Shaping the Future of Educational Infrastructure

Shaping the future of educational infrastructure

RCC is leading the push to future-proof education facilities across private, public and tertiary education infrastructure. Taking a holistic approach, we focus on delivering outcomes that create sustainable learning outcomes for current and future generations.

Educational spaces and surroundings enhance learning and teaching outcomes. When users of the built environment feel inspired, comfortable and safe in a space – wellbeing, interest, and performance follow. At RCC, we collaborate with stakeholders to produce educational spaces that create teaching opportunities and optimal features for learning.

The different drivers for public, private, and tertiary

When planning, designing and delivering educational infrastructure, we factor in the different drivers for each faction.

The private education sector focuses on purposeful, custom architectural design that expresses individual school ethos, messaging and culture. Creating ‘spatial experiences’ that enhance learning for students and teachers is fundamental for this sector.

On the other hand, the public education sector is experiencing a paradigm shift to accommodate the current and forecast student influx into the state.

In the tertiary space, the physical environment and facilities are integral to bring students, teachers and academics together in the interest of knowledge. University campuses need classrooms, libraries, laboratories and lecture theatres equipped with the most modern and properly maintained buildings to provide quality higher education.

Regardless of the driving forces behind each sector, for all education providers, the equation is simple: better facilities equal better education.

While escalation continues, budgets are buying less, and maintenance costs are increasing, adopting blended building models allows us to meet industry demands. To foster in-person and remote learning, these models incorporate elements of bespoke design, modular construction and adaptable spaces. This generates more efficient project delivery, more flexibility for end-users, and creates the best learning experiences for primary, secondary and tertiary students.

Future-proofing educational facilities

As new technologies continue to evolve, buildings need to keep pace. The days of rickety desk rows and blackboards are long gone. Classrooms, lecture rooms, and research labs are now purpose-built to promote student growth and advance teaching. Moreover, digital tools and platforms are transitioning from a standard, one-size-fits-all to individual personalisation, based on each student’s needs which can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

The implication for infrastructure is the allocation of budgets to deliver solutions equipped with the tools and digital hardware that enhance the end-user experience. The bottom lines need to allow for collaborative, secure environments; smart, flexible spaces that can be configured to each task.

To increase the efficiency in educational construction investment, we look at the differing details each sector demands to deliver value for clients and end-users.

Optimisation opportunities

 Features like light, air quality, temperature, acoustic environment and facility design all influence the quality of infrastructure. We consult with teachers, parents, students and community stakeholders early in the decision-making process. Our distinctive blank-page collaboration means we have the scope to design solutions specific to each learning environment. There’s no one-size-fits-all template for building educational infrastructure – each project requires a customised approach.

The public sector

This construction sector is motivated to create productive spaces that prioritise community, cost-efficiency and sustainability and seeks the best ways to deliver reliable, safe education environments. With this arm of educational infrastructure under the microscope, attitudes towards planning and maintenance are also shifting.

Sydney’s population looks to double in the next 40 years, with people moving from rural communities to regional and urban areas. At the same time, the number of students is expected to grow by 21% by 2031. Beyond numbers, this translates to an influx of 164,000 students, bringing the total up to nearly one million. To meet this market, the public education sector needs to deliver 7,200 new classrooms.

Overseeing the successful delivery of RCC’s portfolio of projects in the public education sector, our Project Director, Andrew Buchanan emphasises the importance of delivering infrastructure projects to accommodate the increasing intake of students.

“The new normal involves learning beyond the confines of traditional teaching spaces, structures and material resources. This means we must remain agile and work with our clients to deliver future focused learning spaces on time, on budget, with the best quality educational facilities.”

Andrew Buchanan – Project Director, RCC

Our track record of partnering with Government bodies to plan, build and deliver innovative, collaborative, efficient solutions place us in the perfect position to drive change. We’re looking to build on this to support the State’s mission of creating a sustainable market in modern methods of construction.

During his recent visit to Jordan Springs Public School, NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, echoed how our collaborative approach to delivering school infrastructure has impacted the education industry.

“It’s remiss of me not to mention Richard Crookes. We are very blessed in this state, as we’re going through this major infrastructure investment across New South Wales, to have the best builders in the business doing this work. Despite COVID and despite the poor weather that we’ve had in Sydney over this period, these guys are building these schools on time, on budget and it’s great to see.”

