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July 31, 2012

Interest to Close Flinders Street Station Design Competition

flinder street station melbourne

It comes as no surprise that architects would jump at the chance to redevelop one of Melbourne’s most iconic architectural projects – Flinders Street Station.

What may be surprising is the international attention and interest this redevelopment competition has drawn.

The competition, which has been held in order to ‘breathe new life into a Melbourne landmark’ holds a prize pool of $1 million to the winning design.

Upon the competition’s announcement, Premier Ted Baillieu called upon both national and international architects and architecture firms to take up the challenge of rehabilitating a Melbourne icon.

“This precinct calls for creative brilliance from across the globe so a Melbourne landmark site can be restored to its full potential,” said the Premier. “This competition will harness the very best ideas and help bring the precinct back to life.”

Baillieu’s call has most certainly been answered.

While the full extent of the registrations cannot be revealed, Minister for Major Projects Dr. Denis Napthine has said the response to the competition has been incredibly positive.

flinder street station aerial view

“Between the opening of registrations on 29 June and 17 July, the Flinders Street Station Design Competition web page has had more than 31,000 page views,” Napthine says. “The competition Design Brief has been downloaded nearly 3,000 times while more than 1,300 people have downloaded the registration form.”

Napthine explains that while the majority of site visits have come from national users, 601 were from the US, 424 from the UK, 180 from Spain, 161 from Germany and 136 from Italy, with France, China, Canada and Poland viewing the sites 122, 109, 97 and 95 times respectively. He explains that this kind of interest is a clear indication of the competition’s international appeal.

“The bulk of visits are from within Australia where the building has the most interest, but we can assume that most of the people visiting from overseas are doing so because they are considering entering the competition,” says Napthine. “Our aim was to run a competition with international appeal and I think on the basis of these statistics we can say we are well on our way to achieving that goal.”

With the registration for the competition closing on August 1 and its stage 1 submission September 20 date looming, those wishing to throw their hats into the ring for this obviously internationally popular competition will need to do so quickly.

London 2012: Olympic Engineering Feats

Filed under: Civil — Tags: , , — tom @ 2:05 am

london olympics 2012

The London 2012 Olympics are upon us, and an estimated 500,000 specators are expected to visit the Olympic Park to watch 10,000 athletes from 204 nations go for gold.

As usual, the architects behind many of the Olympic venues are basking in glory or at least garnering massive amounts of attention, and while the refined designs of the Olympic Stadium itself,the undulating form of the Aquatics Centre and the recyclable basketball venue may not offer the ‘wow factor’ of similar buildings in Beijing, they are certainly worth a look.

In the background, but certainly no less worthy of notice, is the engineering behind the games.

“To produce such a detailed and visual map of the Olympic Park – Europe’s largest construction site – is a significant achievement in itself,” says Simon Wright, director of infrastructure, utilities and public realm at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). “It is also a testament to the engineering feats of those who have breathed life into the spectacular venues and infrastructure on the 500-acre site. But perhaps more importantly, it is set to become a vital tool which can be used to educate and inform the next generation of civil engineers by inspiring them to study courses in science, technology, engineering and maths.”

The engineering teams working for the ODA have played a critical role in delivering Olympic sites, from preparing the land for construction to demolishing redundant structures and cleaning the contaminated soil to improving the Park’s many waterways, burying the overhead power lines and ensuring that any wildlife and plant species are protected.

The design and construction of stadiums, roads, bridges, waterways and electricity systems would also have been impossible without engineers collaboratively working with their more glamorous architect counterparts as part of multidisciplinary teams.

The 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium has the flexibility to downsize after the Games – London doesn’t really need a permanent venue of this size – thanks to the specially designed lightweight upper tier, which will enable a large proportion of the seating to be removed. Only 10,000 tonnes of steel were used to build the venue, making it one of the lightest and most sustainable Olympic Stadiums ever engineered and built.

london olympics

The basketball arena will do more than downside in East London following the Games; it will disappear completely, making it the largest-ever temporary venue to be built for any Olympic or Paralympic Games.

The arena is made up of 20 separate 10-storey steel arches and the 115-metre long, 1,000 tonne steel frame is wrapped in 20,000 square metres of white waterproof fabric. The various elements can be easily dismantled and put to use individually after the Games or used as a whole elsewhere.

The Aquatics Centre was the first venue completed in the park and features a spectacular 3,000 tonne wave-like roof that is 160 metres long and up to 80 metres wide.

Thanks to its unique design, the roof sits on three concrete supports – two northern supports and a southern wall. Sustainability was a top concern for the engineers and 100 per cent of the roof covering is made of recycled aluminium.

