RCC partnered with the University and FJMT under a Managing Contractor agreement we could progress the concept design without delaying the construction of the project. This process allowed RCC to actively contribute to the design and value management in real time.
The works involved the 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. The building presents as an undulating semitransparent building wrapping the base of the tower, this is achieved with curved glass façade.
Since starting on site, $63m (25%) additional scope has been added to the scope of works, including super lab fitout, feature stairs and fitout of the tower.
Client: University of Technology Sydney Architect: FJMT Delivery Form: Managing Contractor Location: Ultimo, NSW Value: $307m Completion date: August 2019
This month RCC completed the UTS Central project, marking the end of a three-year partnership with the UTS and FJMT to deliver a 17-storey vertical campus in the heart of the Broadway Campus. RCC was engaged as managing contractor for the UTS Central project in May 2015, which included a 12 month pre-construction phase.
The glass-encased building features state of the art learning commons and collaborative spaces, a new UTS Library, a super lab, UTS reading room, food court and Faculty of Law and Engineering accommodation and learning facilities. The team worked with numerous end users throughout the construction period to deliver unique fit out requirements that meet faculty needs whilst working with the curved façade and building voids.
Our project team has been on site at UTS since 2011, having previously delivered the Health and Science Precinct, and has been focused on building collaborative relationships with the client team and associated stakeholders to ensure successful outcomes for the project.
“It has been great working with the RCC team. It’s been a really good working environment, there is a lot of pride taken in the work which is really reflected in the finished product”
Dane Sinclair, Senior Project Manager, UTS
UTS Central is a stunning dual design including an undulating tower above a 5-storey podium – both encased in a semi-transparent glass façade which RCC developed a specialised craned form-work system to install.
The Central project comprises a number of trademark features including a double helix staircase, geometric solar panels on the northern façade and a water recycling scheme sourced from the neighbouring Central Park. This initiative has been a contributing factor to achieving the building’s 5 Star Green Star Design rating.
Throughout construction, our in-house BIM team was focused on providing clients and user groups with innovative and sophisticated solutions that reduce project risk, time and cost. In addition to upskilling consultants and subcontractors throughout the project, the BIM Engineers were able to advise FM teams on how to integrate the models into their maintenance platforms, ensuring value continued throughout operation.
Previous experience has proven that involving user groups and stakeholders in the construction process delivers a better construction journey and aids project objective realisation. RCC has delivered 34 University projects across NSW and ACT, and this experience gives us insight into both best practice teaching and student engagement opportunities. Throughout the delivery of this exciting project, RCC actively engaged with the university to contribute to scholarships and curriculum, offering an immersive experience for students.
“Through the establishment of the RCC scholarships and research, RCC is not only changing the lives of talented and hard-working students, but also the landscape for the construction industry innovation, knowledge, development and thought leadership. Scholarships provide the opportunity to spend time within RCC on a paid work placement which will be invaluable when moving into their careers.
UTS is delighted to partner with RCC and to further deepen (OUR) mutual understanding and academic engagement within (our) construction courses. Collaborations that add value to all parties now include a growing series of guest lecturing, information sharing and site visits, all just moments away from the major RCC construction site of the new flagship building: UTS Central.
There is a powerful synergy between how RCC and UTS go about problem solving: using innovative ways of thinking that ensure the focus remains on practical, industry-focussed outcomes. The vibrant nature of the partnership between RCC and UTS is very much in keeping with this approach and is an inspiration to all involved.”
The successful completion of the UTS Central project is a testament to RCC’s client-first, collaborative approach to construction. We are proud to produce a building of this calibre in line with budget and program requirements, whilst incorporating additional scope of works throughout the project.
As the ceremonial tree was craned onto the roof of the UTS Central project, RCC, UTS and our consultant team acknowledged the collaborative approach responsible for reaching this milestone.
Joined by FJMT and Lacoste & Stevenson, we took the opportunity to soak up the sunshine and appreciate the contribution this landmark development will make to UTS staff and students and the broader Sydney community.
What better way to celebrate this landmark education project than to talk statistics…
UTS Central Project Fun Facts
19 Staircases (1,648 steps)
1,100 glass windows
20,000m3 of concrete
861m of steel beams
With an average of 380 workers on site each day for the last 159 weeks, the current progress represents the hard work of many individuals, operating as a team to deliver this impressive new home for UTS staff and students.
Well done to the entire RCC, subcontractor and consultant team who have worked incredibly hard to complete the structure on this complex development.
Want to know more about the UTS Central project?
The UTS Central Project includes the redevelopment of Building 2 and the extension of Building 1 (UTS Tower) to redefine the main campus entrance. The development represents a significant component of the broader UTS Master Plan and will create additional connections within the campus and further enhance the student experience, supporting UTS’s long-term strategic plan of growth in research and positively contributing to the urban quality of the precinct.
RCC is embracing the use of Virtual Reality (VR) on the UTS Central project by integrating traditional design methodology with ‘new-age’ digital design process. With global markets recognising the need for BIM implementation, this approach is changing the way RCC manage stakeholder engagement on our projects. The UTS Central project has given our team the opportunity to utilise virtual models in a VR space (UTS Data Arena) to display enhanced virtualisation of the design. This has improved the stakeholder’s knowledge of what the finished, fitted-out space will look like once completed.
