The Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group is part of Australia’s Department of Defence. It is the second largest public-funded research and development organisation in Australia. DST is the Australian Government’s lead agency responsible for applying science and technology to safeguard Australia and its national interests.
DST employs approximately 2,100 staff, predominantly scientists, engineers, IT specialists and technicians. Their headquarters is in Canberra and their major research facilities include Edinburgh in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.
Scope of Work
DST sought building construction, support, maintenance and repair services for various buildings across nine locations within their facilities at Edinburgh in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. The upgrades were to improve security, refurbish facilities and maintain existing infrastructure.
The Department of Defence contracted Intract Australia to deliver nine separate deliverable packages. Scope included refurbishment of an existing lunchroom and office area, roof replacement, security and acoustic upgrades to an existing sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), installation of insulated panelled storage pods, supply and install of a materials hoistfor an existing tower, supply and install of a demountable dining facility, and certification of existing hazardous area electrical equipment.
Other works included the supply and install of Type 1A security system for twelve communication rooms including the replacement of doors and hardware, and upgrades to an existing heritage storage building.
Intract installed 300m² of ceilings, 1,100m² of cladding and wall partitions, 3,40m² of floor coverings and painted 1,400m² of walls. 120m³ of concrete was poured as part of the works while 25t of steel and concrete was demolished as part of the refurbishment works.
All works were delivered under a comprehensive work, health, safety, environmental and quality management plan and were completed without a single lost time injury or medical treatment injury.
One major challenge for this project was the installation of an acoustic rated trafficable suspended ceiling within a confined area. Intract met this objective by collaborating with Defence to install a lightweight solution that provided significant cost savings compared to a heavy-duty steel framework, which also significantly reduced safety risks during delivery.
Another challenge was the presence of white ants within the timber frames of the heritage structures. The team set about inspecting timber sections, then removing and replacing damaged sections with new steel beams. Unaffected timber beams were treated to protect against further white ant infestation. Intract supplied and installed custom built hardwood heritage window frames and replaced two large traditional timber trusses, meeting all requirements of the Defence Heritage Plan.
Local and Indigenous Participation
Intract Australia employed nine trades personnel, two of which were Indigenous achieving a 23% Indigenous participation. Due to the sensitive natural of the works, all personnel on the project were required to meet Defence base line security clearance requirements. As the works occurred on an operational Defence facility, Intract were required to work within and meet all applicable Defence policies and procedures on site. The entire workforce was from South Australia.