After the games, the Aquatics Centre will be transformed into a facility for the local community as well as elite swimmers. Two temporary wings will be removed, leaving 2,500 seats, with the possibility of increasing the capacity to 3,500 for major competitions

Finally, there is the Velodrome, which sits on top of a 100-year-old landfill site. This facility challenged the engineers, forcing them to specially design the foundations of the building to provide stability. This was achieved by driving more than 900 piles up to 26 metres into the ground, much deeper than usual for a structure of this size.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics has been quick to recognise the role that engineers have played, saying, “civil engineers were pivotal in successfully delivering the iconic structures on the Olympic Park so I am pleased that the Games have helped to raise the wider profile and appreciation of the profession.”

Olympic Park: Fast Facts

■2.5 square kilometres in size – one of the largest urban parks to be built in Europe for 150 years.

■220 buildings demolished.

■four Iron Age skeletons discovered.

■2.3 million cubic metres of soil excavated.

■250 acres of new parklands.

■8.35 km of waterways in and around the Park.

■10 rail lines.

■five permanent venues.

■30 new bridges.

■80,000 seats in the Olympic Stadium.

■11 residential blocks and 2 818 new homes in the Olympic Village.

■30,000 people will have worked on the project by 2012.

September 25, 2011

Healthcare Construction On the Move

After a year of subdued conditions, the healthcare construction sector in Australia is set to recover as a strong increase in construction starts drives growth in activity from 2012/13 and beyond.

In its latest report on the Australian building sector, industry research firm BIS Shrapnel predicts that construction starts on health related facilities will increase by 73 per cent in 2011/12. Driving this increase are starts on the new Royal Adelaide Hospital ($1.7 billion) and the new Princess Margaret Hospital for Children ($1 billion).

In the near term however, conditions look set to remain subdued with a dearth of major project starts prior to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2010/11 (refer to chart) feeding through to soft conditions in 2011/12.

Not surprisingly then, in the twelve months to March next year, the Construction Forecasting Council (CFC) expects the value of work done on health and aged care facilities to drop by 11.9 per cent from $3.966 billion to $3.494 billion.

By 2012/13, however, the CFC expects the value of work done to bounce back to $3.970 billion as momentum from starts on Royal Adelaide and Princess Margaret flows through to stronger activity. Beyond that, subsequent years will see modest growth as work on the first stage of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital ($940 million) gets going.

””

State by State
Despite South Australia and Western Australia both receiving boosts from Royal Adelaide Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, larger states are expected to be the best performers going forward.

In significant statewide developments, according to CFC forecasts:

• Victoria is expected to defy national trends and record a marginal increase in activity from $892.7 million to $910.6 million in the twelve months to March next year. Beyond that, the value of work is expected to reach $966.5 million in financial year 2012/13 and $1.028 billion in 2013/14.

• Activity in New South Wales is expected to drop back from $1.102 billion to $1.049 billion in the year to March 2012 before bouncing back to $1.179 billion by financial year 2012/13.

• Likewise in Queensland, after an 11.7 per cent contraction ($868.0 million) in the twelve months to March next year, the value of work will reach $1.114 billion in 2012/13 as work on Sunshine Coast gets going.

• Despite the boost from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the value of work done in South Australia is set to contract from $257.8 million to $232.2 million in the year to March. Beyond that, however, activity is set to bounce back to $259.7 million in 2012/13 and reach $287 million by 2014/15.

• Despite the relocation of the Princess Margaret Hospital, activity in Western Australia is expected to drop back from $658.7 million to $339.7 million in the twelve months to March. Beyond that, activity is set to remain flat in 2012/13 before returning to moderate growth shortly thereafter, reaching $406.3 million by 2014/15. Activity in WA has been abnormally strong in recent years as a result of work on the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital.

• Thanks to work on the Royal Hobart Hospital, activity in Tasmania is expected to hit $74.7 million during the next financial year – up more than threefold on the $21.9 million recorded in 2009/10.

September 21, 2011

VCCC Preferred Consortium Negotiates Contract

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — tom @ 3:36 am

Progress on the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (7 September 2011)

Planning for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) has progressed, with a decision being made by the Victorian Government to enter into an Exclusive Negotiation Phase (ENP) with the currently first-ranked tender Respondent. This decision has been communicated to all three Respondent Groups.

Appointment of the Preferred Bidder has not yet taken place, and as such the Victorian Government has reserved the right to open up (if necessary) the exclusive negotiation to include one or more of the other Respondents to the public tender.

