The Osborne South Development Project (OSDP), North of Adelaide, involves the construction of three large, new industrial buildings – a Steel Fabrication and Unit Assembly Hall, a Block Assembly Hall, and a Block Outfitting and Ship Erection Hall. These buildings will house BAE Australia/ASC Shipbuilding’s operations for the construction of nine Hunter-class Frigates as part of the Commonwealth’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

The largest building – the Block Outfitting and Ship Erection Hall (Building 22) – is 187m long and 87.4m wide and stands at 50 metres high. It features a steel portal framed structure comprising approximately 4000T of structural steel, founded on a piled 1m thick slab pavement. A structure of this size could not be built using traditional construction techniques.

Robert Bird Group, working with Lendlease as lead construction engineers on the project, were responsible for developing the construction sequence, staged analysis, temporary works design, visualisation and overseeing the construction process. To avoid work at height the 4000t of structural steel was assembled on the ground and rotated and lifted by the use of strand jacks, into position. The process involved 10 wall rotations of 265t each and 2 roof lifts of 350t and 900t.

Year Completed:
Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI)

Primary Contractor:
Steel Fabricator:
SA Structural
Robert Bird Group Services:
Construction Engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical challenges

RBG redesigned the steel plunge columns enabling complex bracing arrangements and programme hold-points to be removed, hence simplifying excavation and improving health and safety. The ground floor slab was redesigned for significant construction loads and to prop the basement wall whilst maintaining a large void to allow the core to rise.

RBG also checked all permanent works elements for the temporary loads induced by the innovative construction sequence. The construction method further reduced the ground movements, thereby minimising the risk to sensitive network rail facilities adjacent to the site.

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