Royal Flying Doctor Service, Adelaide Base

Adelaide Base
Royal Flying Doctor Service
Health Care
Lump Sum
$14 Million


  • Winner 2017 MBA Excellence in Commercial/Industrial Building $10 Million - $20 Million (National)
  • Winner 2017 MBA Excellence in Commercial/Industrial Building $10 Million - $20 Million (SA)
  • Winner 2017 MBA Excellence in Fit-Out over $5 Million (SA)
  • Winner 2017 AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards (SA Chapter) Commercial Construction $5 Million - $25 Million
  • High Commendation 2017 AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards (National) Commercial Construction $5 Million - $25 Million

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) assists over 100 people every single day. This not-for-profit organisation required a critical upgrade of its Adelaide Base, which will be home to a team of pilots, doctors, nurses, administration staff, mechanics and engineers.

The RFDS needed a builder they could trust to deliver a high-spec finish on a greenfield site, adjacent to the Adelaide Airport’s main runway. Sarah was engaged to build the $14 million base. The 12,850m2 facility was designed to bring the entire operation under one roof – enough room for six aircraft’s, another nine more on the tarmac, a 2,230m2 administration office, patient transfer areas and ambulance bays. The architect specified very detailed finishes and something truly unique, so Sarah’s well-known reputation for collaboration was high on the agenda.
The level of detail was extremely high, and on completion, Adelaide Airport said that this building had set a new benchmark for all future projects in and around the Aeromedical Precinct. The RFDS also recognised the high level of detail and aims to use this project as a template for future facilities around the country.

“As the build progressed Sarah’s consciously shifted their focus from ‘construction’ to ‘development’ of the facility and our corporate partnership, taking a vested interest in ensuring that the facility would take pride of place in the aeromedical precinct of Adelaide Airport and set the benchmark standard for such operations within the aeromedical industry.  Construction may be complete, however, their dedicated interest in continuing to assist RFDS in ensuring our facility operates with innovation and their connection to our benevolent purpose remains a successful, ongoing and long-term partnership.”

Ollie Kratounis- General Manager, Business Development – RFDS

“Building the benchmark for RFDS sites around Australia”

Royal Flying Doctors Main Building
Royal Flying Doctors Medical Room
Royal Flying Doctors Hanger + Aircraft
Royal Flying Doctors Main Entry
Royal Flying Doctors Waiting Area
Royal Flying Doctors Hall Way Area
Royal Flying Doctors Staff Lunch Room

Design Challenges and Creative Solutions

  • Coordination of delivery and installation for one of a kind 42-metre hangar door. Sarah collaborated with the engineers and architect, to ensure the load would be installed and supported correctly.
  • Sarah provided additional hands-on coordination of FF&E joinery and high-spec floor finishes. Examples include installation of the iconic boomerang shaped wall tiling, plus three different types of flooring that arranged to intersect at key locations directly above angled ceiling features.
  • Water table solutions: extraction, filtering and re-deployment of water extracted for storm water infrastructure and foundations. Local tidal movements could have become a problem when digging, so Sarah took additional safety measures when battering trenches, to ensure the site was safe for personnel at all times.

Client Outcomes

  • The first tenancy within the Adelaide Airport’s new Aeromedical Precinct, therefore required creative solutions to ensure both the Airport and the RFDS’s expectations were met.
  • Bring all South Australian and Northern Territory operations under the one roof and create a benchmark for all other RFDS sites around Australia.

Sarah Value-Add

  • Exceptional collaboration with engineers and architects for the hangar door and water table solutions.
  • Leveraged strong relationships with local sub-contractors to coordinate the high-spec finishes for the different types of flooring and unique wall tiling.

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