The VCCC project therefore remains under tender until the contract has been awarded, after which time a public announcement of the tender outcome will occur. Details of the tender, including the structured ENP, are confidential.

Construction of the VCCC, on the site of the former Dental Hospital in Parkville, is scheduled to commence following the appointment of a preferred bidder and to be completed by the end of 2015.

The VCCC aspires to be among the best comprehensive cancer centres in the world through the collaboration of recognised leaders in cancer research, treatment and care.

It will be the new home for a relocated Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will link with existing cancer services at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital, allowing all patients access to the best services and facilities.

The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre project is jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments with contributions also from philanthropic donations and the sale of surplus land.

April 28, 2011

Wood Group wraps up PSN merger

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — tom @ 1:40 am

UK services giant Wood Group has completed its merger with Aberdeen-based Production Services Network (PSN) to create brownfield services provider Wood Group PSN.

The newly formed company will have a workforce of 23,000 personnel operating in 35 countries and is expected to generate revenues of about $3 billion per year.

The company will be based in Aberdeen but be split into three operating regions – UK, Americas and International – with a senior manager in each region responsible for safety, financial performance and growth.

“Wood Group PSN will have a larger footprint, deeper resources and capabilities and, by selecting best practices, be able to deliver additional value to customers,” Wood Group chief executive Allister Langlands said.

“The combined business will be better positioned to help tackle key industry issues, including operational assurance, competency, reliability and asset integrity.”

Wood Group originally launched the takeover bid for PSN in December last year in a $955 million cash deal.

Former PSN chief executive Bob Keiller has been appointed head of Wood Group PSN and as an executive board director of Wood Group.

http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article253298.ece

Port Waratah expansion approved

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — tom @ 1:38 am

Port Waratah Coal Services have approved the final stage of expansion for its Kooragang coal terminal.

The $227.4 million project, dubbed ‘project 145’, is scheduled for completion by December next year and is expected to bring the company’s capacity to 145 million tonnes annually, according to The Newcastle Herald.

Set to begin next month, the project includes the construction of a fourth rail dump station, track infrastructure, upgrades to the buck-wheel reclaimers and ship-loading amenities.

This expansion will boost capacity to 133 million tonnes by the end of this year.

This new fourth loader, dubbed T4, could potentially add more than 100 million tonnes to the port’s total capacity .

According to The Herald, the application for this project has been caught in the newly elected New South Wales Government plan to scrap Part 3A of the planning laws.

A spokeswoman for Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said the government was developing “transitional provisions” for dealing with projects submitted under Part 3A before the election.

Mining and resources projects typically come under Part 3A of the planning laws, which allowed the Planning Minister to classify projects as significant sites.

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/port-waratah-expansion-approved

April 20, 2011

$50m Municipal Buildings Project, Dandenong

Over the last few years, Council has been considering its future service needs and requirements in relation to a number of key community assets including:

  • The two city offices
  • The two Libraries
  • The Springvale City Hall

The main drivers for the review are:

  • Council is still operating out of two administration centres 16 years after amalgamation, with all the inherent inefficiencies and additional costs associated with maintaining two offices
  • The Libraries 2015 Strategy, which demonstrates a clear need to expand and upgrade the community’s library facilities

The project is split geographically between Central Dandenong and Central Springvale.

Central Dandenong

This part of the project is being planned in conjunction with the State Government funded Dandenong Revitalisation project. Council is partnering VicUrban in this major initiative aimed at rejuvenating the city centre and creating a fresh new future for central Dandenong.

Council has already committed resources to two important catalyst projects for the revitalisation project:

  • The redevelopment of the Dandenong Town Hall into the Drum Theatre
  • The redevelopment of the Dandenong Market

Redevelopment of the Council Administrative Offices and Library provides the opportunity of a third project, and the possibility of attracting a level of Government funding that would otherwise not be available.

The Urban Master Plan for Central Dandenong launched by Premier Brumby in 2007 included the creation of a city heart or civic space in the city centre and Council has confirmed its preferred location for a new civic centre and library in this location. The site is located diagonally opposite the Drum Theatre on Lonsdale Street (in the new City Walk precinct). The business case for the project is currently being refined prior to a final decision being made by Council.
Recent Council decisions

In 2010 a thorough review of the preferred site was undertaken, with a Visioning Workshop for the public square and Municipal Buildings. This led to a new concept design for the development, updated construction costings and a detailed Business Case being developed for Council’s consideration.

The Business Case was presented to Council at its meeting on 13 September 2010 and the following resolution was adopted.

