. • Employees not adequately trained in relation to risk control measures. • Drivers not wearing seat belts.

How to manage the risk

The best approach to managing traffic risk in workplaces is to develop and implement a Traffic Management Plan, in consultation with your workplace. Depending on your workplace this can range from a single page document, to a multi-page procedure and plan.

Elements to consider in a Traffic Management Plan

The areas to be assessed in a plan to safely control traffic movement in a workplace can generally be broken down into the following four categories: 1. EQUIPMENT DESIGN & MAINTENANCE •  Maintenance schedules for mobile plant and mechanical controls. •  Guarding of equipment. •  Suitability of equipment for its intended use or purpose, etc. 2. PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT •  Weather factors including rain & glare. •  Lighting requirements. •  Building layout, including signage and physical barriers. •  Noise, etc. 3. SAFETY SYSTEMS •  Site specific rules & procedures, and systems for managing breaches. •  Incident reporting processes. •  Workplace inspections. •  Induction and training processes, etc. 4. SAFETY CULTURE •  Compliance with system requirements (including wearing high visibility clothing). •  Likelihood of drivers/ pedestrians following directions. •  Ability and speed of implementing change into the workplace. A

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Economic Trends


hen a construction project runs behind schedule, costs to both the owner and contractors start to rise. Determining who will pay those costs is the subject of a delay claim. Rarely is a single issue the cause of a delay on a construction project. Determining and quantifying which act or series of acts contributed to delay of work or the project as a whole can be a complex and difficult process. Provisions for liquidated damages paid for delays on a project can be included in a variety of forms within construction contracts, and of course, careful consideration should be given to any such terms. Generally, to prove a delay claim against an owner or contractor, the party claiming delay must establish its schedule to complete the work was interrupted for reasons beyond its control and damages were incurred as a result.

The Contract

Often the construction contract will include provisions that impose obligations on owners and contractors to provide written notice of delays as they arise on the project. When a delay becomes apparent, it is therefore important to immediately review the contract to determine whether notice is required and what steps must be taken to preserve a delay claim. For example, the contract may require the owner or contractor to provide a revised schedule for completion of the work before that party is entitled to claim delay costs.

Causes of Delay

To recover damages in a claim for delay, the claiming party must first prove a delay was caused by the other party. There are three distinct causes of delay: • Delay caused by an owner; • Delay caused by a contractor; and • Delay not caused by a party Depending on who caused the delay, an innocent party may be able to recover delay costs from the other party. Although the concept is simple enough — the party who caused the delay will be the one who pays — the practical application of this concept

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can be complex. Delays often have more than one cause and the interrelated nature of construction work often makes it difficult to assign responsibility to a particular party.

What is the Critical Path?

The concept of critical path is important in analysing a delay claim. The critical path is generally defined as a series of activities on the project that must be completed in a specific sequence in order to meet the start and completion dates of the project. Any interruption in this sequence will have an impact on the completion date. The activities not on the critical path are typically called “float” and these items will generally not affect the completion date of the project, unless there is substantial delay in the float or changes to the critical path. Therefore, in preparing a delay claim, one is concerned not only with whether the work was delayed by a few days but also with the impact of that delay on the critical path of the project. It may be there was a one- or two-day delay to work but those delays did not contribute to a delay of the critical path or a loss to the owner or contractor.

Cautionary Points for Owners

An owner may seek damages for a contractor’s delay in completing its work. On projects with numerous delays, it becomes difficult for the owner to assign responsibility for specific delays to specific contractors. The owner must be able to establish one contractor’s action or inaction affected the critical path. Owners commonly claim delay damages, including lost rent, the cost of additional professional services, additional financing costs, lost profits and other escalated costs. The amount an owner can recover from a contractor is usually restricted to the amounts the contractor knew (or ought to have known) about at the time of entering into the contract. An owner should be careful in granting extensions of time to contractors. Allowing a stipulated time deadline to pass may lead the contractor to believe the deadline will not be relied upon. In this situation, it is important the owner preserve their right to seek damages

for breach of contract by communicating this intention to the contractor.

Cautionary Points for Contractors

Immediately upon incurring a delay, a contractor should review the contract to determine what is required to preserve its delay claim. Generally, the owner has a duty to make available a properly prepared site by the predetermined start date. The owner also has an obligation to allow the contractor to carry out the work without interference by the owner. Typical delay claims by contractors include on-site overhead, inflationary costs of materials and labour, costs of financing and productivity costs. Contractors may also submit claims for lost opportunity if they can prove specific bids were not submitted due to the delay. While this claim requires contractors to show they probably would have obtained other work if not for the delay, this may not be a difficult burden in a booming construction industry. The most difficult part of a delay claim is for the contractor to prove the owner’s delay caused additional costs or resulted in a loss in productivity. It is not enough for a contractor to simply show a construction project exceeded the original budget and schedule. The contractor must show there is a link between the delay and its loss. Another common source of delay for contractors is another contractor. However, unless the contract contains a term requiring the owner to prevent such delays, a delay claim cannot be brought against the owner for delays caused by other contractors. A contractor may be able to file a lien for delay damages where the costs of delay are so closely connected to the improvement that it is reasonable to include them.

Delay Claims

Delay claims can be an effective tool to recover costs on a project that has run over schedule. It is also a complex claim that requires identifying the critical path of the project or the work and the damages that can be said to flow from that delay. A By Jodie Thomson

Award Magazine | 17

Project Profile: The Ark

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Image courtesy of Investa Property Group


By Jodie Thomson

With its cutting-edge standards of environmentally sustainable design, The Ark will transform the skyline of the North Sydney CBD


eing green in modern, commercial construction involves more than just the inclusion of water and energysaving devices. These days, the need to make buildings more environmentally sustainable impacts every aspect of their design. The Ark, a 21-storey structure currently under construction in North Sydney, is an outstanding example of this new approach to green construction. It boasts groundbreaking levels of environmentally sustainable design (ESD) that will set new standards for a CBD structure. “We’re looking to create North Sydney’s first, premium five-star building,” says Tina Tang, group general manager, commercial office developments at Investa Property Group, which owns The Ark site. “We wanted to lead the market in North Sydney and not just create another office block.” Designed by Rice Daubney and currently being built by Thiess Pty Ltd, The Ark will offer 28,500sqm of A-Grade commercial office space on the former telephone exchange site at 16-40 Mount Street. Work on the $101million contract started in June last year and is expected to finish around March 2010.

allowable height limits were,” says David Curtis, of Rice Daubney. The resulting design features a slender block with varying façade, each designed to maximise the building’s energy efficiency. On the south side, the angled, glass-fronted façade minimises full sun exposure, as does a glass curtain wall with horizontal louvres on the east. The northern face of the building is predominantly a concrete core with very small windows. These various design elements give the structure a sense of movement and lightness. There are also clear connections between indoor and outdoor spaces, with large terraces at every floor on the western façade. Another key innovation is the fact that the entire project is being carried out using a 3D Building Information Model (BIM), which gives a 3D display of all the design and as-built information about the architecture and services of the building at every stage of construction. “This will be the first building in Australia to be a totally BIM project and it means we’re all working together in a virtual world,” says Graeme Smith.

We’re looking to create North Sydney’s first, premium five-star building. Tina Tang, Investa Property Group


Creating a building that reached new heights of ESD was a vision shared by both the client, Investa Property Group, and architects Rice Daubney, as well as the local council. “One of the things the council encouraged was design excellence,” says Graeme Smith, principal and head of commercial at Rice Daubney. The design of The Ark is 100 per cent site specific. “We spent a lot of time understanding the orientation, sun angles, predominant wind, the views out of the building, and what our


Beyond its clever external orientation and structure, which maximise the entire building’s energy efficiency, The Ark incorporates a host of other ESD features. All the materials were selected for their excellent sustainability, such as the highperformance glass, supplied by China Southern Glass (Australia), on the curtain wall. The design includes a greywater recycling system that captures and stores for reuse the rainwater from the roof, stormwater run-off, fire sprinkler test water and air-conditioning Award Magazine | 19

Image courtesy of Investa Property Group

Project Profile: The Ark

condensate water. The building’s main power supply will be a tri-generation plant, supplied by Cogent, that uses gas turbines to provide energy for electricity and heating/cooling. Other ESD innovations include motion sensors on stairwell lights so they only go on if a door opens by someone planning to use the stairwell, and reserved basement car spaces for eight Smart cars.


Much attention was given to the design of the foyer and street-level areas of The Ark, in particular the need to reference the historic telephone exchange. “Our approach is to be very sympathetic to the surrounding area,” says David Curtis. On Mount Street the lobby is set back 13 metres and incorporates a café and public art space along with a 'pocket' park. Place Design Group are involved with designing the landscaping of the exterior spaces, and plans include the addition of mature trees to the public domain, and construction of contemporary, planter-boxes around existing trees. The lobby will feature several commissioned artworks that contain physical remnants or visual links to the old telephone exchange. One is a sculpture by Simon Grimes, using original copper letters taken from the signage of the old exchange building. There’s also an ‘art wall’ leading from the entry forecourt up Mount Street, and the forecourt ceiling incorporates a 10m by 10m piece of indigenous art by Freddie Timms.


Demolition of the former telephone exchange and excavation of the site have taken place, and work has begun on erecting the main structure of The Ark. The existence of the former telephone exchange has already posed some difficulties for the contract teams. Thiess design manager Clive Furnass says, “there are many underground chambers and tunnels from the original exchange adjacent to the site and they have had to work closely with Telstra to navigate around existing Telstra infrastructure.” In terms of the construction, the design creates numerous challenges for the Thiess contract teams. Each façade is different, as is each of the 20 floor plates. There’s also a high volume of off-form concrete, which is difficult to achieve in high areas. Design features of the building that pose a challenge to construct include the ‘K’ shape of the southern curtain wall façade, the cantilevered slabs on the upper levels and the Level 11 slab on the western façade, which

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Rendering: Main entrance way is supported with exposed, off-form raking columns each seven metres long. Also unusual and innovative are the horizontal sunshades on the curtain wall, all manufactured by Permasteelisa, and the sliding louvres on the lower western façade, designed and produced by Colt Tollfab. In addition to that are the regular difficulties of constructing such a major project in the heart of a busy, CBD. Clive Furnass says “they have been communicating closely with the

Proof of The Ark’s appeal as a commercial building is the fact that Investa Property secured a pre-commitment to lease part of the office space before construction even commenced. Coca-Cola Amatil have signed a 10-year lease and plan to move from their current headquarters in Sydney’s Macquarie Street into The Ark when completed. They will take 7,620sqm in the lower portion of the high-rise building. Marketing is also underway to secure tenants

This building will be ground breaking in all sorts of ways.

community on the construction program and stages that may affect neighbouring areas.” “All feedback to date has been positive in respect to our traffic management, noise control and communication with all stakeholders.”


Construction of The Ark is currently on schedule and completion is expected early 2010, about three years after the initial purchase of the site.

Graeme Smith, Rice Daubney for the remaining sections of the building. “And we already have very strong interest from a number of parties,” says Tina Tang, of Investa. On paper, there’s no doubt The Ark meets new standards of ESD, but this will be proven over time, with plans to keep detailed followup records of the building’s performance. “This building will be ground breaking in all sorts of ways, in the way it’s being designed, documented and delivered,” says Graeme Smith, Rice Daubney. A

110 WALKER ST NORTH SYDNEY 2060 T: 02 9956 2666; F: 02 9959 3015 262 ADELAIDE ST BRISBANE QLD 4000 T: 07 3121 8200; F: 07 3229 8049


Award Magazine | 21

Project directory | The Ark ARCHITECT

Rice Daubney (Services) Pty Ltd

Contact: Catherine Loker 110 Walker Street North Sydney, NSW 2060 P: 02 9956 2666 F: 02 9959 3015

Rice Daubney are the architects and designers for 40 Mount Street, North Sydney, changing our perception of buildings in North Sydney. Integrated into North Sydney’s heritage precinct the iconic form of 'The Ark' rises above its peers to create a new benchmark for innovation and sustainable design for the CBD skyline. The building is conceived as a set of layered elements which respond to the heritage street grain, natural environment, public domain, and city skyline. These elements are what give 'The Ark' a sense of place. The podium at the base of the iconic tower is fragmented into small scale elements constructed of natural materials and re-establishes the rhythm of the original development of the heritage precinct. The Ark has been designed from the outset to be one of Australia’s most sustainable office buildings.



Contact: Alistair Coulstock Level 7, 657 Pacific Highway St Leonards, NSW 2060 P: 02 8424 7000 F: 02 8424 7099

BCA Certifiers • Philip Chun and Associates Suite 404, 44 Hampden Road Artarmon, NSW 2064 Electrical Engineer • Heyday Locked bag 2047 North Ryde, NSW 2047 Façade Engineer • Arupt PO Box 76 Millers Point, NSW 2000 General Contractor • Thiess Property Ltd PO Box 303 North Sydney, NSW 2059 Hydraulic Engineer • Axis PO Box 4499 Milperra DC, NSW 1892 Landscape Architect • Place Design Group Level 1, 235 Pacific Highway North Sydney, NSW 2060 P: 02 9959 5021 F: 02 9959 5802 Lighting • Lighting Design Partnership 213/217 Palmer Street Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Mechanical Engineer • Hastie Australia Pty Ltd PO Box 6161 Silverwater DC, NSW 1811

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Cundall were the ESD Consultants on the Ark project, providing advice for the Green Star – Office Design and As Built ratings targeted, as well as carrying out the NABERS Energy rating 5 star commitment agreement. Amongst the initiatives included were the modelling of a trigeneration system to provide 5 star plus 40% reduction in GHGe under Green Star credit ENE2, rainwater harvesting, stormwater collection, and a greywater recycling system. All management credits were targeted under the Green Star rating tool. Cundall also utilised BIM, a combined modelling system that allowed an integrated approach with the architect. Cundall advised on a range of façade solutions that provided greater thermal comfort for the tenants. A Green Eye energy monitoring system was also incorporated to allow selfmonitoring by tenants of their energy usage. Above standard ventilation rates of fresh air also add to improved occupant comfort levels.

