The project involved construction of a large warehouse at the UQ Gatton Campus to provide storage capacity of 33,000 lineal meters of compactus shelving for Library material which was housed at Ipswich, Milton and St Lucia sites. 

The key challenge of the project was to design a floor slab to the required heavy load capacity and very tight movement criteria required for the automated compactus units. 

Robert Bird Group’s innovative approach was to modify the existing extremely reactive soil conditions and to control the moisture variation through partial soil replacements together with a protecting cut-of wall to achieve a non-spanning economical slab that could resist high loads with minimal defection.

Project Value: 
$6.1 million 
Year Completed: 
Building Metrics: 
Total Area 2,500m2 
The University of Queensland 

Primary Contractor: 
McNab Constructions 
Robert Bird Group Services: 
Structural Engineering 
Civil 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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