Council considers and endorses the Preliminary Business Case for the Dandenong RCD Civic Precinct Project, confirm that Option 3B on site C1 is the preferred option and endorse the Mayor and chief Executive Officer meeting with relevant Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Advisors and Government officials to seek funding support for appropriate elements of the project

Option 3B consists of a new Library, Administration Office and Public Square on the south-west corner of Lonsdale and Walker streets.

Current progress report

A Dandenong Municipal Building Project Control Group has been convened consisting of five Councillors and five Senior Officers to oversee progress on the project. Meeting of this Group are chaired by the Chief Executive Officer and meetings are held two monthly as a minimum.

Information on the Dandenong Building project will continue to be updated as progress on the Council recommendations above occurs.

Central Springvale

Council has considered a range of proposals for upgrading or renewing the Springvale Library and City Hall facilities since the project began in 2006. The Public consultation process carried out in late 2006 is still guiding Council decision making on redevelopment of the Springvale Civic Site.

View outcomes report on the public consultation “A shared vision for Springvale”
Current progress report

A Springvale Strategic Civic Centre Planning Group has been convened consisting of six Councillors and four Senior Officers to oversee progress on the project. Meetings of this Group are chaired by the Director of Engineering Services and meetings are held two monthly as a minimum.

The key aspects of this project currently being considered by the Planning Group are:

  • The preparations for the environmental clean up of the old View Road Depot prior to possible sale or redevelopment
  • A review of the current Master Plan for the redevelopment of the Springvale Civic Site taking into account the outcomes of the public consultation

Information on the Springvale Civic Planning project will continue to be updated as progress occurs.

March 15, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS TO APTUS PERSONNEL

WHAT A GAME…….

The DCE Challengers really gave Aptus Personnel a run for their money in the Grand Final match. With scores 1 all at quarter time and 3 all at half time, the first half was a gripping display!

The game was goal for goal for most of the part, with penalty shots almost every quarter, fast break goals, goals that just snuck over the line and a headder that was taken from a full court throw!

At half-time with scores even, after Andrew (Aptus Team Captain) spent most of the game pacing up and down the sidelines (nursing a broken ankle), was pleased to hear that a couple of players from DCE had to finish up early, leaving DCE Challengers with no substitutes in such a fast paced game!

Just into the third quarter, Theo (DCE Director) pulled a hammy and had to retire to the goals with no substitutes, unleashing Long onto the court. Even with the fancy footwork produced by DCE, they couldn’t quite match Aptus in last half. Third quarter score was 5-4 to Aptus, finishing on 8-4 to Aptus.

Well done to both teams. A very exciting game to watch and play in I’m sure! Congratulations to Aptus Personnel.

GRAND FINAL RESULT

COURT 6: Aptus Personnel def DCE Challengers 8-4

A big thank you to all teams involved in the tournament. The tournament as a whole ran very smoothly and I appreciate the sportsmanship displayed by all teams involved. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and look forward to having you involved again next year!

WHAT A GAME…….

The DCE Challengers really gave Aptus Personnel a run for their money in the Grand Final match. With scores 1 all at quarter time and 3 all at half time, the first half was a gripping display!

The game was goal for goal for most of the part, with penalty shots almost every quarter, fast break goals, goals that just snuck over the line and a headder that was taken from a full court throw!

At half-time with scores even, after Andrew (Aptus Team Captain) spent most of the game pacing up and down the sidelines, was pleased to hear that a couple of players from DCE had to finish up early, leaving DCE Challengers with no substitutes in such a fast paced game!

Just into the third quarter, Theo (DCE Director) pulled a hammy and had to retire to the goals with no substitutes, unleashing Long onto the court. Even with the fancy footwork produced by DCE, they couldn’t quite match Aptus in last half. Third quarter score was 5-4 to Aptus, finishing on 8-4 to Aptus.

Well done to both teams. A very exciting game to watch and play in I’m sure! Congratulations to Aptus Personnel.

GRAND FINAL RESULT

COURT 6: Aptus Personnel def DCE Challengers 8-4

March 2, 2011

Aptus win again to progress to Grand Final

Round 5 proved to be an exciting round with two deciding matches taking place! Aptus Personnel and FG United met for the first time to play off for the Grand Final spot. After 3 years of participating in the tournament FG United remained undefeated….. until now! Aptus Personnel took home the win 5-1. A very close game with only one goal scored in the whole second half!

In pool no. 2 both DCE Challengers and Simpson Construction were on equal points, however DCE ahead in points difference. With the forfeit of UW Solutions, Simpson Construction were given an automatic win. Therefore the DCE Challengers had to win to make it through to the grand final match on points difference. It was a close game against Millar & Merrigan, however DCE took home the win 9-5.

