Museum of Australian Democracy - Lift Modernisation Project

Designed in the early 1920s by the first Commonwealth Government architect John Smith Murdoch, Old Parliament House (OPH) is a nationally significant heritage place. A key consideration in this unique project was the strong focus on the heritage and conservation aspects of the works to meet the requirements of the Environment Protection and Bio-Diversity Act 1999 in protecting its heritage values. 

Role of A.G. Coombs – Integrated Technical Management (ITM)

  • Client-Side Project Manager
  • Procurement, Design Finalisation, Construction and Commissioning
  • Extensive consultation and oversight of critical Heritage and Conservation building fixtures, fittings and finishes

As the incumbent Facilities Management provider, ITM delivered this project as part of the Museum of Australian Democracy’s (MoAD) three-year capital projects program for infrastructure upgrades. Objectives for the project included delivering optimum operational and energy efficiencies, as well as improving safety and access across the facility.

Managing the industry briefing and subsequent tender and award process, ITM recommended ‘Schindler Lifts’ as our delivery partner to undertake the renewal and modernisation of the MoAD passenger and goods lifts within the occupied and public facing general circulation and back of house areas.

Significant challenges were overcome in the design and construction process as the existing equipment detail and finishes could not be replicated. Considerable effort ensured that the final design and material selections acknowledged its heritage past whilst meeting current design codes.

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Design finalisation was achieved after extensive and positive collaboration between the ITM and MoAD Project Managers as well as the in-house Heritage and Conservation Team. Bespoke interior and exterior finishes that met accessibility codes and heritage requirements were constructed.

As the base building structure dated back to 1927, further unique challenges were required to be overcome during the construction process. Stabilising and strengthening the period red brick construction in the lift shafts required careful planning and design to meet current engineering guidelines for the installation of new lift guide rails.

The new lift components were sourced primarily from Europe and the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic significantly impacted delivery. With a commitment to complete the project on time and on budget, the ITM led project team utilised local engineering capability to fabricate time critical components to complete works out of sequence, to reduce risk to the project program.

For Further Information, please contact:

Andrew Shedden | General Manager Integrated Technical Management
M: 0421 345 877  |  E:

The final result achieved was excellent, with very minimal issues. ITM, Schindler and the MoAD OPH staff worked well together to ensure a successful outcome for this project.

Chris Grebert, Head – Facilities, Capital Projects and Security, Museum of Australian Democracy

Project Overview

Project Name: Museum of Australian Democracy Heritage Lift Modernisation Project

Location: Parkes, Canberra, ACT

Client: Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House)

Year Completed: 2020

Project Type

Design & Construct


  • Delivery of bespoke vertical transport assets in a public facing cultural facility
  • Modernised Passenger and Good Lifts to meet stringent EN81-20 Standards for Vertical Transport
  • Achieves Australian Heritage Society Codes and Guidelines
  • Achieves Australian Standards compliance for Accessibility
  • Sustainability – Highly efficient equipment and systems installed

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