Project Manager • Cadence Level 1, 10 Mallett Camperdown, NSW 2050 Quantity Surveyor • Ryder Levett Bucknall PO Box 531 North Sydney, NSW 2059 Structural Engineer • Taylor Thomson Whitting Contact: Rex VanKatwyk PO Box 238 Crowesnest, NSW 1585 P: 02 9439 7288 F: 02 9439 3148 Traffic Engineer • Colston, Budd, Hunt & Kafes PO Box 5186 West Chestwood, NSW 1515

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PAGE TITLE Construction Trends | Precast CONCRETe

Through the wall at the Berry Sports & Recreation Centre

The Way Forward...


ith the advent of technology, all preconceived notions of how things are done are thrown out in the face of convention. Where once the world was flat, it is now round. Where once there was a will, there is now a way. Where once something was the norm, its gets superseded by an idea that becomes the way of the future, normally by the necessities of time or cost. Now in the case of buildings where once in-situ was the way forward, now it is precast concrete. In terms of flexibility, reliability and in terms of what can be achieved, it stands ahead of the pack and its use is producing desirable results.


Precast construction is one of the fastest growing industries combining the advantages of low maintenance, durability, dependability, speed of construction with minimal capital investment. Another luring advantage about precast concrete is its ability in design and the decided creativity it brings to the table, not to mention how in today’s world of aesthetics a beautifully designed exterior can lift the concrete jungle from a drab and dreary city to the bustling inspiring metropolis with beauty and art in every corner. It is with this and the aforementioned advancement of technology that has helped this growth and now with the expansion in its application in terms of design, more contractors and owners are embracing its charms and using precast in structures and building types across the spectrum.

24 | Award Magazine

By Spiro Lambropoulos


Design of panel forms is one of the keys to this brilliant aesthetic in design for precast. Due to concrete’s fluid form, it can easily be cast into any shape the mind desires, within reason of course. Large diameter, curved building walls can be constructed of flat panels arrayed along a large radius or by using several radius panels. Panel curves can be either concave or convex. panels with curved edges or small radius panels can provide softer, rounded corners for traditional rectangular buildings. Incorporating unique forms, such as interlocking panels, into a traditional rectangular structure is another benefit of precast. These panels are cast in a variety of shapes that fit together like a jigsaw with the ability to use any type of shapes with limitless attention for design. This is easily accomplished since the entire elevation is typically cast as a single, divided unit on the floor. Another way to add interest is with the use of openings. Windows and doors are the most obvious panel openings but purely aesthetic openings, referred to as “voids,” can make a tremendous impact to otherwise plain panels. Since the shape is cast horizontal on the casting surface, virtually any shape is simple to construct. This new found aesthetic is not merely limited to the above casting process, with other ways, such as overlapping of panels, shadow panels and free standing panels that extend beyond the main building area, readily make a statement and further develop the architect's vision.


They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well in the case of precast construction it appears to hold true. By replicating existing materials, it can often be more cost effective than using the actual items themselves, not only in time management but also in the hip pocket. A variety of finishing techniques can impart these classic looks on a building’s surface. Reveals — narrow, decorative indentations (usually 20 millimetres deep) in the face of the panel — are formed by applying strips before placement of the concrete. Something as small as a change in reveal depth can dramatically alter the look of the structure. The reveal forming strips have sloping sides for easy removal. Form liners are another easy way to bring interesting detail to an otherwise plain panel. These liners are available in a variety of textures that replicate several different materials, including wood, corrugated steel and bushhammered concrete. Even customised images, such as logos, can be fabricated from foam and placed in forming beds. Vacuum-formed plastic, one-time and multiple use liners, make texture an affordable option. While details cast into panels may work in some situations, others may warrant applied ornamentation — decorative elements added to panels once they have been formed. One of the most popular forms of applied ornamentation is Exterior Insulated Finishing Systems (EIFS). Further options now exist through the advancement of colour penetration technology, a long lasting colour solution that can penetrate through the porous substrate and produces an enduring finish. This can be applied in the precaster’s yard or on-site after the building is erected. Cast in elements is another way to achieve a classic, traditional style. These elements are typically materials, such as thin brick, stone or tile, which are cast into the face of the concrete panel. While cast-in elements provide the most realistic option for creating a traditional finish, a more popular, economical approach is to apply or modify the face of the concrete once it has set. These methods include exposed aggregate, polymer-modified cement, coatings, paint and stamped or rolled finishes, which are often used in conjunction with other techniques to impart maximum impact on the look and feel of a structure. Concrete may have gained a reputation for creating bland, industrial buildings in the past, but as this list of decorative techniques demonstrates, this is far from the case when it comes to today’s precast projects. As the construction method continues to grow, the same combination of technology and creativity that has made these feats possible will undoubtedly create an atmosphere in which the only limitation on a precast project is the imaginations of those designing it. A

Design Trends | Precast CONCRETE

Building Green with Precast Concrete

Images courtesy of John Golling

By Spiro Lambropoulos

Thermohouse: featuring high thermal mass concrete floors and an insulated precast concrete wall system


n today’s world of carbon footprints, sustainability and renewable energy, we need to find every way imaginable to conserve the fragile balance of life on the planet. The ability to harness natural energy to preserve this balance is a necessity the building industry has taken in its stride. With improved, more innovative and daring concepts of design, and with the use of precast concrete, semi-self sustaining buildings are now a way of lessening the impact we have on the environment, as they output far less pollution and generally have double the mileage of a conventional building. Improved dynamics and conventional construction methods deliver a new generation of buildings with low energy footprints and reduced emissions. Buildings that use precast concrete floors and ceilings as a heat sink whereby the environment is capable of absorbing and dissipating excess energy, have significantly reduced cooling and heating loads, which leads to significant benefits in energy efficiency. An effective way of using active thermal mass is to supercharge the structure with energy by circulating ventilation air through the middle of hollow core precast concrete slabs. This simple and instantly rewarding method activates dormant concrete thermal capacity for both heating and cooling seasons. To explain the classical use of thermal mass, we look at the different weather extremes and how a building reacts to it. In summer walls tend to retard heat flow from the exterior to the interior during the day and when temperatures fall at night, the wall re-radiates this heat back. In winter, the thermal mass is situated where it can be exposed to the winter sun, whilst insulated against interior heat loss. During the day the interior is kept warm by the heat

gains with any surplus heat stored in the mass released back into the interior at night. Thermal energy storage systems significantly improve net energy efficiency and savings compared to conventional air conditioning systems by shifting energy usage from daytime to night, which permits concrete floors to be charged with energy at favourable conditions. Documented thermal storage capacity of precast concrete is considerable. Raising one cubic metre of concrete by just 1°C can store up to 560 watts of energy. Using hollow core concrete floor decks as a thermal battery and radiant panel solves the environmental challenges of new building construction by conserving energy and reducing costs without requiring expensive or exotic materials or technologies. Based on the interactive relationship between the outdoor environment and energy stored internally through hollow core concrete slabs, surplus energy is retained within the precast concrete to heat and cool the building naturally. This environmentally sound method provides added benefits of improved indoor air quality, ventilation and comfort by constantly importing fresh, clean air into the building and exporting old, stale air. Utilising holes in concrete supercharges floor slabs and turns the building into a giant heat bank. Surplus energy is stored in the building and released on demand when needed. During summer months, cooler air that flows into a building overnight can be stored for use during the day. Conversely, in the winter, heat from building occupants can be absorbed and stored to keep the building warm. To use an example, an average worker generates body heat equivalent to a 100-watt light bulb. With 500 workers, this amounts

to the generation of 50 kilowatts per hour, which is equivalent to several saunas turned on all day. On extremely hot summer days, when air conditioning is needed to cool a building, the system can pre-cool a building overnight (when the sun is down and power rates are lower) and then used to top off the conventional cooling system during the day (as required). Similarly, heating systems can operate efficiently and with less energy demand than conventional systems, regardless of outside temperature fluctuations. When temperatures fall at night, the walls and, even more so, the floors and ceilings re-radiate the heat back. The use of thermal mass is most effective on summer nights to flush out elevated temperatures absorbed during the day. Free or low cost energy can be harnessed during the night by supercharging the structure with a ventilation fan or mechanical cooling. Night pre-cooling is used to flush out the warm interior air absorbed by the day and prepare overnight cool concrete floors for the next day thereby lowering the air conditioning loads during the occupied period. During working hours, the interior is kept comfortable by absorbing heat gains from the sun, lights, computers and body heat. Surplus heat stored in the mass during the day is released back into the interior during the night. While the exact requirements vary from climate-to-climate and building type, hybrid buildings constructed in Australia will deliver a lot more than ever before, and are crucial to the success and longevity of a sustainable building industry. A

Award Magazine | 25

Image courtesy of Sam Noonan

Precast CONCRETE Supplement

Bob Hawke Centre By Spiro Lambropoulos


he University of South Australia (UniSA) City West Campus Stage 2 project sees the completion of four new buildings that have established a new gravitational centre and spiritual heart for UniSA. The $32 million Hawke Building, named after former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, is the last stage of the project and is a joyful expression of the university’s place within the city. The Hawke Building was designed by John Wardle Architects and jointly delivered by Hassell. Building façades make a major contribution to the overall aesthetic and technical performance of a building. From the outset it was evident that it would require very specific and specialist façade engineers (Arup), mostly in relation to the glass façades and less so the precast. There are however many junctions between these two types of façades, which were resolved by Wallbridge and Gilbert, the structural engineers responsible for the precast panels, in conjunction with Arup, who had to work with SA Precast to ensure that the geometry of the features were to architectural specifications. The Hawke Building has a varied floor height in each of its 5 storeys, with a total of 68 unique and different precast panels covering a total gross panel area of 1050 square metres and due to the faceting of the façade the panels had varying thicknesses of up to 250mm. The fluted copper flashings between the

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precast concrete panels needed to be perfect, both in terms of colour and form that comprise the façade, a feat only achievable by precast. The Hawke Building illustrates the beauty that can now be achieved using precast. This is a stunning public building that definitely makes an impression. The detailed faceting of the white precast concrete façade changes its appearance by catching and releasing shadows of the day. The Building also consciously aims to project the university’s identity and brings a little fun to the campus. The choice of using precast was largely an

Panels were cast in the factory face down on complex moulds of concrete, steel and timber. An off-form white finish was required using 45 MPa concrete comprised of Salisbury aggregate, white sand, Brighton Lite Cement with white titanium oxide to produce a radiant finish. Hydron 300 anti-graffiti and anti-pollution treatment was applied with the joints between the panels, stepped and sealed front and back to ensure permanent weather tightness. This enables heating and cooling costs to be significantly reduced, whilst also being great for the environment, another positive for a fully sealed precast façade. Meaghan Dwyer, Senior Associate at John Wardle Architects, commented that “Our practice has long worked with pre-cast concrete as a favoured building material and have for a long time admired the product that emanates from South Australia. We particularly commend the commitment, skill and expertise of SA Precast in realising our vision for this project.” The western wall, whilst not as elaboratively decorative, is a hugely essential element of the design and consists of conventional grey precast concrete panels that are load bearing and integral to the structure. A slim atrium space rises the full height of the building, beginning with a pair of concrete columns on opposing slants supporting the

Our practice has long worked with precast concrete as a favoured building material. Meaghan Dwyer, John Wardle Architects

architectural requirement and whilst the site constraints were not the determining criteria, the choice of precast concrete reduced site storage requirements and site overheads by reducing scaffolding and formwork – all important for a narrow site such as this. Using elements of the final structure as construction areas also saved time and money, as did pulling forward the delivery and installation of key services. The project required four months of soil remediation prior to construction and was a scheduled component of the works.

black zinc enclosure of the auditorium space. In this space is a pair of black-and-white scissor stairs, whose intertwining paths lead to different destinations. This confuses firsttime users, however, it compels engagement with the architecture and helps separate the different tenants within the building. All in all the approximate cost of the precast element of the building was just under a million dollars. With a lead in time of 4 months from January 2006, the precast project began in April and was completed by July 2006. A

Precast CONCRETE Supplement

By Spiro Lambropoulos

These provided the architects (Fitzpatrick & Partners) with the high quality of finish they sought, while the engineers (Connell Wagner) were able to achieve maximum structural efficiency while meeting cost objectives. Being a completely precast system allowed a large part of the construction activities to occur off site, allowing greater control of the products and providing a higher level of precision, with the high thermal-mass efficiency of precast concrete aiding the 5 Star Greenstar target. Pre Cast is extremely low maintenance, it provides amazing thermal and acoustic control, whilst also being extremely safe and fire resistant. "The collaborative development of the

un-propped structural system has maintained the overall project aim of sustainability through using less material, smart use of precast to all but eliminate temporary works on the upper floors," Connell Wagner Perth's Angus Leitch said. The floor plates have been designed to minimise internal columns with only the external precast columns exposed. The majority of perimeter precast columns are placed so to maintain a flush internal skin, projecting through the curtain wall. This internal program in turn produces a dynamic exterior. A

The precast system ensured we had quick, efficient structural floor cycles. Jason Thomson, Brookfield Multiplex Limited

Image courtesy of Fitzpatrick & Partners


ituated on the landmark corner of St Georges Terrace and Mount Street, the Bishops See Project is a unique development site in Perth’s CBD and when completed will enjoy unsurpassed views of the Swan River, Kings Park and Parliament House. Stage one (South) commenced in December 2006 and comprises a nine level, 44 metre high office tower with 18,000m² scheduled for completion early 2009 with an end value of $160 million. Stage two (North), currently on hold, will consist of a larger 27-storey building with 46,000m² of floor space. Both stages have been developed by Hawaiian & Brookfield Multiplex and built by Brookfield Multiplex. In a first for precast property developments, the south tower of Bishops See has been awarded a 5 Star Greenstar office design rating by the Green Building Council Australia and is important in setting a precedent in WA. Hawaiian’s General Manager of Property Development, Stuart Duplock said “…our tenants will be the first in Perth to enjoy the Green Building experience which will include best practice lighting and air-conditioning,” Whilst the basement and car park are all in-situ, the rest of the building from the ground floor up is all Pre Cast, including all the external and internal columns and comes in at a cost of around $4.5 million (supply only). The suspended typical floor system within the nine level tower consists of precast Deltacore concrete planks spanning un-propped between internal steel/concrete composite beams and precast concrete edge beams. Both the internal (total 153) and external (total 246) beams were designed to span un-propped between columns around the perimeter (total 246) of the building and internal precast columns on grid. The Deltacore planks, edge beams and internal steel/concrete composite beams were then used as permanent formwork in the construction stage and topped with insitu concrete for final stage loading. This precast concrete system offered the project several performance and environmental benefits. Its “un-propped” construction allowed uninhibited follow-up work on floors beneath the construction level and facilitated the fasttracked construction program by delivering very fast floor cycles, of around 7 to 8 working days with a total gross floor area of 2,420 m2, an impressive feat given the labour market in WA at this present time. All precast elements were supplied by Delta Corporation Ltd. and consisted of: • 1,940 Deltacore (DC170) hollow core planks covering a total area of 16,610m2. • 360 Deltacore (DC200) hollow core units of 3,000m2 completing the floors.