Last week we welcomed NAWIC members and guests to the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) for a site tour of the UTS Central project. RCC staff delivered a presentation on the unique challenges of the project and the intelligent solutions which have and will be implemented to deliver this landmark development.
The new building will be the Faculty of Science and Graduate School of Health. It features five above ground and three below ground levels. The project includes a variety of wet, semi-wet and dry laboratories with specialist research support areas.
The project includes a Library Retrieval System (LRS) that will accommodate 900,000 books.
The Alumni Green will be a landscaped area and will revitalise this important green space located in the heart of the campus.
Client: University of Technology Sydney Architect: BVN Delivery Form: Managing Contractor Location: Ultimo, NSW Value: $114.6 m Completion date: August 2014
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School is an exclusive agricultural boarding school situated on a 500-acre farm on the outskirts of Tamworth. D&C works included construction of new specialised Technology and Applied Sciences (TAS) building, housing metalwork / woodwork facilities, teaching spaces, new adjacent carpark, new access road leading to adjacent farm located on-campus and external lift providing access to existing building.
Additional works included refurbishment of existing classrooms and dormitories, and new common space and new sick-bay.
Client: NSW Department of Education Architect: NBRS Partners Delivery Form: Design & Construction Location: Tamworth, NSW Value: $10m Completion date: February 2019
RCC recently completed 6HSL; a world leading Innovation Hub which will facilitate collaboration between education and industry by blending A-grade commercial amenity with a vertical campus for the Built Environment.
Standing in the heart of the Parramatta CBD and recognisable by the ‘H’ for Hassall Street incorporated into the Northern Elevation, this facility is the result of a collaboration between project stakeholders Charter Hall, Western Sydney University, Solutions Consulting, Blight Rayner Tzannes, Robert Bird Group, Floth and RCC.
Delivering During Covid
RCC started on site in December 2019. Covid arrived in March 2020 and has affected the construction industry ever since. The team remained agile throughout 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions, adapting the design and construction approach to respond to changing requirements and ultimately complete the project in line with the initial programme.
Key to this success was the careful management of the project’s critical path. Weekly planning sessions enabled identification of programme opportunities and risks, as well as proactive planning of upcoming works and supply chain engagement to limit the impact of overseas procurement delays.
Protecting workers’ physical and psychological safety throughout this period was paramount. The effects of border closures and lockdowns caused fatigue across the industry, so a number of mental health initiatives were implemented to support staff and stakeholders.
More about 6HSL
The 6-star GreenStar, 19-storey building puts innovation and engineering on display, with 15 metre exposed off-form concrete columns and structural steel V bracing integrated into the glass facade. The building technology includes an integrated communications network, smart bathrooms, touchless amenities, one-tap building access, public wifi, wireless charging outlets and lift call apps.
Western Sydney University’s Built Environment Campus resides on the first 6 floors, with the integrated fit out of the Engineering and Architectural faculties including robotics labs, teaching spaces, open learning and amenities.
Structural and mechanical engineering allowed the team to increase the NLA available on levels 7-17 offering fully optimised floor plates built around a tech-infused spine.
Throughout construction RCC worked with the community to build local capability, with a Kickstart Café offering employment for disadvantaged youth and a Strategic Alliance Framework with the Western Sydney University which involves ongoing commitments to research, curriculum co-delivery and industry engagement.
“Following the mutually successful outcome 6 Hassall Street has delivered for Charter Hall, Western Sydney University and RCC, we look forward to extending our relationship as part of the iQ Westmead project.
RCC has demonstrated its resilience, adaptability, and commitment to a common goal in navigating multiple forms of construction disruption to deliver 6HSL within program.”
Mark Stante, Charter Hall
We are privileged to continue our partnership with Charter Hall and Western Sydney University on the Westmead Innovation Quarter project; another multidisciplinary research space that allows collaboration between business, health and research.
Westmead Innovation Quarter is due for completion later this year.
RCC is honoured to have received 7 awards, including the overall ‘Outstanding Construction Award’ at the 2020 NSW Master Builders Association ‘Excellence in Construction’ Awards.
Being recognised for excellence in construction across multiple sectors and project value categories is incredibly rewarding for RCC. Delivering quality outcomes for our clients, end users and our community is just what we do, so this industry acknowledgment of innovation and quality is a bonus.
Congratulations to the RCC project teams and all our subcontractor, consultant and supply partners involved in delivering these incredible projects.
For us, success is about delivering important developments for our local community, working together with our clients and project partners to leave a legacy that we can all be proud of. Congratulations to everyone who played a part in the design and delivery of these award-winning projects.
Interested in these incredible award-winning projects? Keep an eye out on RCC’s social media accounts over the coming weeks for feature stories on each project, showcasing the the innovation and excellence behind their recognition in the 2020 NSW MBA ‘Excellence in Construction’ Awards.
‘Excellence in Construction’ Awards Event
Watch the full 2020 ‘Excellence in Construction’ Awards event here: