Student accommodation contracts tailored to support higher learning

Following the success of its award-winning St Catherine’s College redevelopment in Nedlands, Pindan has embarked on two more student accommodation projects.

The first, at nearby St Thomas More College, was occupied in February 2016 and saw Pindan build 246 bedrooms, common rooms with kitchen facilities, laundries and study rooms as well as a stand-alone recreation facility and a basement car park.

Meanwhile at Curtin University’s Kalgoorlie campus, a $30.7m extension of the existing facility is taking shape and due for completion by the end of the year.

Business Development Manager for Pindan, James Allingame, said Pindan won the $43.7m contract at St Thomas More College thanks to its extensive portfolio of student accommodation projects, including the neighbouring St Catherine’s redevelopment which also houses students from UWA.

“Our experience with similar contracts, coupled with our access to quality subcontractors with a great track record for delivering student accommodation facilities, place Pindan in an excellent position to meet the unique needs of each client,” he said.

According to James, the complex nature of constructing or redeveloping buildings while minimising disruptions to the day-to-day operation of such facilities, require Pindan to adopt carefully considered construction methods and project management solutions.

“At St Thomas More, the construction included an in-situ concrete basement car park, AFS load bearing party walls, face stack bonded brick façade and aluminium composite cladding and sunshading,” he said.

“Getting the program just right was vital due to the high level of finish to the units, the extensive amount of face brickwork and external hardscape works, as well as working within an operating student accommodation environment.

“But with careful project management and acceleration of works, we were able to meet our projected timeline and hand over the project before students began the 2016 academic year.”

In Kalgoorlie, the existing student accommodation is being extended over two stages to include new rooms for 180 students and refurbishment to 48 rooms.

Pindan was responsible for the design and construction of the project in consultation with AJ+C, a Sydney based architectural firm.

“The works included the demolition of the old student accommodation blocks, upgrading of site wide inground infrastructure and the construction of new student accommodation including the main administration centre and reception,” James said.

The four main building blocks were constructed from prefabricated modules and shipped to Kalgoorlie.

“Pindan is responsible for the foundations, installation of the units, connection of the services, installation of final finishes to corridors and all external works including in ground services and landscaping.”

All building services are linked back to Curtin’s Bentley campus and can be monitored remotely, he added.

James said the use of pre-fabricated modules added a level of complexity from a contractual and Quality Assurance perspective but the team worked tirelessly to ensure the modules were compliant and the strict tolerances between the in-situ site works and the modules were met.

This project is being built in two stages to allow students to remain on campus during construction.

James Allingame, Business Development Manager, Pindan

“Other challenges to date have included managing works around existing service infrastructure without as-built drawings and selecting, procuring and installing all of the furniture, fixtures and equipment for the project.”

James added that each building was erected on site in four days with the use of a 200 tonne crane and the finished facilities are believed to be the highest buildings in Kalgoorlie.

“Stage 1 began in October 2015 and was completed in early May 2016 and Stage 2 followed in late May and is expected to be completed by December 2016.”

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