Bishops See

Award Magazine | 27

Image courtesy of Nic Bailey

Precast CONCRETE Supplement

BERRY Sports & Recreation Centre


ocated in the Heartland of NSW, the Berry Sports and Recreational Centre is set on 60 hectares of farmland, nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Australian natural landscape is defined by the aesthetics of a wide brown land, under an unforgiving sun with the ethereal beauty of the night sky. The vision of this Australian sun and the starry sky is further brought together in the architect’s vision, a vision that only precast concrete could provide. The initial brief to the architect, Allen Jack+Cottier, was to design a robust multi-purpose recreational hall for kids to have fun in. From their research into design they came up with a simple study in the capture and escape of light. To this end they created a centre that practically blended into the background. Once the Architects had set out their vision and by introducing a light weight Vierendeel truss to transfer all the horizontal forces to the end wall, a prefabrication approach would provide value-management to the structural system, thus allowing budget for the starlight window features. In addition it produced a smart, crisp and clean interior with no visible fixings or bracing. Peter Geoghean, from Acor Appleyard Consultants, engineers on the project, elaborated by saying “Using precast panels help create an efficient structural solution as they were used to support the main rafters and also for lateral stability. While supporting the structure, the panels were an integral part of the architect’s vision that ‘starlights’

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be incorporated within the panels without compromising the structural intent. Close co-ordination with the project team helped achieve the project outcomes.” The starlight window features in the two long elevations were a challenge for the precaster, Hanson, as the 10 by 175mm thick side panels of the 374 small Perspex portholes or windows would be cast directly into the panels. These windows were supplied in three sizes with internal colours of white, red and black. The challenges Hanson addressed included how to position each panel, how to protect each window face from scratching during the whole

By Spiro Lambropoulos

The shape of the building is a direct and overt expression of its thermodynamic modelling, whilst also contributing to the environment outside. A dozen wind turbines combine with arrays of 600mm electronically controlled louvre blades to create a natural and significant ventilation system which can react to prevailing winds, whilst the slope of the roof and the shape of the building are integral to these flows, allowing heat to escape through convection and cooling aided by the attachment of prevailing winds. Conversely the winter heat plume acts like an insulation blanket keeping the kids

Using precast panels helps create an efficient structural solution. Peter Geoghean, Acor Appleyard Consultants

process and how to seal each window from rain. This was accomplished with relative ease through a prototyping process and a 1.5 tonne test panel. Precast Marketing Manager, Peter Webb, commented, "The ability of us to understand the customer's requirement and work with the consultants early in the project gave us a fantastic opportunity to build a relationship with all the players. When the project came out to tender Hanson had a very good understanding of the work involved including the site erection of large panels on a difficult site in rural NSW."

comfortable whilst they play. Other environmental benefits of the specially made precast elevations are the starlight windows and roof lights that flood the hall with even, natural light and the collection of rain/roof water that is tracked back from the 3.5m cantilevered composite roof via a 310 UB on flat to water tanks for future use. Unfortunately we can’t harness the energy, enthusiasm and vibrancy of the kids’ satisfaction when playing here, but at least we have something that can parallel the sheer beauty of their smile. A

Project directory | Featured Precast Projects Bob Hawke Centre Precaster • SA Precast Contact: Claude Pincin 42 Days Road Croydon Park, SA 5008 P: 08 8346 1771 F: 08 8340 1645

Builder • Built Environs Contact: Dwayne Bickerdike P: 08 8232 1882

Engineer • Wallbridge & Gilbert Contact: Nick Lelos P: 08 8223 7433

Bishops See & Century City Architect • Fitzpatrick & Partners Contact: Simon Clarke P: 02 8274 8200

Builder • Brookfield Multiplex Contact: Jason Thomson P: 08 9322 5101

Engineer • Connell Wagner Contact: Angus Leitch P: 08 9223 1500

Precaster • Delta Corporation Contact: Matt Perella P: 08 9296 5000

Berry Sports & Recreation Centre Architect • Allen Jack + Cottier Contact: Michael Heehan & John Whittingham P: 02 9311 8222

Builder • Ablock Builders Contact: David Lochrin PO Box 503 Ulladulla, NSW 2539 P: 02 4421 2200 F: 02 4421 2900


Engineer • Acor Appleyard Consultants Contact: Peter Geoghegan Unit 35, 7 Anella Avenue Castle Hill, NSW 2154 P: 02 9634 6311 F: 02 9634 6544

• Hanson Precast Contact: Chris Parsons P: 02 9627 2666

Bishops See & Century City

Berry Sports & Recreation Centre

Bob Hawke Centre

Project Profile: Jane Foss Russell Building | USYD

A FRESH CONNECTION A dynamic new building at the University of Sydney heralds

By Jodie Thomson

a new era of modern architecture at the institution, while providing essential, functional facilities.


ike many universities around the world, the University of Sydney’s campuses display a hybrid of architecture styles. Historic, sandstone buildings from the university’s earliest days mix with structures from later decades. The latest addition to the university, the newly completed Jane Foss Russell Building, is an innovative example of contemporary, 21st century architecture. Located at the geographical heart of the university on the Darlington campus facing City Road, the eight-level building houses a new science and technology library, along with retail and student administration areas and a generous, outdoor public domain area. Conceived as a

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new ‘gateway’ to the university, the building also provides a visual and practical link to the Darlington and Camperdown campuses, with a new footbridge constructed across City Road. John Wardle Architects, who won an international design competition for the building, designed the building in association with GHD and Wilson Architects. The $50 million project, completed in September last year, was constructed by Abigroup. Along with providing much-needed space and updated facilities, the Jane Foss Russell Building brings a new standard of modern architecture and unprecedented levels of environmentally sustainable design to the university.

Image courtesy of Abigroup

Jane Foss Russell Building located on campus at University of Sydney


The conception of the building was triggered by more than just an urgent need for additional facilities at the growing university. It was seen as a design solution to the rather illogical way the university had grown over previous decades, with disjointed campuses and a lack of obvious pathways and connections between them. The location and design of the new building was intended to create a clear entry and connection point for students, between the Camperdown and Darlington campuses. The Jane Foss Russell Building, or Sydney Central as it was referred to until the last stages of construction, was intended to be a new gravitational centre for students . . . an

invitation to connect. John Wardle’s firm were assisted through the process, by GHD for the construction phase and by Wilson Architects for the schematic phase of the library. The building’s L-shaped structure incorporates the 4500sqm science and technology library sitting partially below ground and the 7500sqm of student services area in the levels above. At ground level are the 900sqm of specialist retail sites and the vast 3500sqm Maze Green public domain area. In terms of the scale and style of the design, the new building offers dramatic lines, textures and colours. A generous lobby area connects easily to the new footbridge, which provides a more inviting and user-friendly pathway

across City Road between the Camperdown and Darlington campuses, than the older, dated footbridge. The semi-subterranean library features gently terraced levels inside that look out to the vivid Maze Green. The most striking elements of the building are the multi-hued, glass facades, which vary in style on each side of the building. The greentinted plaza façade, with its colourful array of glass panels, was inspired by the canopy of heritage fig trees across City Road. The Maze Green façade is a blue glass curtain wall with a reflective, folded spandrel that reflects the tones of cloud and sky. The building also includes a mix of external balconies, terraced areas between floors and Award Magazine | 31

Image courtesy of Abigroup

Project Profile: Jane Foss Russell Building | USYD

Interior hallways are architecturally designed using precast concrete and glassworks

There were no dramatic budget blow-outs and it was finished on time Terry Daly, University of Sydney

a range of sitting areas within its structure. These all add visual interest and inviting spaces in which to socialise and relax for students and university staff. The outdoor spaces of the building include the main plaza at the entry to the building, which incorporates an open-air amphitheatre that offers a venue for impromptu outdoor performance. South of this is a covered terrace providing sheltered outdoor space.


Along with its landmark architecture, the facility also offers ground-breaking levels of environmentally sustainable design (ESD) features, with a 5-star Green Star Rating. The most innovative of the ESD features is a unique form of cooling, using ‘chilled beams’ to cool the interior spaces. The chilled beam system, installed by the Hastie Group, is one of the first installed in Australia and offers vast energy savings compared with traditional airconditioning system – it’s expected to reduce overall energy consumption by 30%. It works by creating a ceiling system of beams, like long, thin radiators. When filled with cold water they create a convection effect, drawing up hot air and dumping cool air in a more even spread than regular air-conditioning. “It’s like a chilled radiator, and it’s very quiet, not like the hum of air-conditioning people are used to in an office,” says Chris Skeggs, senior project manager at Abigroup Contractors. Other ESD features in the building include solar panels on the roof, high-efficiency lighting used throughout, and sustainable materials including recycled steel and concrete and sustainably sourced timber. There’s an on-site

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rainwater tank located under the library, with collected water used for toilet flushing and irrigation. This is expected to result in a 60% reduction in potable water consumption.


For a modest-sized commercial building, it offered plenty of challenges to project managers and contractors during the construction phase. A tight timeline, complex mix of facades and materials, and the complication of building the new footbridge combined to create a difficult project. There was no significant demolition required on the site, and Abigroup took the job as a construct-only contract. A pre-contract period allowed Abigroup to get familiar with the project and do the careful pre-planning required to meet the time frames. “It was quite a complex building in a lot of ways,” says Abigroup senior project manager Chris Skeggs. “There were eight or nine different types of façade on a relatively small building. On the facades there were over 120 different types of panels, all different geometries, which created logistical challenges in terms of the time to get it all manufactured.” The glazed facades were manufactured by G-James and the precast façade by Hanson. Most complicated of all was constructing the new footbridge across Sydney’s busy City Road. The existing footbridge had to be demolished and the new bridge built in a 12-hour timeframe to meet council and Roads and Traffic Authority guidelines. The work was done after hours, on a weekend, starting at 10pm on a Saturday night, and finishing

the following day. Construction of the new bridge, built from precast concrete with its own façade, involved putting up two 80 tonne steel beams. “That was intense but we planned it carefully and it all went well,” Skeggs says. Another complicated element of the construction was the high volume of joinery required for the interior spaces, particularly in the library. The large metal and timber-framed shelving structures for the library were built and pre-assembled off-site by SBC Joinery, then taken apart and delivered to the site in a kit-style fashion, where they were then assembled again.


The most interesting interior design elements of the building are featured in the layout of the library. The purpose-built joinery shelves holding all the books are positioned at the back, partially underground section of the library. At the front, facing the large windows facing the green, open space, are the reading and working areas where people can enjoy the light and views. The open-air amphitheatre in the plaza above the library acts as a ‘lightscoop’ for the library’s bookshelves area, flooding the back area with natural light. The remainder of the library space is divided into multi-use areas, catering for quieter, private and formal work areas, through to more noisy, social spaces.


Since its official opening in September last year the Jane Foss Russell building is almost completely functioning. The library is open, the student services staff have moved in and the retail tenancies are expected to be taken up soon. From the university’s perspective, the new building surpasses all the criteria detailed in the brief. “There were no dramatic budget blow-outs and it was finished on time,” says Terry Daly, director of Capital Development Campus Infrastructure Services at the university. “It’s an outstanding example of modern architecture and forms an important link in a heavily used pathway between Redfern station and the main campus.” A

Project directory | Jane Foss Russell Building | USYD GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd

Contact: Chris Skeggs 924 Pacific Highway Gordon, NSW 2072 P:02 9499 0999 F: 02 9499 3822

Acoustics Consultant • PKA Acoustic Consulting Suite 16/401 Pacific Hwy Artarmon, NSW 2064 Carpet Supply • Harvey Norman Commercial Flooring 75d Camarvon Street Silverwater, NSW 2128 Concrete Finishes • Alpha Precast Concrete Products Contact: Ian Lucas 2/6 Dowling Place South Windsor, NSW 2756 P: 02 4587 7452 F: 02 4577 6711 P: 0417 457 117 Concrete Supply • Boral Concrete PO Box 42 Wentworthville, NSW 2145 Doors • Premium Doors Pty Ltd 17/108 Old Pittwater Road Brookvale, NSW 2100 Electrical Services Contractor • Heyday Group 9 Waterloo Road North Ryde, NSW 2113 ESD Consultant • Ecological Engineering PO Box A885 Sydney South, NSW 1235 Excavation & Civil Work • J.A.Bradshaw Civil Contracting Pty Ltd 7/20 Foundry Road Seven Hills, NSW 2147

Abigroup Limited is a major Australian contracting company that offers a wide range of services ranging from civil engineering to building, mining, water, mining, rail and telecommunications. Abigroup has earned its reputation as a leading contractor through a commitment to excellence, years of experience and a dedicated team made up of leaders in the construction field. The tier one contractor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bilfinger Berger AG, one of the world’s top ten construction companies. Abigroup’s building division has been active in Australia’s property development and construction industry for over 45 years. Abigroup’s approach combines friendly professionalism with confidence and world-class expertise. Abigroup has earned its reputation as a leading contractor through a commitment to excellence, years of experience and a dedicated team made up of leaders in the construction and engineering fields. Abigroup is committed to environmentally sustainable and socially responsible development, focussing on safety and quality to ensure tomorrow’s future.

