Northrop was engaged by Advantage Aged Care for the design and document of building services for their new 140-bed aged care facility in South West Sydney. Core to the client’s brief was prioritising the creation of a homely, warm environment for residents. There were a number of challenges associated with the project, largely due to the unique site location—a curving parcel of land that sits parallel to the M7 motorway and is also bordered by a residential sub-division.
These characteristics made for a tightly constrained site, which also needed to comply with acoustic restrictions imposed by the building’s proximity to residential homes. In addition, as a result of its proximity to the motorway, the site is surrounded by road authority easements and bikeways and was not initially zoned for a residential aged care facility. This meant it was only serviced with limited gas, electricity, sewer and communication infrastructure.
We needed to not only meet the client’s expectations of a warm, homely environment but also to ensure the project is serviced with gas, electricity, sewer and communications infrastructure, without any major upstream works to the utility infrastructure.
We carefully considered the products used, illuminating rooms and common areas in order to achieve a warm environment for residents.
The facility’s central mechanical plant was designed to minimise its footprint, effectively screening it from adjoining buildings and ensuring it doesn’t impact the resident’s experience. The infrastructure design for the services included long runs for electrical and communication systems, some more than 90 metres. We carefully designed infrastructure systems for our client with a long term view—we future-proofed all cabling routes, while also maintaining the necessary efficiencies. The solution, which was agreed to in consultation with Advantage, was to install a number of multicore optical fibre cables and less of the larger sub-mains to provide a cost-effective infrastructure.
We worked closely with the various utility providers to negotiate the best (and most cost-effective) outcome for our client at every turn.
Our team of engineers, including our high voltage specialist (ASP 3) engaged in early negotiations with Endeavour Energy to investigate the options of servicing the proposed new aged care facility. After initially proposing the developer incur the cost for extending the entire route of the high voltage infrastructure, Endeavour eventually agreed that our client should only incur 25% of the costs.
The communications network with Telstra was another challenge—with limited Internet access connections in the area, we negotiated for the provision of additional connections for the residential facility in the early stages of the project.
“Right from the beginning, the team at Northrop were interested in understanding our vision and worked closely with us and other parties to realise that vision. They have a clear understanding of the service demands of the industry and I would be happy to recommend them.” Michael Kresner, Managing Director, Advantaged Care
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