Dom Perrottet – NSW Premier

Public sector focus factors

RCC approaches each new public infrastructure project by taking their following drivers into consideration:

Design standardisation

Design tools are more sophisticated than ever, allowing us to advance quality, consistency and efficiency. With these proactive tools, we can adapt quickly to the distinct demands of the application for each school.

Asset management and resilience

Given the recent rise of climate chaos, the idea of asset resilience is critical. In every design, we factor in extreme events such as fire and floods, so should these events occur, the school can continue operating.

Modern methods of construction (MMC)

The public education sector is steadily moving to modular construction, where new buildings are ‘manufactured’ off-site as modules. Public education clients are turning towards MMC, as it’s a faster and cost-effective way to build classrooms that cater to the expected increase of students.

Schools at the heart of communities

The state government initiative, Share Our Space, seeks to place schools as community hubs. This philosophy focuses on joint use, giving the public access to the ovals, playgrounds, sports courts and gardens during the school holidays.


School infrastructure NSW is embracing sustainable practices across all building projects. Assigning $15,000 in funding for hands-on sustainability projects that conserve energy or water, reduce waste, or improve biodiversity.

Local Trades Scheme

This measure makes school maintenance easy by allowing schools to source and manage local tradies, up to $50k, via the hipages platform. This supports local economies and makes upkeep more autonomous.

To help public education providers meet these objectives, we work closely with a multitude of local government and community stakeholders. Our key focus is to improve their education infrastructure in the smartest, most sustainable and cost-efficient ways. As a result, our facilities bring community and education together, catering to their current needs whilst preparing them for future intakes of students.

The private sector

 Here, attention is on the purposeful, custom-tailored design of colleges, buildings, social spaces and classrooms. By approaching every build as a distinct project, rather than a cut-and-paste design, our building outcomes help facilitate greater learning, social connectivity and a more authentic identity realisation between school culture and architecture.

Rather than viewing these spaces as static buildings and rooms, we view them as ‘spatial experiences’ with a focus on quality of facilities, discipline and academic results. We collaborate with consultants and clients to give private school projects a firm framework that heroes best-practice architectural design principles.

For the private sector, our facilities need to emulate a school’s unique identity, whilst enhancing its educational process so students can achieve optimum learning outcomes. This requires a sound understanding of the school’s history, its current situation, the expectations of stakeholders, and the best possible path to meet these expectations. By having a clear vision and consistent alignment between all parties, we can set the roadmap for how bring our client’s vision to life through our projects.

As a result, we deliver outcomes that embrace a ‘whole-campus’ outlook, giving our clients a competitive edge in the market. Our building spaces are also designed to tap into current students’ aspirations, whilst attracting future pupils that reflect the school’s cultural philosophies.

Needs-based solutions

Having delivered over 400 education projects in the public, private and tertiary spheres, we know educational design and construction inside out. Prime examples in each sector include:

  • Alexandria Park Community School – Demolition of the existing school and construction of a new school suitable for 1,000 primary and 1,200 secondary students.

  • St Catherine’s School – Demolition of existing structures, as well as the construction of a new multi-storey building comprising a basement-level carpark, aquatic centre, performing arts auditorium and multipurpose hall.

  • UTS Central – Demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new teaching building, including a new UTS Library, Faculty of Engineering, learning commons and research labs.

In each case, we worked closely with our clients to understand their drivers and project vision. This determined the project journey we created, as well as the outcomes we delivered that ultimately enhanced learning and teaching outcomes.

At RCC, our educational facilitates are built to enable world-class learning contexts. We move with innovative research to create future-proof spaces that have the flexibility and forethought to evolve with the ever-emerging needs of students and educators.

Together, we’re delivering infrastructure that’s shaping the future of education.

17th year as Principal Sponsor for Rugby Long Lunch

Celebrating our 17th year as Principal Sponsor for Rugby Long Lunch

As the Principal Sponsor of the Rugby Long Lunch, we’re celebrating our 17th year and are proud of what we’ve achieved.

