Carmelite – Bringing Progressive Aged Care to South Australia

Standing at 60 metres tall, the Sarah Constructions tower crane currently situated on the corner of Cross Road …

Standing at 60 metres tall, the Sarah Constructions tower crane currently situated on the corner of Cross Road …

By Robert Maiolo, Project Manager

Standing at 60 metres tall, the Sarah Constructions tower crane currently situated on the corner of Cross Road and Glen Osmond Road is hard to miss. It symbolises the significance of the project and the vast site being redeveloped by Southern Cross Care.

Not only is this tower crane a sign of growth, but it represents a positive step in aged care construction in our state, bringing South Australia into line with current trends in eastern states.

Situated on the Southern Cross Care Carmelite site, Myrtle Bank, for around 40 weeks, the tower crane is facilitating the build of a very special project.

A unique project

Comprising 5 different levels, there aren’t many aged care facilities like it, at least not in South Australia. And it represents a progressive leap in terms of how we look after our ageing population as their age increases and their particular needs change.

In the basement will be resident and staff car parking and storage areas for each resident, along with the commercial kitchen and laundry fitouts to service the residents.

On the ground floor are common areas, including activity, dining, servery, lounge and staff office areas, a therapy pool and gym for the residents, plus residential space for aged care. There are 76 aged care apartments on the ground and first floors.

As you move up the building, the residential spaces become less about aged care and more about top quality apartment living, so the building actually caters for all stages of retirement. There are 38 retirement living apartments on levels 2 and 3, while level 4 has a change in floorplan for higher end living.

Feeding the structure

The tower crane is essential to feeding the 3,000 sqm building with materials. Loading and unloading for the various trades that need to service the build, the crane has a jib radius of 72m and can reach about 95% of the site.

Access to the site is limited, as it borders two of Adelaide’s busiest roads, so the tower crane brings a speed and efficiency to the project that could not be achieved with mobile cranes.

And it’s not just the crane working hard.

Update from the site workers

It’s a labour intensive job at the moment to complete the super-structure, which involves 70-80 people working between 7:00am to 5.30pm, 6 days a week, to complete concrete slabs, columns, lift & stair shafts.

Recently, labour has been provided to commence stripping out the formwork (the structure holding the concrete in place) from the lower levels, a task that is carried out by hand.

After the super-structure is finished and the team moves into fit-out and toward completion there will be up to 160 people working on site at any one time to get the project done.

Overall, it’s a huge team effort with input from client, consultant, engineer, contractor and subcontractor groups.

Practical solutions for working collaboratively together

With so many people on site and various project stakeholders, its critical to ensure that each person involved is aligned with the project objectives and that positive relationships are maintained through a collaborative approach.

So Sarah provides a “support network” for those working not just within the site team but other stakeholders involved in the project at client, subcontractor and consultant level.

Holding workshops to troubleshoot any challenges that arise along the way is essential to the smooth running of the project.

Communication to maintain focus

Clear and regular communication is also fundamental. We hold weekly meetings for the Sarah team and the team of subcontractors, so that everyone understands what the challenges are in order to maintain a clear focus on the end goal and client vision.

We also hold client meetings every fortnight, which we back up with dialogue on a daily basis, keeping Southern Cross informed as to how things are travelling and what we need to get things done. This coordination and collaboration across key stakeholder groups ensures the job flows smoothly.

What happens now

The super-structure will be completed soon with “top out” scheduled for the first week in July, with structural steel framing and cladding trades coming online in late July through to August to make the building watertight.

With fit-out to also start over the coming month, by-Nov, the tower crane will be coming down and the external landscape areas will then start to take shape. The project is due for completion in August 2018 but we’re currently ahead of schedule.

Helping to build the state’s economy

Although the project still has some way to go, it is great to be making such headway, which is partly thanks to the efficiency of the tower crane. Cranes are a sign of growth and when present in Adelaide’s skyline show development of the built environment.

The Carmelite Project represents contribution to the economic growth of the city and state and is one that the Sarah team is extremely proud to be involved with.

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