Thursday, February 16, 2012

The first residents return and the glass goes in

It was exciting to welcome back the advance party of residents to the building on Tuesday. The RAs returned after our annual retreat for residential advisers. The RA flats weren't quite done so they bunked in 3D. The NCSA exec and the O'Week Team returned yesterday. While the courtyard and the new shared facilities are about 2-3 weeks from completion, the rooms and common rooms look fantastic and the ground floor will be back to normal by Friday. The images below capture some of the early moments from Damien Wang's camera and my photos of the first glass sheets going onto the roof are from my excited camera.

The elevator now talks!
First look at 3E Common Room
Smile Trev & Amy
Sad Liz, "Where'd my old room go?"
Down the stairs
First sheet of glass is in!
Now the 2nd!

This is freaking me out!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We have interim occupancy!

We reached a significant milestone today with the granting of an Interim Building Completion Certificate. This allows us to welcome back residents. The RAs have moved in this evening, although most won't get into the RA flats until tomorrow after a final clean and set up. They will be 'camping' in 3D tonight. The rooms and common rooms are virtually all complete with only a final clean, minor touch-ups and some furnishing and bed making to be completed. Residents will be welcomed back progressively over the next five days. Tomorrow we will welcome back members of the NCSA executive and the O'Week team. On Friday and Saturday most of the returning residents will move in and on Sunday all the Freshers will arrive and O'Week begins!

Fenced zone on level 1 for access
Of course, there is still work to be done on the courtyard, atrium roof, games room, bridge, shared kitchen and new apartments on the ground floor for visiting scholars. This sounds a lot but once the roof is completed progress should be fast. The work will take another 2-3 weeks. This will mean that there will be only limited perimeter access to the courtyard until it is finished. We hope that by the end of this week that the courtyard roof will be fully glazed (the glass panels will start to go in tomorrow). This will speed up the completion of the courtyard floor.  Residents will need to be prepared for the fact that there will be several construction zones in the building which will be restricted and fenced areas. There will also be 20-30 workers in and around the building each day (mainly in the courtyard and on the roof). This will only be for a limited amount of time.

The rooms and common rooms look fantastic, as you can see from the images below. It really is a 'new' New! The RAs have given them the tick of approval.

Each floor has a different colour in common room (purple, blue and green)

Fridges to go in tomorrow

Hallways are bright and fresh
The new bed covers look good

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We're Getting There!! The building is taking shape.

1. Progress to date

Progress continues to be good on the building in spite of the wet weather. The photos below give a sense of progress, but there are many elements of the building that require a little more dry weather before we can push on to completion. In spite of this, we are on track for residents to return on the dates we have notified. Highlights of progress to date are:
  • Level 2 & 3 rooms and common rooms almost done and level 1 getting closer.
  • Rooms now being fitted out with bedding and even the resident's stored boxes of possessions in the case of returning residents (you don't even need to fight your way through a box room!).
  • Common rooms being fitted out with new (large) fridge/freezers, cushions for the bench seating and fixed tables near the kitchenettes.
  • Kitchenettes just about done.
  • The roof getting closer to completion due to some better weather this week (this is vital to finishing the floor of the courtyard).
  • Great progress on the ground floor apartments for visiting fellows.
  • Good progress on the ventilation system that will feed air into the courtyard from underneath the external colonnade (via under-floor plenums and bench seats with side vents).
The photos that follow give some indication of how good the building is looking.

2. The bedrooms

Typical room - note LCD light under shelves & sprinkler system above

Room just about ready for a resident (Note returning residents boxes waiting for them)
New curtains, new door locks & all new joinery
3. Common Rooms

The 3AB common room (note the new fridge ready to unpack and install near the table and kitchenette)

Seats to be installed on the benches to all common rooms (colours vary by floor)
A view of a Kitchenette and bench table - Note Daiana foreground, she's 'The Boss' who keeps the blokes in line (Lipman's Project Manager)
4. Roof & Courtyard

Father & daughter team leading the polycarbonate installation
Roof with most polycarbonate, glass to come and side awnings
Partially completed bench seats. Blackbutt tops covered to protect them before staining (vents on the side)

Stairway from the Dining room with wooden steps in place and sides to come soon.
The shared kitchen on level 1 (opposite the stairway) is still a work in progress but here's the view from the emerging Juliet Balcony.
One of the new apartments on the ground floor for visiting scholars & other guests

Friday, February 3, 2012

Progress Being Made in Spite of the Big Wet!

While progress on the courtyard and roof has been affected by rain this week, work inside the building has been going well. In spite of the rain, some progress has been made on the roof and courtyard. While the greatest challenge will be completing the roof and then the courtyard surface, games room and lounge, we are close to being on schedule. Our expectation is that the building will be ready to occupy as planned and notified to residents, with the final work on the roof and courtyard not likely to be completed until the end of O'Week (as scheduled). When the roof is completed, progress on the games room, bridge and courtyard floor will accelerate. If the rain stops this will help a lot.

The photos below give some sense of progress.

The rooms are mostly done on levels 2 & 3, and getting close on Level 1
The Common rooms are nearing completion
Some rooms have now been locked for occupation. Note the new sprinklers system is now installed
We have some issues with the bright feature walls, but we're working on this
The polycarbonate sheets started going on today
There are two strips of polycarbonate at the sides and a large strip of clear glass to come in the centre
The stair frame is in but the wooden steps, glass and stainless sides are yet to come. It is closed off to protect from the rain at the moment.    
The studios for visiting scholars are now taking shape