UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing Building and Thomas Street Projects close to completion

June 15, 2014

In just a few months, the remarkable Dr Chau Chak building will open its doors to over 2,300 students and staff. The first building designed in Australia by iconic architect Frank Gehry the building will house the UTS Business School.


Lend Lease is constructing the 12 storey, 16,030 square metre facility, named after the Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist who donated $20 million for its construction. A.G. Coombs Projects was appointed by Lend Lease to deliver mechanical services to the building.

The key challenges have been around integrating air conditioning and mechanical systems into the building’s irregular shape, complex design and multi-purpose use. The new systems feature energy-efficient air cooled chilled water and condensing gas boiler plant. Working closely with Lend Lease, the challenges have been met and the building’s new, purpose-designed HVAC system is almost fully installed.

In support of the building’s 5 Star Green Star certified rating, A.G. Coombs’ value engineering services have contributed to improving the building’s overall environmental performance and helped with managing costs. Energy modelling and rationalisation of air conditioning zones to support the unique building orientation, and a move to air cooled chillers from water cooled plant is expected to reduce the facility’s environmental impact. Smart air conditioning systems, which will switch off when offices are empty for an extended period of time, will further contribute to the new facility’s low carbon emissions.

Luke James, Project Engineer at Lend Lease, is very pleased with the project’s progress to date.

“Lend Lease is proud to be working on such a distinctive facility; one that is already creating history within the building industry. A.G. Coombs’ ability to work as one team with Lend Lease is assisting with creating a building that is not only striking but also highly functional.”

The building’s official opening is scheduled for October 2014.

Just a short distance away from Chau Chak is UTS’s Thomas Street Project, which is also nearing completion. Thomas Street will provide a base for the faculties of science and health. It encompasses a number of innovative features including a state-of-the-art automated library storage, where automatic storage retrieval machines are responsible for retrieving and filing up to 900,000 items on shelves up to 14 metres high. Richard Crookes Constructions is building this complex building which is targeting a 5 Star Green Star rating, with A.G. Coombs delivering HVAC and mechanical services. The building also features pharmaceutical facilities including PC2 containment laboratories, fume cupboards and clean rooms that demand specific temperatures and humidity control and an exceptionally high level of cleanliness.

The Thomas Street Building is the first building in NSW where A.G. Coombs has applied Autodesk® Revit® software to leverage its Building Information Management (BIM) processes and streamline project workflows, from the design phase to virtual build, and site installation. This has helped with managing the building’s complexities and achieving an optimum project outcome for the client.

Nick Gaudry, Senior Project Manager at Richard Crookes Constructions, is very impressed with A.G. Coombs’ innovative and professional approach to coordination, aligned with the team’s confidence in BIM-based construction practices.

“A.G. Coombs has expertly managed the coordination at Thomas Street, demonstrating their lead role in BIM and highlighting their ongoing dedication to client and project outcomes”, he said.

The Thomas Street building is set to open in September 2014.

For more information on the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building project, visit: http://www.uts.edu.au/partners-and-community/initiatives/city-campus-master-plan/projects-progress/dr-chau-chak-wing.

For more information on A.G. Coombs’ project solutions, please contact us.

The new UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing Building in Sydney, set to open October 2014

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