ACT Law Courts

ACT Law Courts

Project Overview

Sector: Government
Location: Australia - Canberra
Year Completed: 2020

Project Features

  • Heritage listed site
  • Refurbishment of two existing buildings
  • Construction of new four storey building plus basement
  • Shared common central plant for all three buildings
  • Gas fired condensing hot water heaters
  • Air cooled screw chillers
  • Primary – secondary piping system with dedicated secondary pumps to serve each building

Project Details

Public Private Partnership delivers $150m modern ACT Law Courts facility

Delivered under the ACT’s first ever Public Private Partnership, the $150 million ACT Law Courts Redevelopment project involved a major refurbishment of the existing law courts facilities and the construction of a purpose built building to create a combined ACT Law Courts precinct for the territory.

Designed to meet the needs of Canberran’s in a more functional, flexible and sustainable way, the project enabled a significant increase in the capacity of the courts to deliver critical services by creating additional courtrooms, increased custodial facilities, new remote witness capabilities, additional jury facilities and improved public entry and registry spaces.

Benmax was awarded the mechanical services contract for the project by builder Laing O’Rourke in 2016. In simple terms, the project saw the Benmax team complete a comprehensive refurbishment of the existing Magistrates Court Building, strip back the heritage listed Supreme Court Building and deliver a fresh fit-out, provide services for the construction of the new four storey building (plus basement) to link the existing structures, and complete the construction of one central plant room to service all three buildings.

One of the main challenges experienced by the Benmax team was the unknown condition of the existing buildings due to the very limited structural documentation available to guide works. Throughout the multi-year project buildings also remained operational to meet critical judicial requirements resulting in restricted access to key areas to undertake visual assessments and planning. By working in partnership with the builder, client and other site trades, the Benmax team was able to identify challenges and access issues early and work through a range of flexible options to deliver works in a manner satisfactory to all parties.

The flexible and accommodating approach undertaken by the Benmax team was evident in completing many phases of the required work including HVAC mechanical services works being staged and reconfiguring of systems undertaken to ensure conditions were maintained in occupied buildings while complex works occurred in other parts of the precinct.

Despite some challenges experienced by the broader project team, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new facility was successfully completed and handed over to the ACT Government in 2020.

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