Festivities were in order on Friday 24 June as we celebrated our 17th year as the Principal Sponsor for Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation’s Rugby Long Lunch. The event raised over $340,000, with funds going towards breast cancer specialist staff and services, to support breast cancer patients and their families through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Our partnership with Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation is one of our longest standing and most rewarding relationships. Over the years, we have worked to raise awareness and funding for a much-needed cause… sometimes in unconventional ways.

As a private, family-owned business, we are committed to leaving a legacy by delivering projects that enhance education, research and healthcare for our communities. That’s why supporting Sydney Breast Foundation and the work they do means so much to us.

We look forward to continuing our partnership and working together to change the lives of those affected by breast cancer.

Here’s a snapshot of our journey together.

Optimising Client Outcomes with Digital Design

Optimising Client Outcomes with Digital Design

As the construction industry rides the rise in digital technologies, our in-house digital design team is evolving the way we operate. Driven by tech evolution, industry push, and the desire for smarter builds, technology is propelling practices to optimise construction and achieve greater value, efficiency and lower lifecycle costs.

At RCC, we’re continually innovating to stay competitive in this highly ambitious marketplace. Here’s how digital design is changing the way we work, from inception to completion.


Responding to the latest regulatory changes, we are fine-tuning our processes and training to ensure we’re digitally deft to seize future opportunities. This will enable us to stay ahead of the game, given that 57% of class 2 builders and 48% of designers are currently in a basic stage of digitalisation. The industry is set to take ten years to reach digital maturity.

Our Head of Design and Innovation, Samantha Kuiper, emphasises the importance of integrating digital design into current delivery methodologies to boost programme outcomes for the future.

“We believe in embracing technology and industry change. We’re not waiting until digitalisation is a directive – we see the opportunities in technological innovation and are taking a proactive approach to embedding digital design into our processes.”

Sam Kuiper, RCC’s General Manager – Design & Innovation

As digital design makes its macro mark on large-scale infrastructure projects, we integrate it into the company’s actions, so when regulation is a reality, RCC is ahead of the game. To complement traditional design, we embed technologies like 3D modelling, training and development.


A Building Information Model (BIM) management process allows us to oversee graphic and non-graphical information from end to end on each construction project. It is the core conduit that connects multiple disciplines and different digital design principles together. In other words, BIM is the project bible; the go-to for driving efficiency, value for money, productivity and innovation. Australia’s BIM strategic framework outlines building delivery and management to create standardisation and drive the industry forward.


Why do we employ digital design? Simply put – to stay competitive and relevant. We test and confirm existing and future designs to get more precise and predictable project information and reusable structures and insights. Investigating cross-function data generates more extensive understanding, which results in superior delivery and commercial decision making. Digital design also improves aspects of communication and visibility between our stakeholders, enabling us to overcome challenges prior to works commencing.


Outside RCC, digital design has a three-fold drive: growing client demand, the industry’s need for driving efficiencies and the ANZ Compliances, ISO/AS 19650 Parts 1-6.

Digital design also helps increase accuracy, boost project delivery time, detect discrepancies and work around contingencies such as rain events. With better project visibility, reliability and control, it allows for greater accuracy, integration and better client outcomes. Allowing oversight of the concept, construction and commissioning stages, digital design assists in investigating obstacles to mitigate risk and keeps projects aligned to the original scope.


The Sirius building is a Sydney icon, a stalwart of the city’s skyline. Designed to counterpoint the iconic presence of the Sydney Opera House across Circular Quay, the Sirius apartments were conceived in a period when the Brutalist idiom dominated architectural thinking and practice internationally.

JDH Capital engaged us to evolve this piece of history and harmonise the Brutalist origins with new additions and materials. Using various programs, we produced the digital components of the Sirius Project.


Using digital design, we created visualisations to communicate how the project will redefine modern living. By combining the architectural, structural and services models, teams analysed the design geometry to understand the overall design, and the constructability of the proposed works.

Sirius Design ModelWe used Navisworks Manage to run an object clash detection between the consultant’s designs. The Revizto cloud platform was used to track and resolve any design issues before site installation, whilst streamlining digital coordination between our teams.


We used a BIM federated model to amalgamate the architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulics and fire models. This was viewed by our team members using Navisworks Freedom. We then ran clash tests and progressed issues through Revizto, where relevant team were assigned the clashes.