Fire Services SubContractor • Fire & Life Safety Pty Ltd Unit 30, 11-12 Underwood Road Homebush, NSW 2140 Formwork Subcontractor • Perform (NSW) Pty Ltd 16/65 Elizabeth Street Wetherill Park, NSW 2164 Hydraulic Consultant • Harris Page & Associated Pty Ltd Level 2/32 Carrington Street Sydney, NSW 2000

Roofing • Vostek Industries 298 Parramatta Road Ashfield, NSW 2131 Structural Engineer • GHD Pty Ltd 100 Bond Street Sydney, NSW 2000 Structural Steel • Australian Structural Steel 36 Day Street North Silverwater, NSW 2128

Landscape Architect

Tactile Indicators

• Taylor Cullity Lethlean 14-18 Holtom Street East Carlton North, VIC 3121

• DTAC Pty Ltd 479-481 South Road Moorabbin, VIC 3189

Landscaping • Bates Landscaping Services PO Box 974 Leichhardt, NSW 2040 Louvres • Email Ventilation 3 Hargraves Place Wetherille Park, NSW 2164 Mechanical Services subcontractor • Hastie Australia Pty Ltd Suite 2, Level 2, Quad 3, 102 Bennelong Road Homebush Bay, NSW 2127 Partitions, Internal Glass & Ceilings • Brighton Australia Pty Ltd 65 The Grand Parade Brighton Le Sands, NSW 2216

Tiling Subcontractor • Classic Tiles 183 New Canterbury Road Petersham, NSW 2049 Vinyl Flooring • JDC Flooring 18A Depot Road Peakhurst, NSW 2210 Windows/Curtain Wall Subcontractor • G.James Glass & Aluminium Pty Ltd Suite 401, Level 4, 100 Clarence Street Sydney, NSW 2000 zinc Cladding • Architectural Roofing and Wall Cladding Unit 6, 39 King Road Homsby, NSW 2077

Quantity Surveyor • Davis Langdon Australia Level 1, 100 Pacific Hwy North Sydney, NSW 2060

Award Magazine | 33

Historic Building becomes Luxury Hotel

By Dan Stojanovich

34 | Award Magazine

Image courtesy of Niall Rutter

Project Profile: Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto

Image courtesy of Angelo Marcina

Deluxe King Room on Level 9 overlooking Flinders Lane

Behind some of the most impressive, ornate 19th century façades in Australia the InterContinental Hotel refurbishment in Melbourne's iconic Collins Street creates a fabulous new international hotel experience.


long Melbourne’s legendary Collins Street, behind one of the most impressively detailed nineteenth century facades in Australia, the new 250 room, 5 star Melbourne InterContinental Hotel at 495 Collins St has breathed new life into a genuinely classic Melbourne landmark. The hotel site is right next door to one of Melbourne’s tallest buildings, the iconic Rialto Office Tower, with an original old Melbourne laneway (for which the Melbourne CBD is so famous), separating the office tower and hotel sites. The hotel site itself actually comprises two buildings dating back to the 19th century, which are themselves separated by yet another original old laneway, which is featured as a key element of the hotel design. This laneway forms the spine of a full height central atrium running almost the whole length of the site that stretches between Collins Street and Flinders Lane (parallel to Collins Street). The hotel’s rooms and facilities are thus located on either side of that central spine. The fall from Collins Street to Flinders Lane is three normal levels, which provide the three common area levels – Flinders Lane, Lower Ground, and Collins Street. The two original buildings were constructed in 1891, when Melbourne was one of the richest cities in the world. One is the brick Romanesque-style Winfield Building designed by William Pitt which provides 6 levels above the common areas, and the other is Richard Speight Junior's Gothic-style Rialto Building, which rises for 10 levels above the common areas.


The two buildings originally housed the Melbourne wool stores and offices and were separated by a classic bluestone cobbled laneway. The contemporary design of the new hotel showcases significant historical features of the site while providing an upmarket, contemporary international hotel experience. It is a site that presents considerable challenges, not the least of which is the significant heritage conservation considerations. Balancing those heritage considerations with the need to create a stylish international 5 star hotel experience and boost the tenancy returns in an up to date functional modern building based on some of

of the building. One of the first challenges faced by Equiset, was stripping back the site, rather than simply demolishing. There were 6 main heritage overlay conditions and these were readily resolved with heritage consultants Lovell Chen. Over 250 hotel rooms as well as all the other spaces had to be stripped back. Of course, one of the challenges in such jobs was unearthing the occasional “surprise” that wasn’t always in accordance with the available documentation… so some additional design work was often required to respond to these “little challenges.” The “look and feel” of the hotel was largely

The two original buildings were constructed in 1891, when Melbourne was one of the richest cities in the world.

Melbourne’s oldest structures, was a challenge for all concerned. Work on site commenced in October 2007 with the closure of the old Le Meridien Hotel, which itself incorporated the two buildings and laneway. Some 12 months of very intensive activity followed. Equiset Constructions, project manager and builder, handled the heritage redevelopment and managed a wide diversity of construction requirements, preservation of heritage features, and respected the cultural integrity

the responsibility of Joseph Pang of Sydney, who attended to the interior design and space planning. His brief included all public spaces such as hotel atrium foyer, reception lobby, lobby bar, brasserie, executive club lounge, as well as rooms and suites. Within a heritage shell, Pang & his team had to create an ultra chic contemporary international hotel atmosphere that was at least to the standard of other InterContinental signature properties around the world, yet maintaining the uniqueness of this Melbourne Award Magazine | 35

Image courtesy of Angelo Marcina

Project Profile: Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto

Market Lane Bar on Collins Street level heritage treasure. Pang is a thirty year veteran of the hotel interior design industry, having started in Hong Kong, and now runs his Australian operations out of Sydney.

Environmental Sustainable Design

As well as creating the right impact and atmosphere, many practical and mundane issues also had to be addressed. Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) is also now an important consideration, not just with regard to provision of energy efficient hotel services, but also with regard to fittings, fabrics, finishes and furnishings.


While needing to look especially exciting and inviting, because an international hotel is like a huge complex machine that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the fit-out needs also to be durable and easy to maintain, as well as coping with wear and tear and the occasional “accident.” Pang’s brief also extended to décor and artworks, and his team worked with Artbank to develop a program that provided a changing collection of pieces that can be allocated throughout the hotel. Architects for the new development were The Buchan Group (TBG), whose key design challenges included redesigning the entries at the Collins Street and Flinders Lane to be more open and appealing, as well as making the most of the central atrium and opening up the view from the Collins Street main entry right through into Flinders Lane. The view out into Flinders Lane was made possible by

36 | Award Magazine

removing the previous visual barrier at the Flinders Lane to create a more open space, while adding a retail tenancy at that entrance. As well as the overall layout of the hotel, TBG also worked on major features such as the pool area on Level 10 and public spaces and tenancies. TBG were also responsible for the striking, three level main staircase. The old staircase was stripped back, and then a new steel framework with zinc panels was attached, creating a dramatic “blade” effect. The new hotel now also includes new state of the art dining facilities, and the large (and hitherto underutilised) old ballroom has been converted into more desirable meeting rooms. As well as generally re-assessing and redesigning the retail tenancies component of the development in order to maximize the value-add of all retail, public and operational spaces, the Buchan Group also provided tenancy fit-out guidelines to maintain the design standard of the whole development. Major items of demolition included opening up the space at the Flinders Lane entry, and at the opposite Collins Street end, further demolition work involved removing columns to open up the spanned open spaces. The budget for the job was of the order of $60m including furniture, fittings and equipment.

Heritage Considerations

One of the other major design challenges was to also open up the hotel to the Rialto Tower’s Forecourt Plaza space next door (western site boundary). Heritage consideration precluded totally covering the narrow laneway between

the two sites – it had to remain visible to the public and not be totally built over. TBG designed a series of “bridges” between the two sites at the Collins Street entry level which included licensed areas and much friendlier retail spaces, providing an active interface and facilitating flow between the two sites. Winward Structures were structural consultants, NDY were the services consultants, and the building surveyor was Philip Chun. MTD were kitchen consultants, One of the most spectacular features of the development is the special interior lighting display by DJ Coalition in the Winfield building, which creates a large moving “wave” display across a major wall. Special lighting effects, some of which are quite subtle, are a feature throughout the development and these were also provided by DJ Coalition.

Final Outcome

The new InterContinental is a very stylish addition in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, a city which is renowned around the world for its liveliness, fashion and flair. The InterContinental Group wanted a suitable presences in this world city that did justice to the InterContinental brand. This new hotel is quintessential Melbourne – ultra chic contemporary style with a respect for the best of the past. It is fitting addition to the list of the world's better luxury hotels, and a complement to some of InterContinental’s finest, such as the InterContinental Paris Le Grand and InterContinental The Willard Washington DC. A

Project Directory | Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto D&C CONTRACTOR


Equiset Construction, part of the Grollo Group, was the project manager and builder on the redevelopment. Equiset handled the heritage redevelopment with perfection and managed a wide diversity of construction requirements and preservation of heritage features, while respecting the cultural integrity of the building. Contact: Ian Skinner 525 Collins Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 9620 5999 F: 03 9620 5977

Architect • The Buchan Group 133 Rosslyn Street West Melbourne, VIC 3003 Carpentry Subcontractor • Sandringham Construction Unit 10, 640-680 Geelong Road Brooklyn, VIC 3012 Carpets • Omnifloor 83 Moreland Street Footscray, VIC 3011 Heritage Architect • Lovell Chen 35 Little Bourke Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

Interior Architect • Joseph Pang Design Consultants Suite 3/3 Grosvenor Street Neutral Bay, NSW 2089 Metal Works Subcontractor • Materials Fabrication 18 Victoria Avenue Canterbury, VIC 3081 Painting Subcontractor • Prolac 9 Eastlink Drink Hallum, VIC 3803 Partitions/Ceilings Subcontractor • City Ceilings 1/12 Seismic Court Rowville, VIC 3178

Project MAnager • Gallagher Jeffs Consulting Level 13, 45 William Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 Structural Engineer • Winward Structures 488 La Trobe Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 Vinyl Wallcovering • Decorrol Contact: Peter Rankin 5 McLean Avenue Bentleigh, VIC 3204 P: 03 9557 7328 F: 03 9557 7286

Award Magazine | 37

Project Profile: Centrelink NSO

Centrelink NSO By Dan Stojanovich

The “green imperative” is changing the whole approach to designing and constructing all sorts of buildings. For office buildings for both government and commercial clients, green is the new black.


t starts with the overall design concept and goes right through to even tenancy lease restrictions that define what tenants can and cannot do within their own tenancies in order to achieve “green” performance. Green considerations can affect everything…

Conceptualisation & Design

The new office accommodation for the Centrelink NSO (National Support Office) building in Canberra had to set a few standards. It targeted and has achieved a 4.5 star ABGR rating. Set on a 5.4 hectare greenfield site in Tuggeranong, the $130 million building provides some 50,000m2 of gross floor area for

38 | Award Magazine

approximately 2,800 employees, many of whom had been accommodated in sub standard buildings around the city, many of which did not meet Commonwealth environmental standards, particularly with regard to energy consumption. Occupants are increasingly seeking out greener buildings, because they can deliver a range of advantages such as financial benefits through direct operational savings, healthier workplaces, increased productivity and recruitment and marketing opportunities. The complex essentially comprises two separate medium rise rectangular buildings, each some 180m long , on either side of a 6-level glass atrium which runs the length of the buildings and faces north. The buildings share a common single level basement that runs under the atrium as well the two buildings, and there is also an access tunnel underneath the building that provides access to all lifts and service risers without affecting occupants. Construction of the office buildings commenced in September 2005, and was completed in July 2007. As well as being the most striking visual feature and the iconic architectural statement for the complex, the atrium is the social focus of the development and the core common activity centre where occupants can interact. Shaded by louvres, the atrium can be accessed by staff by way of breakout spaces, meeting rooms and cafes. The atrium was the most challenging part of the project for builder Brookfield Multiplex, largely because of its size, and because it was also one of the most expensive features of the project. Canberra’s hot summers and cold winters also presented numerous special challenges, with particular attention required to ensure careful control of both structural movement and thermal transfer within the building and between the exterior and interior.

Image courtesy of Brookfield Multiplex

Environmental Sustainable Design

As well as the ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Design) issues, one of key design considerations to be taken into account by GSA Architects was the nature of the workforce occupying the building. Exceptional flexibility was required, as the organisation has a high staff churn rate of some 110% per annum. This was addressed in various ways, including providing a flexible floor plate and designing building services in such a way as to accommodate frequent and significant changes. Some of the requirements for occupants were quite particular, and included such elements as office accommodation for Senior Executive Service (SES) officers, including a dedicated executive area; openplan office accommodation for other staff; touch down and hot desk points; shared storage, resource and photocopier/printer rooms; auditorium and multi-purpose briefing area; meeting, focus, break-out and tea rooms; carers’ rooms, first aid rooms and a prayer room; café, kiosk, health and fitness centre, showers, lockers and bicycle racks among other requirements. Bassett Consulting Engineers (Part of AECOM) was the environmental consultant and provided conceptual design and energy modeling services as well as advice on how the client’s brief could actually be achieved in the built form and still achieve the required AGBR rating. The building envelope helped achieve this performance and addresses sustainability issues of longevity, minimal maintenance and resource efficiency. Precast concrete structural panels, shaded double-glazed (low-E) windows to the north, east and west elevations and insulated cladding panels were the major wall elements. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning was especially challenging for this large and complex volume with a multiplicity of

demands and access points. The 6 level glass atrium, the project’s centre piece, required a constant temperature throughout. Hastie Air Conditioning, which has been working in the area since 1970, was on the job from the early conceptual stage right through to testing, commissioning and hand over. Thermal performance was achieved via air spaces, bulk insulation and specialised double-sided insulation material. Floor slabs are insulated for two metres inside the external walls to minimise thermal bridging. Further innovations included radiant chilled ceilings and swirl diffusion. The building’s ductwork design was based on a low temperature VAV system, and low temperature VAV air conditioning is provided to office areas. High level chilled ceiling panels, low-level heated slabs, and displacement systems maintain comfort in the non-conditioned atrium space. Hot water is provided by roof-mounted gas-boosted solar water heaters.


