ANU -Innovations Building Refurbishment Relocate the Facilities & Service Division

ClientAustralian National University

LocationEggleston Road, Acton. ACT

The three storey Innovations Building was 12 years old at the time Shaw Building Group was engaged by the ANU to carry out an extensive refurbishment of the internal spaces and associated services.

The existing building was originally designed to accommodate a wide variety of scientific research facilities including:

  • laboratory space;
  • teaching rooms; and
  • meeting, conference and seminar rooms.

The laboratories were located in the 3 storey laboratory wing to the north and the administrative/teaching areas were located in the 2 storey administrative wing to the south. An entry and atrium space is centrally located between the north and south wings.

The project involved construction of a new working environment for the Facilities & Services (F&S) Division at the ANU. Prior to completion of this project, the 140 staff in the F&S Division were spread over nine separate locations across the campus. As a result the management and coordination within the F&S Division was challenging. This project was part of their strategic plan to integrate and connect their various branches. The client was keen to provide first class accommodation for their employees in flexible spaces which could, over time, adapt to the changing needs of the ANU.


The fitout design for the refurbished Innovations Building includes:

  • 110 open plan workpoints;
  • 5 executive offices;
  • reception and conference meeting facilities;
  • meeting and quiet room facilities; and
  • staff breakout facilities.

In relation to services design, the existing mechanical services were in poor condition and have been replaced as part of the project. Other building services were reconfigured and upgraded to suit the new use.

The end result is a high quality, modern fitout that has been specifically designed and constructed to meet the diverse requirements of the Client.

Outstanding Construction Features

The Innovations Building Refurbishment has a range of outstanding construction features including the following:

  • The internal design called for exposed services meaning the air-conditioning ductwork, cable trays, pipework and fire services were all visible. The initial design also had the services run in a traditional stacked formation, with sprinkler pipes at the highest level, then ductwork, mechanical services pipework, cable trays and light fittings below in that order. This presented the project team with a real issue regarding program as each trade needed to be completed before the next trade, in order beneath, could commence. Following discussions with the architect and engineering consultants, it was agreed to redesign the services to a side by side configuration. The result was that all services trades could work simultaneously which mitigated probable delays to the challenging program. The final result has become a positive feature of the internal design and is complimented via a series of floating ceiling panels that help to define the internal spaces within the building.
  • The new plantroom on the roof presented its own challenges. A new plantroom was required to be constructed above the roof of the building to house a new chiller, boiler and associated pumps and switchboards. With a mass of 30 tonnes, not including the equipment to be installed, the steel structure had to be supported off the existing Level 3 slab with columns penetrating the roof. The structural design needed to be precise including calculations for punching forces. Because the supporting columns were exposed in the Level 3 tenancy, these needed to be coordinated with the workstation layout. This was achieved by close coordination with the architect, structural engineer and Shaw Building Group staff.
  • The lighting control system within the open plan office areas has been designed to automatically dim the internal lights when the natural light reaches adequate levels.


2012 MBA -Commercial & Retail Fitout, Refurbishment or Alteration More than $5m