UQ Oral Health Centre

A.G. Coombs Projects was appointed by construction managers Lendlease to provide mechanical, air conditioning and medical gas services to the new Centre, along with the Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordination role.

The delivery of mechanical services was challenged by the wide range of specialist facilities and equipment in the new facility. A.G. Coombs applied BIM technology using BIM-MEPAUS methodologies to ‘build’ the air conditioning, medical gas and other systems in a virtual environment that includes all building elements, before actual fabrication and installation on the project site.

The Centre’s design was initially compiled using Autodesk® Revit® software, which is specifically built to support BIM. These files were then converted into Autodesk® Fabrication FABmep+, A.G Coombs’ fabrication tool, to support the generation of the construction drawings. These models, together with models from other design and construction team members, were consolidated into a single federated model using the BIM software package, Autodesk® Navisworks®, where virtual construction could commence.

HVAC design was critical, with many of the Centre’s laboratory and research areas requiring strict pressurisation and temperature control. Environmental performance was also a key consideration with energy efficient systems and optimised plant selection necessary.

The model was also used to enable a number of A.G. Coombs BIM-to-Field methodologies. This included use of the Trimble Positioning System that facilitated the hanging of services including ductwork and pipework immediately following builder handover of the floor.

Read more here on how the UQ Oral Health Centre came to be.

Lendlease carefully selected all its specialist service providers for the University of Queensland’s Oral Health Centre project. The effective delivery of mechanical, air conditioning and medical gas services to such a large and complex dental facility is critical to the success of the project. A.G. Coombs’ initial advice together with their capability in BIM and history of effectively managing and delivering complex systems made them the right choice for this project.

Peter Ward, General Manager Queensland/NT, Lendlease

Project Overview

Project Name: The University of Queensland Oral Health Centre

Location: QLD

Client: Lendlease

Project Value: $15 million (approx)

Year Completed: 2013

Project Type

Construction – new build (including BIM)


  • The Centre’s building services systems are functioning and operationally reliant.
  • Time was saved through the use of BIM and building in a virtual environment, which allowed the designers and installers to review the installation methodology and the finished installation, highlighted any inconsistencies and potential construction issues, and identified clashes between services or with building elements in advance.
  • Use of the Trimble system significantly reduced the need for on-site drilling and working at height, leading to major health and safety benefits.

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