2nd February 2007

Precinct provides missing link

Many have dubbed Flinders Link as Adelaide's stand-out building development of the past 10 years.

In the heart of the Adelaide CBD, the precinct comprises a nine-storey car park and two office buildings, nine and 13 storeys high.

National Building News caught up with Hindmarsh state manager Peter Gibberd shortly before the project's final package was handed over.

"Like most CBD projects, one of the biggest challenges was working on a tight site. Restricted access meant we were fairly heavily reliant on cranage," said Mr Gibberd.

"The proximity of the three buildings also posed an interesting challenge. An eight-metre-wide laneway (soon to be called Freemasons Lane) runs between the car park and the two office buildings. We've had issues with people access, particularly with the construction being conducted on both sides of the laneway," he said.

Mr Gibberd said Freemasons Lane would provide the missing link between Flinders Street and Pirie Street, hence the project name.

"It's part roadway, but is predominately a walkway, providing better pedestrian access to the new Ezipark car park, Santos building, Insurance Australia Group building and other nearby offices and malls."

The laneway is currently under construction and is due for completion this month, in conjunction with the handover of the final office building.

"Both offices were GBCA 5-Star Green Star rated, so it's essentially a green-star precinct," said Mr Gibberd. He said both buildings rated particularly well in the indoor air quality, transport and water categories. Particular features include high air ventilation rates and low indoor air pollutants, and an abundance of bike parks, lockers and showers for cycling commuters.

"The Santos building incorporated an active chill beam system for its airconditioning and the IAG Building incorporated waterless urinals and AAAA rated taps, water closets, taps and shower heads."

Both towers were also designed to promote natural light and air flow.

The Santos building bears automated motorised louvre shading to the west and internal blinds to the east, transparent glass curtainwalling to the south and solid precast panels to the north to mazimise light and reduce thermal loads.

Mr Gibberd said the car park and IAG building works called for careful coordination.

"The buildings were community titled, which meant although they were two separate structures, they had a number of integrated services like fire protection and common walls."

It wasn't all smooth sailing for the Santos building either.

"The building's 13-storey atrium presented a high-risk activity, as we had to traverse the opening throughout the tower construction while handing over tenancy floors for fit out."

Inside, both the Santos and IAG office towers are open plan.

"The Santos building features a stair, which interconnects each floor and negates the need for workers to take the lift to traffic from floor to floor. It's a visually interesting aspect of the building design," Mr Gibberd said.

He said, in a unique move, the car park featured its own piped sound system, as well as CCTV for security, safety zones and a 'proximity card system' that works much like an e-tag entry system.