The new collocated Fire and ambulance station at Charnwood was the first project to be rolled out by the ACT Government under a program of new projects and upgrades of existing ESA facilities.
The new facility’s brief was to provide a modern and state of the art emergency services facility to service the north western suburbs of Belconnen.
The contract delivery model was a GC21 Design and Construct contract. Our scope included the completion of the design and documentation development required to construct the facility including obtaining Building Approval (BA) and handing the building over for operation within 60 weeks of being engaged on the project.
The scope included:
- Main Building consisting of three main areas, Fire & Rescue section, Ambulance Section and Central Appliance Bay area.
- Facilities for operation of both Fire and Ambulance Services including crew recreational and rest areas.
- External Plant Rooms, Wash down Bay, Waste Enclosure and Carports
- External Hardstand for the Drill Yard and Internal parking areas
- Landscaping, including fences, gates, and external Storm Water channels.
- Civil works including new Roundabout to Lhotsky Street and Foot paths, Cross over for Ginninderra Drive, and installation of Warning Light system.
- Civil works associated with the new slip lane off Lhotsky Street and public parking area, and civil works for the new exit on to Ginninderra Drive.
- All works including Hydraulic Services, Electrical Services, Fire Protection Services, Security Services and ICT.
The facility is sited on a corner block adjacent a main arterial road and also backs onto a busy suburban shopping precinct. This created challenges for the team as the works were not to impact on the surrounding businesses and community facilities.
The location was green fill site which is situated within a flood zone which required the building platform to be raised and a swale incorporated to divert water around the site before work commenced.
The buildings structure’s assembly is a slab on ground with edge and beam thickenings founded on bored piers.
The frame is constructed of structural steel which supports the roof and façade elements. The building façade is made up of precast concrete panels, high quality zinc sheeting and face brickwork. The roof is metal with bondor insulated panel to the appliance bays.
Glazing is thermally broken with double glazing. External walls are constructed with light weight steel framing.
Internal finishes are made up of a number of materials. Zones are separated with polished block work with the remaining internal walls and ceilings constructed of light weight framing and lined with acoustic insulation and gyprock sheeting.
Wall linings in the showers are constructed using a unique acrylic sheet product.
Floors are covered with carpet and vinyl with ceramic tiles to the wet areas and kitchens. Epoxy coatings with non-slip finish were applied to the appliance bays.
Joinery was custom made and fitted with fixed furniture a feature of the crew rest areas.
Building Services required for an operational emergency services building need to be of the highest standard. Integration of the services was required so the building can be vacated at any time with all systems shutdown by the flick of just one switch.
Communication systems are critical to the operation of the centre and these required significant scoping and coordination. The integration of information technology with the ESA current communications systems was a crucial element of the coordination of the services.
Other services such as Hydraulic and Mechanical services all feed into the main building from an external plant room. The plant includes gas fired boilers for the underfloor hydronic heating, chillers and solar hot water recycling plant.
Careful planning went into the aesthetic appearance of exposed services. This is evident when you look up in the appliance bays and see the way in which the services are neatly aligned and laid out.
The project includes a 333kW photovoltaic power generator system which feeds power to the building and the utility grid. The panels are discreetly located on the carport roofs. A 333kW generator is also a feature of the services delivery which is designed to cut in when electrical services are interrupted.
Despite considerable rain delays, Manteena was able to deliver the building to the client some 5 weeks ahead of schedule. Practical completion was achieved on 8 October 2013.