Work is close to completion on a $12 million, six star “greenstar” rated university building that Barnson was instrumental in designing in western Sydney.

Barnson was part of a winning design tender with JDH architects for the prestigious two-storey lecture theatre and teaching rooms that form part of the Nirimba educational precinct at the University of Western Sydney’s Quakers Hill campus. Barnson has provided the structural, civil and geotechnical consultancy components of the design.

Led by Bathurst Director, Richard Noonan, the design has seen a few challenges and changes along the way. “One of its biggest challenges was the four metres of rock underneath the site,” Richard said.

“The design solution was to have both the ground and first floor slabs designed as a suspended slab and to place beams on concrete piers and columns. During the build, we worked with the contractor to re-design the ground floor slab beams to accommodate the load. This allowed for a change to the design, using screw piles instead of concrete piles.

Adding to the complexity of the project was the University's requirement for the building to achieve a six star green rating. “To achieve the six-star rating, the design needed to include treatment of the stormwater, as well as the use of recycled and environmentally-produced steel and concrete,” Richard said.

“While doing the necessary analysis to achieve compliance was a tedious process, we were able to work with the Greenstar consultants to achieve an environmentally sensitive outcome that the client is very happy with and we think will provide an exciting learning environment for the students.”

The construction of the project was awarded to Taylor Constructions in early 2013. Barnson is still involved with the project during construction with site inspections and replies to RFIs. 

Client: University of Western Sydney (via JDH architects)

Project: U10 Lecture Theatre and teaching building at Nirimba educational precinct, University of Western Sydney, Quakers Hill, Sydney

Description: two-storey building consisting of lecture theatre and teaching rooms, with a gross floor area of 3,600m2

Barnson’s Role: Structural, civil and geotechnical consultants

Cost: Overall budget $12 million

Time frame: Construction commenced late 2012. Estimated date for completion December 2013.