Careful selection of fittings, furniture and finishes was important to achieve the required internal environmental quality. Low VOC Onterra carpet tiles which facilitate re-use and local replacement, were used throughout. Timber veneers from sustainable sources were used in the breakout areas. General lighting to supplement daylight was provided by T5 fluorescent fittings (dimmable) controlled by proximity switching devices (photoelectric cells and motion detectors). External fire stairs were largely daylit. Total building energy consumption is managed by a sophisticated BMS (Building Management System), which alerts facilities personnel by alarm when consumption exceeds design levels. All greywater (kitchen, hand basins, showers) is collected, treated and re-used for toilet flushing. All sanitary fixtures and tapware

are water efficient. The office floor plate width maximizes daylight penetration from both the external windows and the atrium. A 250mm ceiling service zone accommodates supplementary mechanical equipment, fire sprinklers with flexible connections, and light fittings with flexible leads for example. Access floor were also used throughout the building to allow easy reconfiguration of spaces. Services within these areas were also provided with flexible connections so that relocation, rather than disconnection and reconnection, was all that was required. As a result, overnight re-configurations of large office areas (hundreds of square metres) can now be achieved. Security is ever more of an issue, and this building includes two major entry and reception areas and a building facilities help desk, as well as an operations control centre and two major security-controlled access points. Lift services were supplied by Kone and featured elevators from their MonoSpace range, selected due to their high degree of reliability and energy efficiency. There are 11 such elevators installed on this site, ten being passenger lifts and one a dedicated goods lift. The MonoSpace concept, pioneered by KONE removes the necessity of building a dedicated machine room above the lift shaft. With this type of equipment, all lift related equipment is located inside the lift shaft, optimizing the available building space. All lift equipment was also designed to be used by sight and hearing impaired building occupants. Communications equipment in the lift cars utilizes both audible and visual (via an LCD display) means of communicating with a potentially injured & disabled lift occupant. Building system design and management contributes greatly to the ABGR rating. Star Electrical and the Heyday Group worked together as a joint venture to create and Award Magazine | 39

implement electrical systems that complied with the 4.5 Star ABGR energy rating of the building. Each organisation has decades of experience and hundreds of employees. Wood is making a major comeback in many office and institutional buildings, especially for paneling. Apart from its natural warmth, there are good ESD reasons for using it. Supawood supplied modular panels for the building’s atrium, the lift lobbies on each floor, the ceilings and the balconies. The panels used were designed specifically for aesthetic impact, and Supawood was involved right from the architect’s design and specification through to final installation.Panels were designed not only to look good but also to provide ready access to services. Each panel is demountable and re-usable. Being a natural material with natural variations, colour matching the panels for a project of this size became a significant task… involving an area of some 800m2. Easy access to sub floor services can dramatically increase flexibility. An access floor in conjunction with on-grid carpet tile allows for the rapid churning of the office environment. The modular system designed by Tasman Access Floors facilitates re-use at the end of a tenancy. Raw materials used in the construction of the modular panels & understructure are suitable for easy recycling. Tasman’s design & construct contract included supply & installation of 33,000m² of floor system, which comprised a 600mm x 600mm corner-locked steel/concrete composite panel on a pedestal installed 200mm above the structural slab level. These panels also incorporated locating holes for the location of the on-grid carpet system without carpet adhesives.

Landscape Design

Canberra firm Redbox Design Group was responsible for landscape design, which had a very particular set of challenges and quite stringent environmental conditions. Just some of the issues to be considered included general matters like the location of the development (adjacent to the Murrumbidgee River Corridor) and the implications of the 2003 Canberra bush fires for the area. Location of new trees with regard to the building had to be carefully considered, and recycled concrete mulch was used on all gardens. Landscaping of the site with local species promotes biodiversity. Drought can be extreme in the region, so water conservation concerns led to the extensive use of local flora and native grasses. Water for irrigation is restricted so the grey water system, which recycles most of the water on site, is used. The irrigation system is programmed to adjust water to the seasonal availability of water. Roof water is collected to supplement the greywater system, the remainder is detained

40 | Award Magazine

Interior Photo REQURED

Image courtesy of Brookfield Multiplex

PAGE TITLE Project Profile: Centrelink NSO

Soaring full height atrium is a visual and social focus. onsite and released into the Murrumbidgee River system to assist in environmental flows. Carpark runoff is collected in landscaped deep swales which filter out pollutants before detention and release into the river system.

Fire & Life Safety

The fire safety design was a specialised solution developed by Defire and included performance based alternative solutions such as active fire suppression with smoke separation and natural buoyancy driven ventilation for smoke

features and equipment is one thing, it is often quite another to “drive” it all effectively. The desired performance of buildings can only be achieved if they are operated appropriately. So modern ESD buildings need to be managed properly, and there are many implications for occupants and building managers. Equipment needs to be maintained, measurements kept up, operational and behavioural protocols adhered to. Often the behaviour of occupants is specified in tenancy agreements that can specify such things as suitable wall paints and

Raw materials used in the construction of the modular panels & understructure are suitable for easy recycling.

control within the atrium. The design was analysed using the latest computer simulation technology (the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS)), to predict the possible scenarios. Simulex evacuation modelling then analysed the evacuation time of different areas of the building. Defire merged with Canberra based company Stephen Wise & Associates in 2007. CPS Concretors which incorporates CPS Concrete Pumping, delivered the concrete for most of the base and for structural support, during an involvement of some 18 months Providing a building with all the latest

floor coverings as well as use of the HVAC, garbage, power and water systems.

Final Outcome

Multiplex Facilities Management has been engaged for the maintenance of the Centrelink National Support office for the entire lease period, and Brookfield Multiplex’s Construction and Facilities Management arms worked together closely during the development to get a full understanding of the building and the best way of operating it. A

Project directory | Centrelink NSO D&C CONTRACTOR

Ultrafloor Pty Ltd

Contact: Alan Morrison 6 Kyle Street Rutherford, NSW 2320 P: 02 4015 2222 F: 02 4932 8050

Acoustic Consultant • Acoustic Logic Consultancy Level 3, 6-8 Crewe Place Rosebery, NSW 2018 Architect • GSA Architects Level 4, 80 William St East Sydney, NSW 2011 Ultrafloor Centrelink A4 Advert.indd 1

Atrium Roof Glazing • Architectural Glass Projects (AGP) 9 Liberty Road Huntingwood, NSW 2148 BCA Consultant • Davis Langdon Level 5, 100 Pacific Hwy North Sydney, NSW 2060

With the successful completion of the Centrelink project, Ultrafloor was once again able to demonstrate their proven history of delivering the precast advantage in full. In essence - a faster, cheaper, safer solution with many other peripheral benefits. The scale of the project, the nature of the agreed scope and the tight program necessitated a significant mobilisation of resources. Close co-ordination was required with all parties involved and the net outcome was the delivery of 1,000m2 of flooring a day and a project completed on time. This remarkable speed was assisted by the adoption of a precast perimeter walling solution from Advanced Precast. The 45,000m2 of suspended decks were formed with the Ultrafloor metaldeck system supported on prestressed precast transverse band beams. The Ultrafloor system represents approximately half of the precast flooring used in Australia and to date they have successfully supplied some 4.0 million square metres of product to the market.

Blinds • Blindcraft 14/43-53 Bridge Rd Stanmore, NSW 2048 Bricklayer • FUGEN Holdings Po Box 566 Alexandria, NSW 1435 11/12/08 11:45:51 AM

Geo Technical Consultant • ACT Geotechnical Engineering Pty Ltd 31-37 Townshend Street Phillip, ACT 2606 Insulation • Capital Insulation 3/218 Gladstone Street Fyshwick, ACT 2609 P: 02 6280 0005 F: 02 6280 4027

Environmental Consultant • Bassett Consulting Engineers PO Box Q410, QVB Post Office Sydney, NSW 1230

Kitchens • Contemporary Kitchens 3/14 Alderson Place Hume, ACT 2619

Fire Engineer • Defire PO Box 2046 Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012

Landscape Consultant • Redbox Design Group PO Box 4575 Kingston, ACT 2604 Louvres • Air Grilles 2 The Crescent Kingsgrove, NSW 2208 Roofing • Hyland Roofing 223 Maitland Road Sandgate, NSW 2304

42 | Award Magazine

Project Profile: Melbourne Convention Centre

Heritage Glass supplied the glass walls and roofing as featured above

Melbourne: Open For Business 44 | Award Magazine

By David Said

Image courtesy of Woods Bagot and NHArchitecture

There are striking features of the new Melbourne Convention Centre at South Wharf that make it a stand out project.


irst, an innovative design concept by NHArchitects and Woods Bagot that deliberately sets out to turn traditional convention centre design inside out and deliver a building that is distinctive in its own right and worthy of its prime riverfront location in the South Wharf precinct, not just a venue for large conventions. Second, it is the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a six star green star environmental rating, making it one of the

greenest large structures in the the world. And third, its revolutionary internal design and advanced technology makes it one of the first convention centres of this scale to have its primary meeting space equipped to accomodate flat to tiered seating at the touch of a button or subdivide into two or three separate meeting spaces. The State Government regards the new Melbourne Convention Centre, which will open for business in mid-2009, as a major

investment in its own right, with the power to generate millions of dollars in interstate and overseas income for Victoria. This PPP (public-private partnership), between the State Government and the Plenary Group, will deliver a $1.4 billion revitalised precinct that will give community access to a new landmark featuring the convention centre, a new Hilton Hotel, an office tower, a 60,000 square metre shopping precinct and renewed public realm. Award Magazine | 45

Project Profile: Melbourne Convention Centre It is situated on the banks of the Yarra and will be fully integrated with the adjoining exhibition centre through a glassed walkway to become the largest exhibition and convention facility in the southern hemisphere.

Ground breaking design

“Before starting this project”, recalls Hamish Lyon of NH Architects “Nik Karalis of Woods Baggot and I took a tour of convention centres in the USA, Asia and Europe and decided that most convention centres had the aesthetic quality of a football stadium”. In other words, the average convention centre was a box-like structure that quarantined attendees in a dark, unstimulating interior with the only access to the outside world (aside from the front door) being reserved for trucks bumping in exhibits and catering equipment or delivering supplies. In contrast, they wanted to design not just a multi-functional meeting space, but a major public building that would be filled with light and integrate with the waterfront, the city and the Docklands to become a feature of the urban landscape in its own right. The design of the new convention centre is certainly anything but box-like – it is designed in a fan shape, with a long, curved glass facade that overlooks the Yarra and allows the people of Melbourne to look into the structure from the other side of the river and enjoy the spectacle while admitting light and a superb view into the foyer of the centre itself. The fan shape also maximises the impact of the contoured steel roof, which visually integrates the new convention centre with the steel roofed exhibition centre next door. In yet another innovative move, all delivery

and logistic services are diverted underground and unload at the core of the building, eliminating the traffic jam of trucks around the perimeter and public access. Inside the foyer, the major design feature is the rear feature wall, a three-dimensional mosaic of angled wooden panels arranged in an organic patchwork pattern that sweeps its full length like an avant-garde sculpture. This feature delivers one of the centre’s environmental credentials, since all the wood veneer for the 8,400 square metres of

A challenge to build.

Arthur Williams, who leads the Brookfield Multiplex team who are building the new centre, says that one of the biggest challenges the builders had to face was the location of the site itself – an island surrounded by water at the front and existing developments on every other side. There was only one entrance to the site for deliveries and removals and this made construction planning and staging much more difficult.

The people of Victoria are gaining a $1.4 billion urban renewal project. Plenary Group

panelling was harvested sustainably from only 56 Australian Spotted Gum trees. Behind this wooden feature wall lies the heart of this convention centre. The fanshaped 5,000 seat Plenary Hall that can change format to suit a range of events. The seats can be configured as a flat floor venue, but will also tier themselves automatically rising off the floor and unfolding themselves. Alternatively, all the seating can fold away, leaving a large bare floor area for use as a conference banqueting hall, large exhibition space or ballroom. This is not only one of the world’s biggest halls with automatic seating, it also combines this feature with the ability to subdivide into three separate theatres, each capable of differently configured seating and each with its own stage (the room dividers are moved by hand by being rolled in on a monorail system).

The riverfront location also meant that Golder Associates, who undertook the geotechnical investigation and foundation design, had to ensure that the site would be sealed off from the river and adjacent dock and that the piled foundation system would support the structure on the soft silt substrata common in this area (a design task complicated by intermittent layers of basalt). The pressure was also on civil engineers Winward Structures, who had to cope with high floor loads and long span floor and roof structures. Winward established two separate design teams – one for reinforced concrete and the other for structural steel – to ensure they would meet the extremely short design and construction programmes that will see the facility ready for the first convention in mid 2009.

Artist Impression | Every seat in the self-tiering, 5,000 seat plenary hall has a clear view of the stage

46 | Award Magazine

It is also worth noting that each of the three design features that give the Centre its unique identity – the distinctive roof, the variable seating in the plenary hall and the glass facade fronting the river – created its own share of construction headaches. At 20,000 square metres, the roof was the largest long span steel roof ever built in Australia. An on-site rolling mill was required to produce the 8 metre long roof sections because they were too long to be transported to the site, while the installation of the 52-tonne steel roof trusses required the use of the tallest free standing crane in Australia to lift and position them. (To add to the complexity of this operation, this 90 metre crane, already in use elsewhere on the site, had to be dropped, moved and rebuilt to accomplish this task). The glass facade overlooking the Yarra presented yet another challenge. It is more than 200 metres long by 18 metres tall and since the architects specified a vertical striped effect which adds to the imposing height of the facade, each drop consists of only three 6.3 metre x 2 .1 metre silicone jointed sheets of glass, with no horizontal supporting members. The cassette system, to which the large sheets of glass are attached only at the sides, was a one-off solution from Arup Facades and was manufactured by Clipfit, who also installed it at a rate of 50 large glass panels per day. (No doubt the experience both companies had gained while working together on the Southern Cross Station project proved useful). The third identifying feature, the tiered seating system, is based on a patented lifting mechanism owned by Gala Systems of Canada which is used throughout Europe and North America in theatres and small auditoria, but had never been used on this scale before. The Melbourne system requires three separate lifting mechanisms, (one for each of the three divisible sections of the hall), with the added demand that the flat floor resulting when the seating was stowed beneath it had to be reinforced to support heavy trucks carrying banqueting and exhibition supplies driving over it without damaging the complex hydraulic lifting screws and folded seating beneath. Gala designed the prototype for the system and trained employees from Metaltech in Melbourne to work on the system so that they were qualified to fabricate, test and install the components.

