ANU - Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) Stage 2 AITC

ClientAustralian National University

LocationMount Stromlo ACT

Shaw Building Group was selected as the Construction Manager for the construction of Stage 2 of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC), on the Mt Stromlo campus of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA). The project commenced construction in November 2010 and was completed in August 2011.

This significant project has enabled the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics to expand on their current capabilities and continue their important work. Stage 2 of the AITC followed on from the completion of Stage 1 in 2006 and finalised the rebirth of this facility after it was destroyed in the 2003 bushfires. Its completion has enabled the RSAA to expand on their current capacity in the development of leading edge instrumentation for the world’s most advanced and largest optical telescopes.

The following areas have been incorporated into the AITC Stage 2 project:

Receiving and dispatch areas

  • Clean room designed to Class ISO 7
  • Processing Lab
  • Integration / Academic Labs
  • First Aid Room
  • Cleaners Store
  • Level 2 Office space
  • Toilets / Shower
  • Plant Space
  • Air Conditioning to the existing Stage 1 Integration Hall

Outstanding Construction Features

There were a number of outstanding construction features implemented in the AITC Stage II project. The nature of the RSAA’s work in developing/manufacturing leading edge instrumentation for the world’s most advanced and largest optical telescopes meant that the focus of the Shaw team during construction was to ensure the finished product achieved the high standards required. This was particularly important in the clean room and various labs. Some of the outstanding construction features on this project were:

Construction of the Clean Room to achieve the requirements of Class ISO 7.  This space incorporated a 2 tonne gantry crane.

  • Processing Labs with 2 custom made fume cupboards, including an ultra-sonic cleaner.
  • Integration / Academic Labs – complex servicing requirements.
  • Shaker Pit (for a future shaker table to be installed) – the construction of the shaker pit within the building is independent/isolated from the rest of the building structure. The shaker pit will be used to test components against a range of simulated vibrations (e.g. earthquake). It was critically important that the structure of the Shaker Pit had no structural connection to the rest of the building.
  • Installation of a robust, specialist lightning protection system that exceeds Australian Standards requirements – Mt Stromlo has a high incidence of lightning strikes, indeed there were a few during the course of the construction project. Given the critical nature of the work being carried out and the large investment in the equipment and level of technology within the building, it is imperative that the lightning protection system affords the greatest possible protection.
  • In-ground mechanical ductwork – located within the slab and integrated into the building fabric to reduce the number of exposed services and surfaces to minimise dust collection points.
  • Dry pipe sprinkler system – this system was required to protect the specialised building equipment and delicate components that are being manufactured and tested within the building.
  • Anti-static vinyl (earthed) – as above this was required as a protection measure for the specialised building equipment and delicate components.
  • Receiving and dispatching jib crane – 2 ton capacity to take large equipment loads from trucks.