In the green surrounds of Healesville, our latest Aged Care
project is a 120 bed facility which will cater for High, Low &
Dementia specific care. Designed by Graphos Architecture in Port
Melbourne it uses several external finishes to articulate its large
mass and integrate with the variety of homesteads of the area.
Scheduled for completion and operation in late 2011/early
Client: Novena Pty Ltd
Facility: 120 Bed Aged Care
Address: 27 Smith St, Healesville
Estimated completion date: December 2011
Approximate Value of Project: $14,000,000
The project is a brick veneer multi level over the elongated site. It is reasonably complex construction given the predominantly sloping site making the bulk earthworks an important part of the project. The building footprint also covers a large portion of the site and is built within close proximity to the North side of the block. Several large retaining walls and concrete piles needed to be in place prior to commencement of foundation works in order to establish the site. The frequent rain and weather conditions hampered the initial stages of these works given the close proximity of Healesville to the wet area belt of Victoria.
After the slab was set down to the front of the site the timber formwork commenced on track and was erected reasonably quickly. This allowed for the few days lost to inclement weather to be recouped. The use of timber formwork is prevalent in the construction of Aged Care's given its combinations of structural capabilities, cost, strength, speed of manufacture and erection.
The building progressed in two parts, the front (East) and the rear (west) with the centre section being the last stage of work. The centre section was left last to allow sufficient access to complete the rear given its elevated construction level and reliance on a masonry internal retaining wall. The centre section also contains the highest density of Structural Steel construction and the lift shaft. While generally the areas surrounding the lift shaft of the building are amongst the first built up on site the nature of the sloping ground and access requirements meant the need to modify this process.
Aged Care facilities have a host of fire, aid, amenity & communication services which are vital to operations of the centre. A large percentage of the facilities build cost goes into proper management and installation of the essential services. The complexity of each of the essential services trades makes it a cumbersome task to co-ordinate them all at the same time and with weather this year wreaking havoc the rush was on to cover the site, get the services in and prepare the centre for lock up to ensure water tightness.
With hundreds of millimetres of rain already falling in the first few months of 2011, the priority to cover and seal the facility is paramount. As the detailed photographs illustrate, the eastern and western portion of the site is now 90% sealed, and the remaining centre portion is almost covered and weather sealed. This will ensure the concrete slab can cure properly to accept floor finishes and the remaining areas can be roughed in and plasterboard sheeted so that we are able to proceed to fit off areas in preparation for the final handover.
The project has progressed to the point where sub contractors can now proceed to finalise areas - Given the size and the programming of how the building stages have been completed many areas are ready to complete fitting off of fixtures while other areas of the building are completing services areas and being prepared for finalisation. External areas of the building are being completed in preparation for the landscape works.