2014 Aurecon recruitment banner


Hands on approach ramps up efficiency of medical facility


The AUD 200 million South Australian Health and Medical Institute (SAHMRI), which will accommodate as many 675 of the world’s foremost scientists, is both aesthetically pleasing as well as a model of smart efficiency.

A hands-on approach combined with innovative thinking and strong technical expertise delivered in a timely and cost conscious manner achieved the best outcomes for reliability, interoperability, scalability and flexibility in operations on the SAHMRI project.

The main focus of SAHMRI is to translate medical research results into medical health outcomes that will reach the community.Widespread personalised medicine, in which tailoring of medications and treatment regimes is at the level of individual physiology, is now within our reach.

Moving from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside is the goal of translational medicine. Such a goal requires an environment where scientists can be at their most creative without worrying about the lighting, temperature, systems and connectivity.

Good science relies on repeatability. Removing variables such as the external influence of the environment by creating reliable and stable conditions is essential in order to achieve these results. To deliver an intelligent system for a medical research institute, SAHMRI’s vision was to provide a fully integrated solution across all building services, facilities and functional areas. Delivering world-class science needed a world-class environment.

Building services engineers were able to create this kind of environment for SAHMRI by dealing with electrical, communications, fire services, vertical transportation, and integrated building systems.

“The vision for integration stretched the boundaries of the standard design, procurement and construction process,” said Aurecon building services project director Justin Goodman. “Thinking outside the square, we were able to enhance this integration, by combining packages of work from traditional electrical, mechanical and communications services, to encapsulate the intellect of one of Australia’s most integrated buildings in its operation and control.”

Following a unique approach, the SAHMRI houses various research functions, modern equipment and highly specialised, fully flexible laboratory space all under one roof, making it one of the most technically complex facilities in Australia.

The building encompasses a broad range of sophisticated medical facilities, including a cyclotron, a preclinical imaging and research laboratory, PC2/QC2 laboratory and IT spaces.

The engineering team provided valuable input on lighting control solutions, appropriate fire services for the preclinical imaging and research laboratory and services reticulation strategies to maintain stringent PC2/QC2 requirements in the laboratories.

Combining all building control systems into one design package provided the managing contractor with a single platform from which to work and permitted the delivery of a dynamic, responsive, world class facility, with all systems working together to provide the adaptability and flexibility required throughout the facility’s life cycle.

Integrated Building System (IBS)Integrated Building System (IBS)

The “intelligence” of the smart building allowed for the integration and monitoring of the heating and cooling, hydraulics, lifts, fire, electrical, lighting, security systems and lab controls. This intelligence provides real time measurement of energy and water consumption of the building and it gives SAHMRI the data needed to drive energy efficiencies and operational costs throughout the facility’s life cycle.

Systems integration optimises the facility by expertly incorporating and monitoring all the required physical components and their exact usage, thereby providing data for accurate and timely maintenance planning. It reports quicker on failure, alerting the right people and triggering a chain of events to effectively manage the failure.

All of this means that scientists at SAHMRI can conduct world-class research safe in the knowledge that the building’s environmental performance is at the highest levels.

Sophisticated Communications Systems

To ensure optimal network performance, which is vital to research efficiency, SAHMRI led the implementation of the intelligent patching technology iPatch – a unique solution that gives system managers a real time view of the network physical layer. Through iPatch panels, system managers are able to monitor network connections and attached devices from a desktop PC.

This intelligent infrastructure allows them to stay a step ahead of demand for connectivity in the building and enable efficient changes and improved network security.

The new network infrastructure includes real time information on connection status and displays on the patching frames. This helps minimise costly network downtime, providing technicians with guidance and allowing them to work faster with fewer errors.

SAHMRI is the first facility on the planet to fully implement the ImVision System Manager Version 7.0 SP3 system, which enables to achieve world-class connectivity.

Managing Peak Loads

The implementation of a peak load lopping system, using the local on-site emergency power generation coupled with dual fuel technology, reduces operational costs by decreasing ongoing energy demand changes, as well as assists with site peak load management.

Ecologically Sustainable Development

As part of an innovative sustainability programme, the project is the first laboratory building in Australia designed to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold rating. An integrated solution for large scale PV, energy efficient lighting and overall systems control ensures that the building project is environmentally responsible, profitable as well as a healthy place to work.

A hands-on approach

Aurecon’s design involvement and decision making looked beyond capital expenditure and the project life cycle to the ongoing operational needs of the building. The team worked closely with the managing contractor on procurement strategies, constructability, budget, and programme to implement solutions to create energy efficiencies and intelligent building systems for the life of the asset.

Michelle Gheorghiu, Director, Infrastructure & Capital Planning, SAHMRI said: “Aurecon displayed seamless integration with all the professional engineering consultants on the project, working collaboratively and sharing its expertise for the best outcome for the client and outstanding deliverables.

“I strongly support and recommend Aurecon’s building services team to anyone embarking on complex and major projects.”

This article first appeared in www.sourceable.net.

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