Friday, January 27, 2012

Roof is taking shape

The refurbishment project is on a four day break at the moment due to the Australia Day holiday and normal industry practices that require a rostered day off following a public holiday and no weekend work. This was factored into the work program. Progress overall has been good. The photos below show one of the many rooms that are nearing completion. Progress has been good with the rooms and common rooms and this work is on schedule.

The roof and courtyard are perhaps a day or two behind, but the structure is taking shape. Rain and some other challenges on site caused by the complexity of the project have slowed progress a little, but the work is coming along well. The image below shows that about 50% of the main roof structure is in place. Work on the attachment system for the glass and polycarbonate is also underway which will allow some cladding to occur soon. The courtyard floor cannot be sealed and tiled until more of the structure is in place. However, the surface is prepared and all new penetrations for the stairs and ventilation are done. The shared kitchen is also taking shape (and it's huge!). 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not the Skybridge, but it's a start!

Today was a big day on site as the 3rd floor bridge was installed. Perhaps one day we'll see the memorial 'Skybridge' but this bridge will be of great use too! It will be more than just a shortcut; it will be a large space where residents can sit, read, study, paint, do projects and just hang out in the winter sun.

The installation was a delicate operation with very little tolerance to turn the bridge in the courtyard and then to slide it into place from underneath. This is the type of event that builders hang out for; it was their day. There was great skill all round in this operation. You've got to admire the people who can build the things others design and engineer.  I'll let the photos tell the story.

The bridge was first constructed in the courtyard
The lift and the turn
Note the column at the right, almost no room for error
Up it comes
Line it up
A gentle lift and a wriggle
Slide it slowly
In place

The last bolt (see dogman on the left)

Done!! What a team.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Games Room & Atrium Roof Take Shape

The last week have seen some major milestones met in relation to a number of critical path elements in the refurbishment.  Lipman has made excellent progress in relation to the courtyard, games room and roof. Below are a number of shots taken yesterday which show some key achievements.

1. The framework for Games room, lounge and stairway entrance were completed

Above: This shot gives a sense of the scale of the Games room

2. The courtyard skylight holes have been in-filled (note far right partially covered there is a section for one panel of glass floor skylights)

Above: The Skylights have gone and the concrete in-fills poured

3. The first elements of the roof structure arrived on site and the first installation occurred (the installation of the rest of the columns should be completed today).

Above: The first of the 8 columns go in

As well as the above, good progress is being made in the rooms and common rooms. Most rooms are now carpeted, most have some joinery installed, and the first carpet for halls and common rooms is going down. The work on fire safety is well advanced with a large part of the sprinkler system in place on all floors. All in all, progress is good and Lipman and its staff are working valiantly to meet our tough deadlines. In spite of the unpredictable weather the project is on track except for a few non-critical path elements such as the guest bedrooms downstairs.

Above: Rooms nearing completion; this one on level 3 is having the pin board added (carpet is covered)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Bedrooms and other great spaces

The key aims of the refurbishment are to provide new bedrooms, bigger common rooms for each double group, better shared facilities and a halt to leaks in the building. I know, it sounds just like a simple political campaign really - We want new rooms, better facilities and we plan to stop the leaks!

Below are two images of the model room that was built last year to test the construction method and to allow residents to comment on the design. Current residents will spot some things that don't add up about this image (e.g. "Where's Bec?!"). See if you can spot any objects that point to the decorators of the room after Bec had left. The photos give some sense of just how much the rooms will be improved. Of course, Collegians will have their own way to arrange furniture, but the room will work well in a number of configurations (and we loved your version Bec but you left too soon for the photos).

As well, the courtyard will be bigger without the skylights and will have two great new facilities, a new games room and a new lounge (see below).

Image of new lounge (left) & new games room (right) plus stair entry between

There will also be a new connection between the dining room and the courtyard. The stairs will rise from just near the current location for the toasters and will come out in between the new lounge and the games room in the courtyard on the eastern side. The exit point is obscured in the image above. This won't compromise the dining room but will mean we'll need to flip seating around to the northern end for formal dinners (only). The image below is the design for the stairs, which will add better connectivity with the enhanced courtyard and allow more light into the dining room.

Work on the stairway started this week and most other aspects of the refurbishment are going well. The roof framework won't commence until next week, but this is as planned.  I will have new photos from the site in the next post.