ANU Birch Building

ANU Birch Building

Project Overview

Sector: Education, Health & Research
Location: Australia - Canberra
Year Completed: 2021

Project Features

  • Comprehensive refurbishment project
  • 11,148 sqm four storey plus basement
  • Heritage listed building
  • Condensed construction program
  • 5 x PC1 and 1 x PC2 Certified laboratories
  • Prefabrication technology and production utilised

Project Details

$75m upgrade for the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences

Awarded the mechanical services contract for the project by Hindmarsh Construction, Benmax recently completed a major refurbishment of the Birch Building (Building 35) located at the Australian National University in Acton, Canberra. Constructed in 1967, the 11,148 sqm heritage listed building previously housed the Research School of Chemistry but is now home to the College of Engineering and Computer Science with contemporary teaching spaces, MakerSpace learning environments and PC1/PC2 Certified research laboratories.

In line with strict requirements to maintain the buildings heritage features including the unique precast façade, atrium stair and coffered floor slabs, the structure was stripped back to slab, columns and external walls with only the façade remaining. Structures within the building were then strengthened to accommodate modern day building services and to allow for an additional storey to be added for the inclusion of a large plant room. Works included reengineered load paths and footings, heavy steel bracing walls, and a new reinforced roof structure capable of supporting increased loads, including more than 35 x AHUs and 49 x fans.

To meet the needs of the client the entire project team was required to work to a tight construction program. To support this, Benmax incorporated the use of prefabricated and preassembled HVAC equipment into the build. This innovative construction method supported higher levels of productivity and enabled improved delivery time frames, while also supporting the highest standards of quality control and on-site safety of workers. Benmax achieved practical completion on the project in August 2021.

Since completion, the ANU Birch Building has gone on to receive several industry accolades and we congratulate our project partners for their achievements, including:

  • Hindmarsh – Judges Commendation for Commercial Fit-out Refurbishment or Alteration More than $10m at the ACT MBA Excellence in Building Awards 2022
  • Hassell – Winner Canberra Medallion at the ACT Architecture Awards 2022
“10/10. An excellent contractor to work with who can push a programme when its needed.”

Warren Fenwick, Project Manager – Hindmarsh Construction

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