Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Through his work as a cancer specialist, and in his own three-year battle with an aggressive brain tumour, Professor Chris O’Brien AO inspired a nation and turned personal adversity into opportunity.

Four years after Prof. Chris O’Brien’s passing, his vision of a not-for-profit, cancer centre offering care from diagnosis, treatment and to wellness was fulfilled. And today, the $260 million healthcare facility treats more than 40,000 public and private patients every year.

Located within the University of Sydney precinct, the nine-storey Chris O’Brien Lifehouse accommodates cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, complimentary therapy, research and emotional support in the one facility.

This integrated model of care allows specialist cancer services to be delivered by a multidisciplinary team and eliminates the need for patients to navigate a complex series of appointments at multiple locations.

The building is the antithesis of a traditional hospital environment. Its vertical configuration benefits from a central, full-height atrium that introduces natural light into the space, while the best views are afforded to inpatients who are accommodated in the top two levels of the building.

After reaching the end of the defects liability period (DLP), the facilities management team at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse sought specialist assistance to improve the future performance and maintenance of the building’s mechanical services.

Recognising A.G. Coombs’ track record in healthcare, as well as the depth of technical ability and expertise available, the Lifehouse team contacted A.G.Coombs knowing that they would have access to the broad range of A.G.Coombs’ Group capabilities including Projects, Service and Advisory. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse entered into a tailored HVAC maintenance contract in July 2017.

To date, work has centred on the ongoing maintenance and service support for the new building, as well as improving the HVAC performance of the adjacent radiation oncology building.

Leased to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse from the RPA, the ageing building’s HVAC systems are being refurbished and upgraded to meet modern standards commensurate with the new building.

Given the 24/7 nature of the building’s operation and delivery of patient care, access across the site is a challenge.

A.G. Coombs is sensitive to the fact that maintenance and related works can impact on the wellbeing of patients undergoing care and treatment. Building on long experience providing maintenance and project works at other critical healthcare facilities – including the recently constructed New Bendigo Hospital and the Royal Children’s and Monash Children’s Hospital’s – A.G. Coombs have worked closely with the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to develop a detailed maintenance plan and workplace health and safety (WH&S) plan, that includes the appropriate induction and training of staff, to minimise impacts on patient services.

And in improving the performance of the HVAC systems serving the facility, A.G. Coombs is dedicated to contributing to an environment that is centred on the health, wellbeing and comfort of patients seeking treatment and care.

Knowing the technical capability of A.G. Coombs across multiple disciplines, we are pleased to have them join our team as we seek to ensure patients, their families and their carers are as comfortable as possible during their time with us.

Phill Wenham, Facilities Engineer, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

Contract Overview

Contract Name: Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Location: Sydney, NSW

Client: Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Contract Type

Service & Maintenance


  • Ongoing Maintenance and Service Support
  • Detailed Maintenance Plan
  • Workplace Health & Safety (WH&S) Plan
  • HVAC Systems Upgrades and Refurbishments

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