Prince Alfred College, New PAC Boarding House & Footbridge

New PAC Boarding House & Footbridge
Prince Alfred College
Fixed Price
$22 Million

Combining upmarket styling with contemporary boarding facilities, the new PAC Boarding House on The Parade West represents an exciting next chapter in the history of boarding at Prince Alfred College.  The development features 150 bed spaces, ensuite bathrooms, mess hall and recreation area, commercial laundry, meeting and music rooms, external garden areas, plus 4 single bed apartments for house supervisors and their families.

Prince Alfred College engaged Sarah Constructions with a key remit to deliver superior quality and aesthetics befitting the college’s tradition and status.  Sarah executed a number of quality control initiatives to ensure materials and overall finishes met client expectations. The project incorporated Deltacore, an innovative pre-fabricated flooring product, providing fire rating benefits and programming efficiencies.

The development, also known as Project 150, is an inspirational and aspirational boarding environment, with timber paneling, curved joinery, Kanmantoo Bluestone and impressive footbridge. For Prince Alfred College, this project is the culmination of extensive planning, approvals and fundraising, and is a fitting embodiment of the school’s commitment to their boarding program, an important part of its identity and the largest of its kind in South Australia.

Timelapse of the prefabricated link bridge installation can be found here.

“I have had an overall great experience working with Sarah Constructions, which extends beyond the project team to the supporting corporate staff including tendering and design, and would not hesitate to recommend them for future projects.”

Alan Daws - Project Manager, Building Developments - Prince Alfred College

Quality And Functionality For The Next Chapter Of Prince Alfred College’s Boarding History


Design Challenges and Creative Solutions

  • Smart Logistics And Cost Management. The installation of the pedestrian footbridge was originally designed to install in three parts. To streamline the process and reduce costs, the Sarah team managed the installation of the bridge as a single, pre-finished piece. This reduced required road closures, presenting significant time and cost savings.
  • Lateral Thinking And Safety First. The material originally planned for the façade was a composite panel. However, during the period from design to early construction, there was a fire incident with a building interstate with this material. Due to the high risk, Sarah substituted this material for an alternative powder coated, solid aluminum panel; to achieve the same look but without the fire risk. This decision proved to be highly fortuitous as the original material was subsequently deemed not to meet fire rating standards.
  • Programming Adaptability. The new façade material added a programming challenge as it was more labor intensive to install. The panels needed to be measured, sent off for powder coating, then returned to site for fitting. The finished panels were rigid and more difficult to maneuver into place. To avoid delays to the program, the Sarah team accelerated resourcing for landscaped areas; thus avoiding overall project delays.

Client Outcomes

  • Visual Appeal And Quality Finishes. The new Prince Alfred College boarding exceeded client expectations in terms of visual impact, quality and finish. The careful attention to detail of the Sarah team meant that new materials were closely matched to existing stonework and detailing throughout the school.
  • Early Issue Identification. Sarah’s early issue-identification and resolution, as well as expert value management, ensured the clients vision could be achieved whilst returning $1 million worth of value to the client through smart selections.
  • Eye-Catching Functionality. The footbridge is an impressive landmark that was installed with minimal disruption to the school and surrounding community. The footbridge will provide a direct and safe access for borders into the school for many years to come.

Sarah Value-Add

  • Value Management And Innovation. The Sarah team exceeded the client’s expectations in terms of value management and innovative thinking. The decision to change the façade material, for example, saved the school an enormous amount of time and money in avoided delays and expenses.
  • Project Management Expertise. Sarah’s expert logistics and people management saw the successful delivery and installation of the 26 metre long footbridge. Transported with police escort and accompanied by SA Power Networks lifting power lines for the last section of the transport, the process of getting the fully pre-fabricated bridge, was successfully managed by Sarah’s highly skilled project team.
  • Prototype For Superior Quality Control. As functionality and quality were a significant priority for the boarding accommodation, the Sarah team built a prototype unit early on to review functionality and finishes. From the toilet roll height to the length of the bed, everything was tested and adjusted at prototype level for optimum quality control.

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