Environmental challenges

The State Government specified that a minimum environmenal rating of 4 stars must be achieved. The convention centre's third claim to fame - it's six star green star environmental rating - was achieved by Plenary Group who believed that it would not only score approval points with the Victorian Government, but would also be a marketing tool which would attract future conference organisers and act as an additional drawcard for the operators of the hotel and tenants in the retail complex and office tower. At the same time, achieving this standard

Artist Impression | The distinctive main foyer has a glass curtain façade overlooking the Yarra river was no easy task. The Green Building Council of Australia developed a rigorous new set of criteria for evaluating conference centres in response to the Plenary Group design and these covered areas from site excavation to specification of construction materials, fittings, finishes and post construction operating systems. Some of the measures prescribed by environmental engineering consultants Lincolne Scott to win the first six star green star rating ever granted to a conference facility include recycling of grey and black water for non-potable on site use, solar panels to deliver all public amenity hot water requirements, natural light and energy-saving controls on installed lighting, including fixtures that adjust dependent on the amount of daylight detected in the room and building materials from renewable and sustainable sources.

Outcome – a major asset for Victoria.

There were many sound business reasons for building a new convention centre for Melbourne, since economic modelling estimated that over the next 25 years, the convention centre will stimulate Victoria's economy in excess of $197 million each year and create 2500 jobs, plus another 1000 jobs during the construction phase. There is also no doubt that the PPP model is working exceptionally well in delivering value for Victorian tax payers. As a Plenary spokesman put it “the people of Victoria are gaining a $1.4 billion urban renewal project for South Wharf for the price of the convention

centre alone –with more than two thirds of the cost of the total project being met by the private sector.” The new development is also a fascinating marketing case history in its own right. By basing their bid on a radical new design that would add aesthetic value and interest to South Wharf, giving the project the unique identity of being the world's greenest convention centre and adding the technical flexibility of a fully automated and individually configurable Plenary Hall, Plenary Group has created a facility that conference organisers want to use and tenants want to be part of. Hilton Hotels have already signed up as the operator of the new hotel and there is no shortage of future conference bookings either – with more than 43 major international conventions booked from the time the centre opens for business in July 2009, including the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions which will attract 10,000 delegates. Above all, the new centre is a triumph for good design and bold thinking. By breaking the rules of convention centre design, Melbourne gets itself a fine new public building that revitalises a previously unused area and provides a visual attraction that both locals and visitors to Melbourne will enjoy for many years to come. A

Award Magazine | 47


• SlabDrain/Membrane Drain – shallow drainage, ideal for suspended slabs where waterproofing is critical • Brickslot/MiniKlassik – discrete slot drainage, ideal for brick pavements and other high profile applications

Project directory | Melbourne Convention Centre FLOORING CONTRACTOR

ACO Polycrete Products

Contact: John Sordo PO Box 470 Emu Plains, NSW 2750 P: 02 4747 4000 F: 02 4747 4040

A variety of ACO products were installed at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Inside the building, at various locations along its expansive floor areas, stainless steel HEELGUARDTM Anti-Slip floor ventilation grilles were fitted. These were specified by NH Architecture and Woods Bagot for their strength and versatility. The grille was made up of a system of grates of various sizes and shapes built to adapt to the staggered shape of the designated floor area. Various grille profiles were selected to meet the design requirements for the building’s permissible air dispersement. These systems were also located in the Plenary. For the external areas, John Mullen Partners (JMP) specified ACO Drain (trench and pit drainage) with Ductile Iron, Galvanised and Stainless Steel HEELGUARDTM grates. URBANFIL® access covers were also selected by Aspect Melbourne Pty Ltd above various utilities to ensure that the visual continuity of the floor paver pattern is preserved.


Brookfield Multiplex

Contact: Arthur Williams 32 Lincoln Square North Carlton, VIC 3053 P: 03 8341 4500 F: 03 9347 0031

The Melbourne Convention Centre Development and Hilton Hotel South Wharf combined are $550M of new construction delivered over a 2.5 year duration. The project team at peak time had in excess of 1200 Construction Workers and more than 100 Brookfield Multiplex staff and labour on site. The project has been built in record time with turnover exceeding $1M per day every working day during 2008. The project is the world's first 6 star green star rated convention centre incorporating many design initiatives including displacement air conditioning to the Plenary Hall and foyer, Chilled Beam conditioning to the office space and under floor heating and cooling to the main foyer.


Heritage Glass Products

Contact: Bob Taylor 91 Cook Street Port Melbourne, VIC 3207 P: 03 9251 2888 F: 03 9251 2899

Innovative designs often require similarly innovative solutions. The history of Heritage glass is one of taking on projects which require more than just the supply and installation of glass to a project. With the Melbourne Convention Centre project Heritage Glass was commissioned to supply a special patterned mirror glass type for the project which required the designing of the pattern and sourcing of a manufacturer to complete the project to architectural approval. The project is one of the more detailed projects Heritage has been involved in. The finish required by the Architects and Builder has been achieved due to Heritage’s long association within the glazing industry and the relationships built up over a long period of time with suppliers and manufacturers, which help achieve the more complex requirements of designers in today’s building environment. As always the hard work and good will of all concerned in the project are the key elements for a good outcome. Our thanks go to the teams at Woods Bagot and Brookfield Multiplex for their support through the project.

Victorian State Government

Level 35 121 Exhibition Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

Plenary Group

Contact: Steve Wise Level 29, 140 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000 P: 03 8888 7700 F: 03 8888 7701

48 | Award Magazine


The Melbourne Convention Centre Development is being delivered as a public private partnership project under the Partnerships Victoria framework. The Victorian Government's investment of $370 million will deliver a $1.4 billion development at South Wharf creating a new waterfront precinct for people to enjoy. The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development is the lead department for the project and Major Projects Victoria are responsible for construction of the new centre. The centre and adjacent commercial precinct is being developed on the Government’s behalf by a consortium led by Plenary Group. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust will operate the new centre and are working with Melbourne Convention + Vistors Bureau to attract new convention business.

PROJECT SPONSOR Plenary Group is an independent public private partnership business; an investor, developer and operator of public infrastructure over the long term. A ‘plenary’ approach is absolute - comprehensive and complete. These are the qualities we bring to the delivery and management of public private partnerships. On the MCCD project, we worked hand-in-glove with our consortium partners. Our direct engagement with the builders and service providers from the very start of the project has enabled us to anticipate issues as they arise and ensure all of the stakeholders’ interests in the project are addressed. Plenary believes it is this integrated approach that best delivers value for money for the Victorian Government and the highest quality facility for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Trust. By bringing dedicated expertise, resources and experience across all aspects of the project to generate a highly effective infrastructure solution, we believe we have contributed to lasting tourism and economic benefits for Victoria.


Food Service Consultant

• J-V Woods Bagot and NHArchitecture Contact: Marieke Vaughan Level 7, 12-20 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 9654 4955 F: 03 9654 4938 The new Melbourne Convention Centre, under construction on the southern banks of the Yarra River, due to open next year, will be the largest combined facility of its kind in Australia. The sixth project and first convention centre in Australia to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, this world class building will revitalise the Yarra precinct, providing a link between South Wharf and the Docklands.

• McCartney Taylor Dimitroff P/L (MTD Group) Contact: Wasko Dimitroff Suite 208/12 Cato Street Hawthorn, VIC 3122 P: 03 9822 0544 F: 03 9822 0577 Independent Certification • Donald Cant Watts Corke Contact: Tim Hogg L3, GPO Building - 350 Bourke Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 8662 1111 F: 03 8662 1122

Architect (Bridge) • Grimshaw Contact: Keith Brewis 494 La Trobe Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 9321 2600 F: 03 9321 2611 Acoustics Door Systems • dB Acoustics Pty Ltd Contact: Keith Porter 17 Green Street Doveton, VIC 3177 P: 03 9793 2390 F: 03 9794 5192 Responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of 5 large multiple leaf hinged metal acoustic truck entry doors to rear stage and wing walls of the Plenary Hall. Weighing some 3500kgs each and employing a triple edge scaling system the doors provide Rw 55 acoustic rating. dB Acoustics has established an enviable reputation based on experience and high quality workmanship in the manufacture of high performance acoustic metal doors for studios, theatres and industrial plant rooms.

Ceramic Tiling • Metz Pty Ltd 6 University Place Clayton, VIC 3168 P: 03 9561 6144

Independent Cost Advice • Donald Cant Watts Corke Contact: Tim Hogg L3, GPO Building - 350 Bourke Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 8662 1111 F: 03 8662 1122 DCWC provided independent cost advice to the project team through the bid phase and provided independent certification services during the construction phase. The independent certification services comprised cost, progress and design certification and reporting to Planary Group, Brookfield Multiplex and the project financiers.

Mechanical Engineering • Metaltec Precision Engineering Contact: Paul Hudson 292-298 Bay Road Cheltenham, VIC 3192 P: 03 9584 9876 F: 03 9583 9057 Metaltec was responsible for the various elements of design, configuration, prototyping and ultimately the manufacture and installation of the mechanical seating arrangement.

Planning Management Engineer

F: 03 9561 6944

• JMP Consulting Engineers 250 Queen Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 9600 0366 F: 03 9600 0300

SIGNAGE DESIGN • R-Co Contact: Richard Henderson Level 3, 141 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 9654 5522 F: 03 9654 7422 The R-Co is responsible for the strategic brand development of the MCEC identity which has been implemented across all communications. The identity graphically expresses the purpose of the MCEC as "Melbourne's Meeting Place" using bold colour and composition to create a playful three-dimensional shape. R-Co designed the master brand standards, the wayfinding theory and designed and managed all signage outcomes. The interface between the identity, the architecture and operations has created a seamless integration and a significant destination brand statement.

Structural Engineer • Winward Structures Contact: David Doolan, Rob Dibiasi 488 La Trobe Street Melbourne, VIC 3000 P: 03 8327 8600 F: 03 8327 8699 Tiling • Prime Ceramics Property Services P/L Contact: Chris Shellie 38/148 Chesterville Road Moorabin, VIC 3189 P: 03 9555 3055 F: 03 9553 2791 Prime Ceramics, in its 25th year, has completed one of its most prestigious tiling installations. We have supplied and installed over 15,000m2 of porcelain and ceramic tiles to the main Foyer and Amenities areas. Our professional teams have delivered Brookfield Multiplex a high quality installation to their program requirements.

Wind Consultants • Vipac Engineers and Scientists Contact: Craig Skipsey 279 Normanby Road Port Melbourne, VIC 3207 P: 03 9647 9700 F: 03 9646 4370

Consulting Engineer • PSV Consulting Engineers 6 Westbrook Street Kew East, VIC 3150 P: 03 9859 3541 F: 03 9859 3413

Grimshaw’s Yarra Bridge will become a significant civic landmark to Melbourne. Built as part of the Melbourne Convention Centre project, the bridge is structurally expressive and supports the crescendo of the processional approach across the Yarra River towards the Plenary Hall.

Award Magazine | 49

International Project Profile

Ontario Tower London, UK By Spiro Lambropoulos

The Ontario tower is an homage to the Blackwall area it inhabits, with a glance west to the City it belongs.


ts chimney shaped top spiral, sitting on top of the penthouse apartments harks back to the days of London where shipping yard’s were the mainstay. Blackwall, situated on the north bank of the Thames, was for over 350 years, the centre of ship building and repairs and the main gateway into London. Ballymore architects have done a magnificent job in turning this defunct and derelict area, known primarily for its lower socio-economic workers, into a haven for the ‘supposed’ slick city workers who are but a stone’s throw from the financial district and the tall towers of Canary Wharf. So successful in fact were Ballymore in designing this tower that it won the bronze medal at the most recent Emporis awards. The Emporis Skyscraper award is the only award of its kind presented each year to individual skyscrapers on a worldwide basis. The awards are based upon a constantly updated database of more than 150,000 high rise buildings. In light of increasing globalisation, the award presented by Emporis is enabling greater transparency in the building industry and more importantly, is raising the bar for innovation and design. Of particular note are the recent Australian entrants and award winners, namely the Eureka Tower in Melbourne’s CBD that won Bronze in 2006 with Q1 and The Wave, both located in the Gold Coast, winning silver in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The Ontario Tower was only just nominated as it tops out at 106 metres, 100 being the minimum requirement. Aesthetically the Ontario Tower is beautiful to behold. The rendered floor to ceiling cylindrical glass shines as the sun sets along the Thames. However, what sets the Ontario Tower apart from the rest of the humdrum, bleak, grey Docklands surrounds is its blue neon lit chimney stack that, in conjunction with the millennium dome, cast the Thames skyline further east than before, and further into our imaginations than it ever has. Another feature of this fully residential tower is the division of space amongst the occupants so that 70% of the properties are

50 | Award Magazine

studio, suites and one-bedroom apartments. This shift towards studio and one-bedroom apartments is being driven by market demand, price sensitivity and changes in the planning system, which aim to increase the number of high density schemes in central London. The Ontario Tower stands at 29 storeys tall and includes a total of 260 luxury studio, suites, one and two bedroom apartments as well as six spectacular penthouses. Linking the Ontario Tower is the 169 bedroom Radisson Hotel, connected via a triple height glass atrium to the base of the Ontario Tower, bringing further activity to this once run down area. Having a luxurious hotel adjacent is an added benefit to residents as it can sustain the East River Spa, which takes up the entire first floor of the building. The spa and gym feature treatment rooms for the stressed, of particular note during this time of economic meltdown. Each storey has an identical floor plate running up through the building including 11 apartments, seven of which are studios, three one-bedroom and one two-bedroom apartment. The apartments have a variety of layouts, each with stylish contemporary interiors offering some of the best specifications available in the capital. The apartments benefit from an individual comfort cooling system, the kitchens have a combination of white gloss and Rosewood storage units which are complemented by white Durat work surfaces. The luxury shower rooms, bathrooms and en suite facilities benefit from Carrera marble flooring and wall tiling. Good old London town, of the Industrial Revolution, may have been the inspiration for the design, but now The Ontario Tower is setting its own blueprint for the future of the city of London, replete in all its blue neon glory. A

Traffic roof

Green roof

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Pedestrian roof

Sika Sarnafil® sheet membrane is produced with a special recipe. Its life expectancy of the whole waterproofing system is over 30 years for roofing, by far exceeding the normal PVC waterproofing systems. This outstanding advantage makes Sika Sarnafil products widely used in various waterproofing fields. Application Fields • Exposed Roof • Roof Garden • Utility Deck • Pedestrian Roof

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Installation Methods • Fully Adhered System • Mechanically Fastened System • Loosely Laid System Light weight roof

Sika Australia Pty Ltd Tel: 1300 22 3348

Image courtesy of Brookfield Multiplex

Project Profile: Western Australian District Court

52 | Award Magazine

taking justice into the 21st century By David Said

The new Western Australia District Court building in Perth, which opened in June 2008, not only provides the people of Western Australia with a state of the art facility incorporating the very latest security and communications technology, but also delivers justice with a human face and gives Perth a handsome new landmark building in the heart of the central business district.


