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Palmerston, Northern Territory, Australia
MKE Architects & dwp|suters
NT Project Group
116-bed hospital, 45-hectare site, project value
$170 million, completion 2018
Knauf Multistop® 5 plasterboard, Rondo steel
components and associated compounds and
The Northern Territory’s first new public hospital in almost 40 years will open in 2018 with 116 beds supported by 340 staff – and room to expand on its 45 hectare site. The $170 million facility is located in the Darwin satellite city of Palmerston to serve the region’s rapidly expanding population.
Given its geography, one of the challenges faced by the project is the need to make the structure cyclone resistant. Plus, although the site has a low seismic classification, all Australian hospitals are now required to maintain integrity during and after a seismic event to avoid danger to people unable to move from their beds. These requirements led NT Project Group, which was selected by managing contractor Lend Lease to deliver ceilings, partitions and linings, to seek help from Knauf and its expert Technical & Engineering team.
NT Project Group had experience with other healthcare facilities and was well aware of the specific code requirements, including fire rating and acoustics. From a longstanding, trusted relationship with Knauf, Managing Director Jade Cameron knew NT Project Group would get expert support in selecting the right components for the approximately 50 different types of wall and ceiling systems required.
Knauf began by producing detailed designs of the different systems required in a comprehensive 40-page Specification And Value Engineering (S.A.V.E.) document.
This gave Lend Lease and NTPG a high degree of confidence. USG Boral also gave valuable support with onsite acoustics testing to ensure compliance – going over
and above the call of duty, according to Jade Cameron.
“Knauf invested the time and expertise to give us brilliant support. It didn’t matter how small the request, nothing was too much trouble. We knew that Knauf would fly an expert Engineer up to help us with specifications or technical solutions to compliance issues if needed.”
SUPPLY CHAIN GUARANTEED
Given the compliance requirements for hospital facilities and the geographical location, high-performance Knauf Multistop™ 5 plasterboard was selected for its fire, impact, sound, mould and water resistance. Different configurations of Rondo steel components were used for framing as well as a wide range of Knaufcompounds and other components.
A challenge faced by many major construction projects in the NT is timely supply of materials. It takes up to a week to transport supplies from Brisbane. With 50,000m2 of
high-performance technical plasterboard required for Palmerston Hospital, scores of tradesmen on site and limited options for storage, NT Project Group couldn’t risk
hold-ups due to delayed components.
To ensure steady and timely supply, Knauf made arrangements for its local trade store in Winnellie to receive and hold the materials required, and then deliver them to site on an as-needs basis. This avoided shortages that could put tradespeople out of work, or large deliveries unable to be stored in site.
LOW RISK, HIGH SATISFACTION
Jade Cameron said that the choice of Knauf as ceilings and walls supplier all came down to risk minimisation. “There were three strong reasons in their favour. Firstly we had long experience of the quality of their ongoing support. We knew they’d be ready to help whenever we needed them, via the TecASSIST Technical Assistance team over the phone, or here on site in person.”
“Local representation was a second factor. Knauf’s man in Darwin was on hand whenever we needed him, as was their regional manager. Thirdly, Knauf was
able to guarantee our supply chain of materials via its local trade store. For all the three reasons we chose Knauf – technical support, local representation and a
guaranteed supply chain – they came through for us!”