UTS Central - Independent Commissioning Agent

The final building delivered under the UTS 10-year City Campus Master Plan, UTS Central, including The Hive Superlab, Blake Library, Law School, Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) and Research Excellence and Support Hub (RESHub) provides world-class research and collaborative learning spaces for students and staff.

A.G. Coombs Advisory was engaged as Independent Commissioning Agent, acting on behalf of the University and working with the design team, construction team, commissioning and building tuning teams to ensure the project’s commissioning and handover was well planned and executed to achieve the project outcomes.

Rising from the foundations of the existing Building 2, and with numerous interfaces with the existing iconic Building 1 tower and Central Park district cooling scheme led to many challenges for the new, high-tech facility designed by fjmt architects.  The twisting form of the tower means no two floor plans are the same and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic during the first 12-month building tuning period has presented its own challenges.

The facility includes many complex systems requiring careful attention to commissioning planning and execution, including:

  • Manifolded fume cupboard exhaust system with strobic exhaust fans
  • People counters to provide feedback to room scheduling system and BMCS for associated HVAC operation
  • Bone conduction headphones to allow separate classes to run simultaneously within the same space
  • A high number of system interfaces between BMCS, EMS, electrical, hydraulic, security, fire protection, lighting control and AV
  • Laboratory gas system and other lab services such as RO water and waste neutralisation
  • Active façade elements such as sun-tracking louvres and blinds, as well as a pressurised closed cavity design.

A.G. Coombs were responsible for the Mechanical Services Design and Construct installation based on building services consulting design by Steensen Varming and Wood (Superlab). A.G. Coombs also provided warranty maintenance, continuing whole-of-life services to the University.

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A.G. Coombs Advisory added value throughout the process, from identifying and resolving design issues, through to leading the building tuning process to achieve our sustainability outcomes and continued collaboration with infrastructure teams at UTS to help with initiatives that were out of scope which could enhance the building’s functionality. Their innovative use of Smartsheet meant that our infrastructure support teams had full visibility of live reporting on commissioning issues at all times helping to manage the handover and defect resolution process, and their team of experienced engineers meant we had all bases covered when it came to the complex integrated building services commissioning.

Ha Phan, Senior Project Manager - University of Technology, Sydney

Project Overview

Project Name: UTS Central

Location: Broadway, Sydney

Client: University of Technology, Sydney

Project Value: $307m

Project Type

Independent Commissioning Agent


A.G. Coombs Advisory utilised its multi-disciplinary team of experienced building services engineers and commissioning specialists to work closely with the client, consultants and contractors ensuring commissionability and maintainability were considered through all phases of the project, and that commissioning and building tuning were verified and well documented for final handover. The project has achieved a certified 5 Star Green Star Design & As Built rating


  • 2019 Gold GOV Design Award
  • 2020 CTBUH Award of Excellence – Best Tall Building (under 100m height)
  • 2020 CTBUH Award of Excellence – Interior Space
  • 2020 Finalist AIRAH Award for Excellence in Innovation – A.G. Coombs with Steensen Varming and Wood

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