Fernando Faugno, of Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland Architects, designed the new courthouse to meet three important judicial objectives. The first was to create an appropriate and dignified setting for the enactment of justice with due regard for practical needs such as security and separate access and accommodation for prisoners, jurors, judges, witnesses and the public. The second was to provide a non-intimidating and reassuring environment for the people who would use the building in their capacity as witnesses, victims, family members, jurors litigants, accused and legal professionals. The third was to accommodate the array of support, technical and administrative systems that are essential to modern judicial procedures. The District Court consists of two separate buildings linked at the upper levels by bridges across a three stories high glazed atrium that provides an interlude of light, space and peace for those who are about to enter the often stressful justice process. There is also a garden that people involved in court proceedings can visit for a few moments of relaxation. The three storey building facing Irwin St,

which houses reception, administration and victim and witness support services, has been limited in height to ensure that it does not block natural light from entering the court rooms and judges' chambers in the main building behind it. This 12 storey main structure, which accommodates 24 courtrooms, is actually the equivalent height of a 16 storey building, utilising the extra ceiling height to add a formal

dimension to the environment in which legal proceedings take place. From the outside, the new courthouse can be identified from a distance by an abstract metal sculpture more than 12 metres tall. It was created in gleaming aluminium by well known Western Australian artist Anne Neil and its corner position makes it visible from both Hay and Irwin Streets.

The heritage-listed portico of the 1899 St George's Hall is incorporate in the facade of the new building. Image courtesy of Brookfield Multiplex


he 27,000 square metre court building, which cost $195 million, was designed by Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland and built by Brookfield Multiplex as a PPP (public private partnership) between the State Government and Western Liberty Group, a consortium led by banker ABN Amro. The PPP agreement will continue for 27 years from construction commencement, since Western Liberty will maintain the building, provide custodial security and manage the facility until 2035. The District Court is Western Australia’s newest tier of justice, created in 1969 as an intermediate level between the magistrate courts and the state Supreme Court, but it has never had a home of its own in Perth before. The striking new building on the corner of Hay and Irwin Streets is situated just across the road from the Central Law Court building that houses the Magistrate’s Courts and is linked to it beneath Hay Street.

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Project Profile: Western Australian District Court Image courtesy of Brookfield Multiplex

The building also incorporates a piece of its own history. This was the site of the 1879 St George’s Hall, a theatre that became the Government printing office in the early 1900s, and the original neoclassic portico has been retained as part of the Hay St facade. Pedestrians passing by can read the history of the original building which is displayed on metal plaques beneath the portico.

Interior Design

The new District Court accommodates 24 court rooms of varying sizes and functions on seven levels, with judicial chambers on the upper levels. The largest of the court rooms, the impressive 250 square metre Ceremonial Court used on formal state occasions, can seat up to 40 judges and is finished with wood panelling and leather upholstery, while Australia’s first purpose-built high security courtroom features glazed security areas, a large public gallery and facilities for live video conferencing. The colour scheme throughout the building is deliberately calm and reassuring and the courthouse is one of the few in Australia with access to natural light in most courtrooms and public areas, a comforting feature in a sombre judicial environment that can be oppressive and intimidating for some participants. In addition to its signature outdoor sculpture, the new Perth District Court houses an outstanding collection of paintings by leading Western Australian indigenous and non-indigenous artists which are displayed in the main entry foyer and in each of the foyers of the seven courtroom levels. The ground floor entry foyer features a second work by Anne Neal, a relief sculpture in concrete that casts an ever changing pattern on the west wall as the sun moves, and a large painting by well known indigenous artist Shane Pickett that connects the modern Court with traditional Aboriginal healing grounds where disputes were settled.

Challenging site.

Tony Hodder of Brookfield Multiplex remembers this as one of the tightest sites he has ever had to work on. The site is only 60 metres square and he had to throw a gantry over the open parking lot at the rear just to create enough lay down space for construction materials and prefabrication of steel reinforcing. Traffic management, particularly during the deep basement excavation, was also complicated by the fact that the site fronted a busy main road and the need to provide 24 hour access for vehicles of the Hay St Fire Brigade. Time was of the essence and one strategy used to ensure the deadline was met was for the John Massey Group, acting as the approval authority, to issue separate compliance authorities for each floor as it was designed, so that Brookfield Multiplex could get to work floor by floor instead of waiting for the whole building to be approved. The functional requirements of an operating

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The impressive Ceremonial Courtroom used on formal occasions can accommodate up to 40 judges. courthouse created their own complexities when it came to ensuring separate access and circulation routes for various categories of users. Judges, jurors, witnesses, victims, defendants in custody and the public all have to have their own entrances to the court rooms, jury rooms and other specific use areas and this required dedicated elevators, air circulation systems and fire evacuation routes – not only to guarantee the security of prisoners, but also to ensure that jurors, vulnerable witnesses and victims would not need to come face to face with those accused in their cases, even in an emergency. Brookfield Multiplex and their specialist consultants had to design and install six separate sets of elevator shafts, fire stairs and evacuation routes, each one physically separated from the others. The new courthouse is connected to the 1981 Central Law Court building across the street by an underground pedestrian walkway and a road tunnel that enables prisoners awaiting trial to be transported to both lower and higher courts in the same vehicle and be placed in the appropriate basement custodial cells on arrival. The tunnels had to be installed under a main road without affecting existing water mains, electricity and other services running above and without closing the road to traffic.

Electronic and sustainable technology

The electronic security and communications systems designed for the new District Court are absolutely state of the art. Security systems ensure constant video surveillance of all courtrooms, public spaces and custodial cells, while the court’s advanced communications network includes video links for taking evidence from remote areas, closed circuit

systems to transmit the evidence of children and victims who could not face their attackers in open court and video conferencing facilities from areas such as the high security court. The environmental engineering of the building minimises the use of energy for heating and cooling through a combination of measures, including sunshades and louvres to capture winter sun and exclude summer sun, effective insulation, use of internal and external concrete surfaces as a heat bank and energy efficient glass that reduces heat loading. Other sustainability initiatives include water efficient tap ware and smart flush technology, low maintenance and natural finishes and the world’s first low energy flat lighting panels. As one would expect, security is also a prime concern. The most up to date electronic alarm and door control and intruder detection systems have been installed and an airportstyle security checkpoint screens all members of the public entering the building.

Outcome: A new standard of court architecture

The new Western Australian Court has redefined standards of court architecture in Australia. Its high tech security, communication and control systems will serve as a reference site for any new public court building, which will have to match or exceed them, but it is the non-functional attributes that should really make a difference. The appreciation of the Western Australian Government, the architect and the Western Liberty Group that the cost of justice measured in human terms of stress is high and their determination to make the building a more welcoming and reassuring environment for all participants rather than the symbol of an aloof and forbidding legal process, should be applauded. A

Project Profile: Western Australian District Court GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Brookfield Multiplex

Contact: Tony Hodder 173 Mounts Bay Road Perth, WA 6000 P: 08 9483 0899 F: 08 9483 0898

Brookfield Multiplex worked in close partnership with ABN AMRO (Project Financiers) during the bid and contract negotiation phases of the project, and commenced construction of the new Court facility in June 2005. In a non standard arrangement Brookfield Multiplex was not only responsible for the delivery of this complex design and construct project, but was also responsible for ensuring that Western Liberty Group, its operators (Maintenance, Security, Custody and Court Reporting) and the operating systems were ready to commence on day one in the new facility. The construction was progressed in parallel with a detailed design development phase that ensured the various needs of key stakeholders (from both the District Court and WLG’s Operators) were met. This consultative approach to design development has resulted in the delivery of Australia's most functional and technologically rich single jurisdiction court facility to the State of West Australia.


Marshall Beattie Pty Ltd


Contact: Trevor Tolliday 80 Cleaver Terrace Belmont, WA 6104 P: 08 9355 5600 F: 08 9355 5992

Acoustics • Vipac Engineers & Scientists LTD 3/320 Great Eastern Highway Ascot, WA 6104 P: 08 9277 3335 F: 08 9277 3325

We were involved in the construction of the new District Court Building in Perth and supplied and installed the big Sally Port Doors, with associated Automation and Control System. We also supplied and installed the Automatic Roller Shutters and Gates. These all conformed to a very high standard, as required for Courts and Prisons. We have also installed Ram Barriers, Bollards, Sally Port Doors, Gates and Automation, to other Courts and Prisons in Western Australia. We provide an ongoing maintenance service program, for all installed equipment. We also have a 24 hour call out service for faults or damage. We supply, install and service Automatic Doors (we are Tormax Agents for Western Australia), Automatic Gates, Cantilever Gates, Boom Gates, Cable Gates, Security Turnstiles, Security Barriers and Bollards, Access Control Systems and Custom solutions for special requirements.

Mechanical Services • Envar Engineers & Contractors Pty Ltd 49 Furnace Road Welshpool, WA 6106 Office Furniture

Concrete Panels • Paragon Precast Industries Pty Ltd 435 Dundas Road Forrestfield, WA 6105

• Burgtec Australasia Pty Ltd 3 Kirke Street Balcatta, WA 6021 Plumbing Contractor

Door Hardware • Parker Black & Forrest Pty Ltd PO Box 1260 Osborne Park, WA 6917

• Sanwell Pty Ltd 37 Division Street Welshpool, WA 6109

Roofing Subcontractor • Creative Roofing 1830 Wanneroo Road Neerabup, WA 6031 Toilet Cubicles • Hufcor Pty Ltd Unit 2/160-162 Bannister Road Canning Vale, WA 6155 Windows & Glazed Curtain Walls • Ventara Holdings Pty Ltd 9/1 Duffy Street Bayswater, WA 6053

Electircal Contractor • Everett-Smith and Co Pty Ltd 26 Sarich Court Osborne Park, WA 6017 Fire Protection Services • Firemain Co 12 Davison Street Maddington, WA 6109 Flooring Supplier • Master Floors 25 Gladstone Street East Perth, WA 6004 Formwork • CACS Constructions Pty Ltd 45 Great Eastern Highway Redcliffe, WA 6104 Interior Fitout • Contract Office Interiors Contact: Geoff Metcalfe 414 Murray Street Perth, WA 6000 P: 08 9321 1222 F: 08 9321 1444

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Project Profile: Darwin Middle School

Darwin Middle School By Deborah Singerman

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Images courtesy of Halikos Construction

Interior image | Shaded leisure area near Driftwood cafe

Rather than treat the specific educational needs of 12 to 15 year olds as being too hot to handle the Northern Territtory Government decided to build a school aimed at encouraging students to attend and even enjoy the experience.


art of the NT Government’s $42 million four-year Building Better Schools program, the middle school is for years 7 to 9. Its pedagogy, the art and science of teaching, mixes self-directed and collaborative learning in a supportive, flexible environment, adequately resourced with teachers, quality facilities, technology and materials, and community and parental participation. There are middle schools in Western Australia, in some independent schools and some NT high schools have become dedicated middle schools. But something was missing.


Darwin Middle School opened February 2008 for the start of the academic year. It is the Territory’s first purpose-built middle school. Design architects Build Up Design and project architects Jackman Gooden Architects (JGA) worked with the client, then the Department of Education, Employment and Training and now Department of Education and Training (DET); the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI); and educationalists to understand the philosophy that was built into the DPI brief, and later the design. “The design of the school reflects the climate of its location and those educational imperatives,” says Simon Scally, a director at Build Up Design. The six buildings are essentially a rectangle, Scally says, oriented east-west to reduce incident sun on walls. The school is broken into communities, large open general learning areas for up to 100 students. Two communities form a neighbourhood. Ground level south

contains the year 7 neighbourhood, ground level north, year 8’s and the first floor, year 9’s (the first year 9 intake will be in 2009 to total 610 students of all backgrounds, with around 65 permanent staff ). Breakout spaces or pods are teaching areas, and those large classrooms can be divided into smaller spaces with quieter areas off them. Teachers have preparation rooms. The neighbourhoods share three science spaces, arts, music and home economics spaces, and a performing arts stage. A central covered area has seating for assemblies and performances, and the Driftwood cafe is next to it. Darwin’s tropical wet and dry, punctuated by a build up and build down, led to passive environmental design principles to protect against the sun and rain. These included outside verandahs, wide roof eaves and cross ventilation for the internal spaces. The budget was $25.3 million, says Chris

with its regular coordination meetings, was fast-tracked.


A kilometre from the Darwin CBD on a west facing peninsular, the site was a rocky beachside outcrop, but did not present too many problems, according to civil works contractor Alan King and Sons Construction. The school is on approximately 15,000 square metres of land. Formerly part of Vesty's meatworks, an old water tank found there was converted to a gymnasium. The school also lies within a broader precinct including Darwin High School and Darwin Botanic Gardens. Marisa Fontes of Outsidesign created a low maintenance landscape, retaining existing significant trees, adding native grasses and stands of Salmon Gums at the entrance, and generally balancing compliance with strict NT Government

The design of the school reflects the climate of its location and those educational imperatives. Simon Scally, Build Up Design

Giannikouris, Project Manager responsible for construction management at the design and construct contractor, Halikos. The project came in well ahead of schedule. Halikos only engaged local consultants, subcontractors and suppliers and that when several major NT projects were competing for scarce resources, and the design process,

planting guidelines with the need for shade and greenery, within a revised budget.