The remaining game was between Burnsham United and the Dalton Wanderers. Both teams started off neck and neck. Burnsham United ran away with the game in the second quarter scoring 4 to Dalton’s 0. From then on the game remained even, however Dalton Wanderers just couldn’t make up the difference lost in the second quarter. Burnsham United took home the win 8-4.

ROUND FIVE RESULTS

COURT 3: Aptus Personnel def FG United 5-1

COURT 4: Burnsham United def Dalton Wanderers 8-4

COURT 5: DCE Challengers def Millar & Merrigan 9-5

COURT 6: Simpson Construction Intra-match N/A

BYE: Cardno Galacticos

FORFEIT: UW Socceroos

LADDER – As @ Rd 5

PLACE

TEAM

WIN

LOSS

DRAW

TOTAL

POINTS

DIFF

Pool 1

1

Aptus Personnel

4

0

0

12

52

2

FG United

3

1

0

9

40

3

Cardno Galacticos

2

2

0

6

5

4

Burnsham United

1

3

0

3

-35

5

Dalton Wanderers

0

4

0

0

-62

Pool 2

1

DCE Challengers

4

1

0

12

10

2

Simpson Construction

4

1

0

12

1

3

Millar & Merrigan

1

4

0

3

-4

4

UW Socceroos

1

4

0

3

-17

Well done to those teams who took home a win in the fifth round of the tournament!

We have DCE Challengers and Aptus Personnel in the Grand Final next week. Congratulations!

Round 5 proved to be an exciting round with two deciding matches taking place! Aptus Personnel and FG United met for the first time to play off for the Grand Final spot. After 3 years of participating in the tournament FG United remained undefeated….. until now! Aptus Personnel took home the win 5-1. A very close game with only one goal scored in the whole second half!

In pool no. 2 both DCE Challengers and Simpson Construction were on equal points, however DCE ahead in points difference. With the forfeit of UW Solutions, Simpson Construction were given an automatic win. Therefore the DCE Challengers had to win to make it through to the grand final match on points difference. It was a close game against Millar & Merrigan, however DCE took home the win 9-5.

The remaining game was between Burnsham United and the Dalton Wanderers. Both teams started off neck and neck. Burnsham United ran away with the game in the second quarter scoring 4 to Dalton’s 0. From then on the game remained even, however Dalton Wanderers just couldn’t make up the difference lost in the second quarter. Burnsham United took home the win 8-4.

February 23, 2011

SKM appointed to deliver Cape Lambert expansion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — tom @ 5:12 am

Leading projects firm, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), has been appointed as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management contractor for the expansion of Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert port facility, in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The delivery of a new greenfields iron ore port facility, Cape Lambert Port B, located alongside the existing Cape Lambert port, will provide an initial shipping capacity of 53 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), with the design of the port allowing a future additional shipping capacity of 50 Mtpa.

The project is part of Rio Tinto’s current investment in expanding its iron ore infrastructure in the Pilbara to increase annual capacity to 283 Mtpa during 2013. Rio Tinto plans to further boost capacity to 333 Mtpa, making this the largest mining project ever undertaken in Australia.

SKM’s General Manager, Mining and Metals, Santo Rizzuto, said that the sole appointment of SKM to deliver the Cape Lambert Port B project is an acknowledgment of the successful partnership SKM and Rio Tinto have enjoyed over the past 50 years in the Pilbara.

“By continually looking to create optimum value for our clients we are able to build on our long-term strategic relationships. This was demonstrated by the successful delivery of previous expansions at the Cape Lambert port facility and Dampier Port, both of which have been recognised by engineering awards,” Rizzuto said.

“Through key innovations, such as modularisation of the wharves and ore handling facilities, we delivered both projects ahead of time and under budget, with an outstanding safety record.”

The new Cape Lambert Port B development includes a tandem car dumper facility, a stockyard including two stackers and two bucket wheel reclaimers, a screenhouse and surge bin facility, a 1.4 kilometre long access jetty and a double sided iron ore wharf with two shipping berths and a shiploader. SKM will also be responsible for delivering power distribution, control systems and associated infrastructure, including buildings, fuel and water supplies, and an expansion to the Cape Lambert accommodation village. Site works for the early works of the port development have commenced whilst awaiting full government approval.

SKM has been providing engineering and project delivery services to Rio Tinto as part of their expansion projects in the Pilbara, through the provision of a diverse range of capabilities covering port, rail and mine infrastructure, environmental and water services, and power.

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