Point cloud scans lined into the federated model allowed us to pinpoint existing building elements and optimise the design. With the Revizto Mark Ups tool, we flew through the model in 3D. When we came across an area to review, we pinned a ‘Mark up issue,’ which we then turned into a report and distributed to teams to consolidate their models.


With the Sirius project in the construction stage, we will implement Augmented Reality (AR) and Smart Reality capturing technologies. AR will facilitate a pre-install Q&A between the RCC team and trades to manage and mitigate on-site risk. Improved reality capturing through remote devices (Revizto) and computer vision (Build AI) will continue to optimise compliance checks through post-install and build recording.

Using a 4D model, we will track any materials procured, as well as monitor the installation of specific elements and scenario testing methodologies to prove viability. This will help us visualise our construction sequencing, identify errors and optimise the path of our works.


These technologies allow us to make better decisions quickly, optimise design, automate engineering and reduce the risk involved in off-site and on-site construction. These functions make us more innovative across all projects and within our team, consultant and stakeholder collaborations. They promote more efficient delivery time, proactive risk management through early recognition and minimise rework by finding coordination challenges before fabrication and installation.

Digital simulation allows more forethought and implementation to optimise health and safety. Virtual site simulation facilitates better planning and site logistics and gets all stakeholders on the same page. These technologies also encourage pinpoint accuracy in estimating the costs of supply orders and staging trades.


Outside RCC, superior client satisfaction and end-user results are crucial benefits of executing these technologies. Visualisation and simulation help clients fully comprehend their project’s design and construction process, as well as mitigate risks early. This provides an efficient way of gathering data and managing their assets, which boosts confidence and offers more certainty.

After we complete projects, BIM and digital engineering assist us in better systemising data for asset and facilities management and quality maintenance records. We ensure excellence by using ‘Next Gen’ digital technologies like Cloud tech, Augmented Reality and AI to design and build. A win: win.


Making digital design second nature involves ironing out a few kinks. When our supply chains are at different stages of digital aptitude, our subcontractors can’t match the digital capabilities for delivery. We bridge this gap by sourcing expertise and training our project partners.

The Digitisation of Construction Report shows cost impedes the adoption rate. 67% of builders and designers claim that the expense of buying and licensing software is a barrier. This explains the reluctance of builders and consultants to purchase the software and upskill their workers.

Like any significant shift, there’s always resistance. Age demographics and cultural norms within the construction industry contribute to slow tech adoption. At RCC, we know that in the face of new ideas, complacency and scepticism are common. That’s why we adopt patience, communication and education to work around this.

The construction industry has clear delineation between disciplines, so unified workflows linking engineers, subcontracting firms, designers, and general contractors can be challenging.

We navigate all obstacles by allaying fears to arrive at digital acceptance and adaptation. Having already transformed countless industries, the evolution of digital design in the construction sector will revolutionise project outcomes for clients.


Our tiered training in digital design training informs our actions business-wide. Our Digital Engineering 101 Fundamentals & Concepts course gives all our people an entry-level understanding of BIM and digital engineering and how we use them. Digital Engineering 102 Project BIM Use covers the basics, and Digital Engineering 103 for Project BIM Management is our advanced module. Both teach the software skills required to competently coordinate the digital aspects of a project and manage the BIM data efficiently and effectively.

“Our training is tiered to build robust understanding. The tiers tailor to the level of detail needed for each position and each person’s familiarity with the software. We also factor in the nature of the project they’re looking to support.”

– Dean James, RCC’s Digital Design Manager


At RCC, these training initiatives bring global digital design trends in-house. They help us shape our people, so they’re poised to further the future of digital construction.


At RCC, we’re seizing the digital reins – initiating a proactive approach to an increasingly tech-led and data-driven shift. As digital design continues to evolve in the construction space, we’re developing new skills; training, educating and implementing technology functions to achieve the best results for our clients.

To stay ahead of trends and strengthen our innovation, we empower our people with cutting-edge digital design tools to ensure our end-users occupy safe, cost-effective and reliable buildings. We’re digitally designing a smarter way to build.

Share our digital design innovation in The Urban Developer.