Construction / engineering

Halikos constructed a building pad to raise the natural ground level against flooding. This allowed the main structural groundworks to continue through the 2007 monsoonal rainfall. Award Magazine | 57

Image courtesy of Halikos Construction

Project Profile: Darwin Middle School

Learning is community based, secure, wireless and within a colour scheme reflecting the local beach Works went through another wet season, and only one dry season. This was just one part of an efficient delivery method. The DPI prepared 15 per cent of the total project design. Halikos engaged consultants and directed them to advance the design during the request for tender (RTF) phase. (Group 1 was subcontracted by JGA to do the architectural documentation.) This paid off because the company was awarded the contract in October 2006 and could immediately submit 85 to 90 per cent of the drawings and developed design for approval, go on site the following month, erect the building pad and keep going. The contract gave financial incentives for the contractor to complete on time or ahead of time, says DPI Project Manager Ray Carter, a challenging DPI initiative that reversed the more usual contract conditions where the contractor is penalised if late. Stage 1 buildings, including the canteen/cafe originally part of Stage 2, were completed 12 days ahead of the program. Stage 2 balance of works was completed on 21 February 2008, more than 10 weeks ahead, making Halikos eligible for the financial incentives. With the support of structural engineers, Wallbridge and Gilbert RFP, Halikos used structural raft slabs on the building pad with rendered structural blockwork walls, in situ suspended slabs and a structural steel roof frame. “The most difficult part of the project,” Giannikouris says, “was coordinating the steel roof structure, which linked the school buildings.” Darren Mullan of Halikos Roofing remembers the challenging angles of Build Up Design’s gecko roof shape. Chris Rogers of All Plan Drawing Services created a 3D model of the building structure, enabling Halikos

58 | Award Magazine

to integrate the design. Rogers used Tekla Structures, a Scandinavian 3D CAD structural steel modelling package. Halikos also asked surveyors J Matthews and Associates “to confirm column and wall locations to ensure that we could join up the structures without misalignment”. New footpaths, a new access road, bus stop to rear of the site and drop-off zone at the front were some of the later works that set the challenge to catch up with the main work.

accordion doors from Unifold break the large open spaces into smaller classrooms. In line with the communities approach, fully equipped kitchens are nearby. Students make all the food eaten in the school. Arafura Catering supplies commercial grade kitchen ware and Roland Australia supplies hot and cold food display bars. All the woodwork from Darwin Joinery is plantation grown and treated with varnish only. A warm and sympathetic colour palette

I think we’ve built an iconic architectural schooling facility in which the community should be justifiably proud. Marcus Dixon, Principal, Darwin Middle School

Interior design

Around $2 million was allocated to Furnishings Fittings and Equipment (FFE), which the consultants managed for DET. The school is wireless and provided all students with new laptops and laptop cages. Smartboards are available. Internal wall elevations detail FFE and service locations. Insulated roof and walls provide for efficient airconditioning. Stark Investments’ Rondo suspended ceilings are made from 19 mm acoustic mineral fibre tiles. Mechanical services contractor, Mobile Electrics (NT), has programmed control sequences for air quality and indoor temperatures. Signage by Computer Engraving and Design reminds students and teachers to turn off lighting when not in use, and a Building Management System, from ISAS, monitors and controls all lighting, airconditioning, security and access. High acoustic rating Soundguard 40

is picked from sticks and stones of the local beach, Dixon says. Standard vinyl floors are offset by carpets from Onterra, rippled like waves.

Final outcome

Joint winner of the 2008 commercial construction over $10 million excellence award from the Territory Construction Association (alongside the Darwin Convention Centre), Darwin Middle School is living up to its Principal Marcus Dixon’s praise. “I think we’ve built an iconic architectural schooling facility in which the community should be justifiably proud,” says the schools principal. The precedent is set. DET has said that there will be a new purpose-built middle and primary school in Palmerston, south of Darwin and Giannikouris knows the importance of locality. “Good rapport with local industry was key to our successful delivery of this project.” A

Project directory | Darwin Middle School GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Halikos Construction Pty Ltd

Contact: Chris Giannikouris GPO Box 1511 Darwin, NT 0801 P: 08 8981 8966 F: 08 8981 9336

Works commenced wet season 2006, with the first concrete pour in Feb 2007. Stage 1 and Stage 2 were delivered ahead of schedule for the start of the 2008 school year. Halikos engaged local consultants and subcontractors and was well advanced on RFT design during the tender period. When the project was awarded, the developed design was immediately submitted for review resulting in the earliest possible commencement of work.


J.Matthews & Associates Pty Ltd

Contact: John Matthews Unit 2/141 Mitchell Street Larrakeyah, NT 0820 P: 08 8944 7888 F: 08 8944 7820 P: 0408 859 567

J Matthews and Associates (JMA) which has been operating in the Northern Territory since 1988, are now part of the Fyfe organisation following the acquisition of JMA earlier this year . The new company is now known as Fyfe JMA. Since March Fyfe JMA, has increased staff numbers from six to 14, while turnover has almost trebled on the back of major gas projects, land development and civil contracts. Fyfe itself began as a small surveying company in Adelaide 25 years ago and in recent years has commenced a nation-wide expansion program, now having offices in Adelaide, Moomba, Bellara, Darwin, Alice Springs, Brisbane and Roma to service the property and resource industries. Fyfe nation-wide now has around 200 staff including surveyors, engineers, draftsmen and supervisors.

Building Management Systems • ISAS - Integrated Switchgear & Systems Pty Ltd Contact: Tony Pearce PO Box 36878 Winnellie, NT 0821 P: 08 8947 2313 F: 08 8947 0149 Ceramics Supplier • Cerbis Ceramics Contact: Ari Tsirbas 39 Winnellie Road, Winnellie Darwin, NT 0821 P: 08 8984 3019 F: 08 8984 3024 Civil Designer • Byrne Design & Drafting PO Box 43420 Casuarina, NT 0811 P: 08 8945 7030 F: 08 8945 7031 Civil Engineer • Wallbridge & Gilbert RFP Contact: John Fong 7/9 Keith Lane Darwin, NT 0820 P: 08 8941 1678 F: 08 8941 5060 D&C Mechanical Services • Mobile Electrics & Refrigeration Contact: Greg McLaughlin 11 Goyder Road Parap, NT 0820 P: 08 8923 4877 F: 08 8923 4800 P: 08 8923 4877 Design & Documentation Architects • Jackman Gooden Architects PO Box 175 Darwin, NT 0801 P: 08 8981 9466 F: 08 8981 2559

Electrical Contractor • ISAS - Integrated Switchgear & Systems Pty Ltd Contact: Tony Pearce PO Box 36878 Winnellie, NT 0821 P: 08 8947 2313 F: 08 8947 0149 Additional Offices: Welshpool WA 08 9356 3800 The new Darwin Middle School features an integrated security, air-conditioning, lighting and heating Building Management System (BMS). The BMS has been commissioned by ISASIntegrated Switchgear and Systems to maximise energy saving opportunities without imposing upon the schools occupants. The building utilises a central chilled water plant, air-handling systems with variable speed drives, variable air volume boxes and split DX units for after hours use in low occupied areas.

Floorcovering Contractor • Corporate Design Floors PO Box 134 Berrimah, NT 0828 P: 08 8947 1157 F: 08 8947 1153 Kitchen Equipment Design • Arafura Catering Equipment PO Box 200 Parap, NT 0804 P: 08 8981 6655 F: 08 8981 4888 Minor Steel Work • TWG Metal Fabrications Pty Ltd Contact: Tom Grigg PO Box 1292 Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 P: 0412 814 795 F: 02 6928 5812 Our involvement was mostly in the minor steelworks consisting of five parts; the attachment which had been prefabricated as a kit type installation; fabricate and install the six entry points and barriers; supply and install the main entry suspended ceiling structures; supply and install stud infill panels above the block work where required; install the drop down ladder giving access to the roof air conditioner plant.

Plans Provider • Planprint Services N.T. P/L 159 Coonawarra Road Winnguie, NT 0820 P: 08 8947 3322 F: 08 8947 2555

Steel Entry • TWG Metal Fabrications Pty Ltd Contact: Tom Grigg PO Box 1292 Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 P: 0412 814 795 F: 02 6928 5812 Structural Engineer • Wallbridge & Gilbert RFP Contact: John Fong 7/9 Keith Lane Darwin, NT 0820 P: 08 8941 1678 F: 08 8941 5060 Sunscreens • TWG Metal Fabrications Pty Ltd Contact: Tom Grigg PO Box 1292 Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 P: 0412 814 795 F: 02 6928 5812 Suspended Ceilings • TWG Metal Fabrications Pty Ltd Contact: Tom Grigg PO Box 1292 Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 P: 0412 814 795 F: 02 6928 5812 Ventilation & Air Conditioning • Mobile Electrics & Refrigeration 11 Goyder Road Parap, NT 0820 P: 08 8923 4877 F: 08 8923 4800 Wall Framing • TWG Metal Fabrications Pty Ltd Contact: Tom Grigg PO Box 1292 Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 P: 0412 814 795 F: 02 6928 5812

Award Magazine | 59

Product Showcase Product Description Tactiles, part of everyone’s environment

Product Features TGSIs come in two main types: • Warning indicators (dots) and directional indicators (bars) They can be constructed in two ways: • As discrete TGSIs – dots or bars made of one or two materials that are individually affixed to a substrate/surface, or as integrated TGSIs – dots or bars made of the same material and integrated as one consistent mass. • Whatever your situation and application, DTAC will have a product suitable for your environment. If it doesn't its, their design and fabrication team will create one for you.

60 | Award Magazine

Product Applications TGSIs must be installed in accordance with the normative part of AS/NZS 1428.4 (2002) in situations that can be accessed by the general public such as: stairs, ramps, landings, escalators, travelators, pedestrian crossings and waiting platforms.

Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSIs for short) are part of a global initiative to provide greater access for people in the built environment. TGSIs are primarily designed to give tactile warning to people so that they may safely negotiate the built environment. “At DTAC we believe that the more people who can interact, access and utilize a built environment, the greater, more meaningful and successful that built environment can be.” said Dean Homicki CEO DTAC Pty Ltd. “We are aware that for some the term Accessibility can imply disability. DTAC adopts an alternate perspective to this, believing that TGSIs can create a greater usability within the context of the urban landscape”. Through careful planning, consultation and education TGSIs can be introduced to create a truly interactive, accessible and useable environment. Felt under foot, detected by cane, or even read as a light contrast between a surface and a hazard, TGSIs give information to the vision impaired about where they are, where they are going and where they have been. Whether you are new to TGSIs or are already an experienced user, DTAC can assist you with product selection for an application, product installation, certification, maintenance, and recycling of TGSIs. DTAC is available to assist you in getting your TGSI specification right the first time, ensuring your projects’ compliance with the relevant codes and standards.

For more information about this product: Please visit: And click on 'Product Showcase'

Product Showcase Product Description PPG now own the sole rights to manufacture and distribute PSX 700 Epoxy Polysiloxane. PSX700 is a patented engineered siloxane coating which embodies the properties of both a high performance epoxy and a polyurethane in one coat. This multi-purpose coating offers “breakthrough” weather resistance and corrosion control. A traditional 3-coat polyurethane system can be replaced by a 2-coat PSX 700 system with superior performance.

Australian Case Histories • Waubra Wind Farm  • Telstra (Olympic) Stadium - Stadium • Southern Cross Train Station  • Adelaide International Airport • Geelong Stadium  • Melbourne Aquatic Centre • Croydon Aquatic Centre • Yarra Precinct Pedestrian Bridge • Roxby Downs Olympic Dam • M7 Bridges - Sydney  • Port Adelaide Bridge • Millennium, OSCAR, EMU passenger trains • Caltex, Alcoa, Shell - land storage tanks

Product Features

Product Applications

PSX700 is a high performance finish coating with a silicate backbone that makes it almost impervious to the damaging effects of the intense Australian sunlight. It offers the best UV resistance of any high performance protective coating.

PSX 700 is used as a protective coating on steel and concrete where corrosion protection, UV stability and chemical and graffiti resistance are priorities. It has a proven track record of 12 years on major structures around the world, including Australia.

• Better resistance to chalking and fading than the best polyurethanes

• Bridges and Stadiums

• Outstanding grafitti resistance

• Commercial Buildings

• Superior corrosion protection • Full colour range • Free of isocyanates • Low VOC, 120gm/L • Class A fire resistance • 2-Coat High Performance System

• Shopping Complexes and Airports • Processing Plants and Refineries • Offshore Platforms, FPSO • Tanks • Wind Turbines • Passenger Trains • Locomotives and Rolling Stock

For more information about this product: Please visit: And click on 'Product Showcase'

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Product Showcase A Modular Concept Cobiax® is available as cage module CBCM, linked cage module CBLM and semi-precast CBSP and is suitable for in situ applications as well as for the combination with precast slabs. The cobiax® technology can be used with other building techniques such as post tensioning and composite structures. Cobiax® can be adapted to any layout. The arrangement of the cobiax® void formers and the size and shape of the panel are determined by the project requirements

Light - flat - biaxial • Up to 35% lighter slabs • Reduced deflection • Slim columns • Reduction foundation loads • Biaxial bearing

Span • Up to 20m span • No beams • Up to 40% less columns

Open Plan • Spacious area • Open plan flexibility • Better user acceptance • Eased change of use, horizontal and vertical • Column supported flat slab

Earthquake resistance • Weight reduction • Limits damage risk

Standard Product Lines Cobiax void formers are available in various sizes to suit the needs of your slab thicknesses from 200mm to 600(+)mm. The cage modules are available in two standard executions; Slim-Line and Eco-Line. We are keen to provide preliminary advice for your projects by optimising the ratio slab thickness : span : loads.

Resource effectiveness • Concrete reduction • Reduction of building elements • Reduction of reinforcement • Reduction of C02 emissions • Optimised construction time • Sustainability

Integrated Cost Optimisation

The cobiax® technology optimises the lifecycle cost and can also decrease the over-all building cost. To the right, the realcase example illustrates this fact. (Eco-Line, insitu).

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For more information about this product: Please visit: And click on 'Product Showcase'

group discounts available register now!

to receive a conference brochure or for more information please contact frances lemon phone: 02 9922 4711 or email:


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For more information, visit: Or call 1800 245 005 © 2008 Bentley Systems, Incorporated, Bentley, the “B” logo, and the MicroStation are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect whollyowned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.


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Award Magazine | Volume 1 Number 4  
Award Magazine | Volume 1 Number 4  

Showcasing award winning designs and constructions in Australia.