Doing justice to a bold civic project
A major new building housing two of Australia's most important courts is being constructed through a public private partnership that includes Laing O'Rourke.
Construction of the A$150 million new court complex in Australia’s national capital, Canberra is making good progress thanks to the use of Laing O’Rourke’s unique off-site manufacturing and digital engineering techniques.
The scheme will see the Supreme Court and Magistrates Court buildings of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) refurbished, expanded and combined into a single integrated structure containing 19 court rooms.
It involves constructing a new four-storey building around the two existing courts and removing a complete facia from each. Additionally, a whole new level of accommodation is being excavated beneath the heritage listed 1960-built Supreme Court structure.
This technically challenging programme is being delivered by the Juris Partnership – comprising Laing O’Rourke, Macquarie Capital, and Programmed Facility Management (PFM) – as part the ACT Government’s first Public-Private Partnership.
Excavation works began in February 2016 with the team digging 6 metres into solid rock before the completing the foundations of the new building and the basement, ground floor and the first of four 2,500m2 suspended slab floors.
“During this time the courts were kept 100 per cent operational with only minimal disruption,” explains Greg Morris, Laing O’Rourke Project Engineering Leader.
“The next phase, finishing the new building, is on track to be completed in November,” Greg said
“We will then work closely with the client to ensure a seamless transition into the new building for all users to enable excavation of the new lower level to begin with completion expected in August 2018.
“The Magistrates Courts will also receive new audio visual and IT facilities.”
Extensive use has been made of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) offsite manufacturing techniques and Digital Engineering (DE), making the scheme one of Australia’s biggest DfMA-based construction projects to date.
Precast components manufactured in Brisbane – more than 1,500 of them – form 95 per cent of the structure. The existing building facades due to be removed were scanned to create 3D models, ensuring the new structure interfaces with the existing ones precisely.
“From the start we made DfMA and DE integral to the project,” says Greg. “It’s a tricky build involving a heritage listed structure, working to tight timescales on a highly constrained site bounded by the Australian Reserve Bank, a police station and one of Canberra’s busiest roads.
“Given these challenges we felt precast components, installed using highly accurate 3D models, was the best way to meet the demands on time and space and keep the levels of materials and contractors on site at one time to manageable levels.”
Temporary closure of Vernon Circle lanes this weekend
Two lanes of Commonwealth Avenue and Vernon Circle will be closed temporarily this weekend as part of the refurbishment of the ACT Law Courts precinct.
The lanes will be closed from 6am Saturday 30 July to 7pm Sunday 31 July 2016 to ensure the safe installation of tower cranes at the site.
Law Courts project contract summary released
Attorney-General Simon Corbell released the contract summary for the new ACT Law Courts Precinct, the ACT Government’s first Public Private Partnership project in June.
The contract summary provides information for the community about the value for money the government has achieved by partnering with the private sector.
Order in the court
The Juris Partnership has officially started work on the new $150 million justice precinct for the Australian Capital Territory.
Attorney-General Simon Corbell, with Supreme Court Chief Justice Helen Murrell, turned the first sod in April for the historic building project which will deliver a revitalised court precinct in Canberra.
The project will create a combined Law Courts facility for the ACT which will maximise operational efficiencies whilst still respecting the jurisdictional separation between the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court.
View from the bench
Juris Partnership delivery partner Lyons Architect has created a mock courtroom to allow all of the ACT Law Courts stakeholders to experience what the new $150 million precinct will offer.
Cameron Lyon joined Attorney-General Simon Corbell and Juris Partnership general manager David Lovell on the tour of the mock courtroom, demonstrating how this major infrastructure project will significantly upgrade the current ageing facilities, particularly the ACT Supreme Court.