Design, Construction and Development
How will construction impact surrounding business and residents?
The initial stage will involve excavation for a two-level basement carpark The ground is soft rock, so it should not need a rock breaker and hence the noise, dust and traffic are expected to be easily managed. Noise, dust, vibration and traffic mitigation strategies will be in place to minimize any disruptions that may occur.
Future stages of construction will consider the likely impact on the surrounding community. The successful contractor will be experienced in working within CBD environments and will have relevant experience, procedures and strategies to minimize any impacts to the surrounding community.
What will happen to the Boab Tree and remaining Milkwood Tree?
Preserving and protecting the Boab and Milkwood trees were central concerns for the architects and landscape designers when developing their plans. The Boab tree is a focal point of the forecourt design, drawing attention to its significance, beauty and history of co-locating with educational establishments that have previously been situated on this site.
When will the Precinct be finished?
Excavation work is complete and main construction is expected to commence in October 2021. The Precinct will be complete in the first quarter of 2024.
What is the sustainability vision for the Precinct?
The sustainability vision for the Darwin Education Precinct is centred around three main principles:
- Resilient and future-ready: to ensure the development is ready for future technological innovation and adaptable to a changing climate, including a higher frequency of extreme weather events
- Resource-efficient: to reduce environmental impact and deliver long-term financial sustainability through the incorporation of efficient and leading-edge technologies for energy, water, and resource management
- A healthy indoor and outdoor urban environment: to facilitate human comfort and wellbeing (including physical and mental health aspects) through the delivery of high-quality learning spaces, as well as seeking to support a healthy urban ecosystem on site
The design will be developed in line with the project sustainability strategy, which targets best practices with a focus on selected key performance strategies from local and international sustainability benchmarking tools. Initiatives adopted will consider university requirements, the urban setting, Darwin’s tropical climate, and their whole of life value to the project. These principles are being developed and integrated during the schematic design stage
Establishing a high-performance building envelope, with shading elements, is one of the key sustainability strategies for the building.
How many jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project?
Approximately 350 on-site jobs will be created during the construction phase with another approximately 380 jobs created off-site in the supply chain.
Project Details and Public Benefits
Where is the funding from the project coming from and why can’t the funds be used for general University business?
Funding for the project is via a grant from the Australian Government as a project of the Darwin City Deal, a 10-year plan to reinvigorate the central business district. In addition, CDU has secured a $151.5 million concessional loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for the remainder of the funding for the Precinct. This funding must be used for creating new buildings and infrastructure.
What benefits will this project have on the Darwin economy?
An independent cost benefit analysis of the project conducted by Deloitte Access Economics concluded that during the next 15 years the project would deliver:
- $350m increase in student expenditure
- $2m increase in tourist expenditure from visiting families
- $300m increase in operational expenditure
- $599m increase in overall economic output in Darwin
- 54 additional jobs per year
Will the Precinct create jobs for locals and, if so, how and when?
CDU is committed to supporting the local workforce and will seek opportunities to do so at all stages of the Precinct’s development.
The summary of the percentage of Darwin based consultants for each phase at this time is as follows:
- Masterplanning – 38.0%
- Concept Design – 40.4%
- Early Works – 83.8%
- Schematic Design – 26.3%
- Additional SD consultants – 31.1%
In terms of construction:
Package 1 Site Hoardings Undertaken by local company
Package 2 Excavation Undertaken by local company
Package 3 Building and Landscape Demonstrating maximum use of local consultants, contractors and suppliers will be a key evaluation criteria.
With education increasingly delivered online, why is another campus needed?
The campus will predominantly cater for the increasing demand from overseas students, who will attend the campus. There will be advanced technology in the learning spaces to provide on-line learning for all students, cater for the various learning requirements that online learning entails and provide space for collaborative learning and research.
Approximately 20% of students currently at CDU are international with modelling showing that this proportion will increase to 38% by 2028 and that, despite covid-19, CDU remains on track to meet 2028 student projections. It is expected that 5000 students will be studying on campus at the Precinct by 2028.
What facilities will be located at the Precinct?
What about the façade?
The heritage listed Boab tree is the focal point of the design, creating a new public gathering space for the people of Darwin. The building form has responded to the Boab, with a sloping façade form to ensure the tree is not overshadowed and is provided with the necessary sunlight to ensure the continued long life of this special landmark of the city.
The building design has been developed by local architects, MODE, to respond to the tropical climate of Darwin.
A layered façade with louvre screens and external terrace spaces protects the building from the direct heat loads of the harsh tropical sun, while creating a sense of permeability and connectivity between internal spaces and the external community spaces.
Large covered spaces blur the boundaries between internal and external spaces, integrating the functionality of the building into the community spaces, while providing protection from both the heat and driving storms.
The landscaped terraces, which can be accessed from inside the building, help contribute to the permeability and connectivity between inside of the building and the outside environment.
Although not a requirement of current Northern Territory building code, the building envelope will achieve compliance with the thermal performance requirements of NCC 2019 Section J. The resultant high-performance facade will provide significant benefits including the reduction of space conditioning requirements, improved running costs, as well as improved visual and thermal comfort.
Will there be partnership opportunities with local business and community groups?
There will be both partnership opportunities and increased involvement of community groups in the Precinct, from research and learning, to performances and exhibitions.
The campus will be attractive, convenient, engaging and welcoming to a diverse range of people and cultures.
What will be available at the Precinct for the community?
In addition to learning and teaching facilities for the disciplines of Law, Business, IT and Arts, the Precinct will incorporate CDU Library spaces, the Northern Territory Library, plus spaces for performances, events, exhibitions and casual learning. The CDU Art Gallery will relocate to the Precinct.
It is hoped that CDU facilities in the CBD will provide greater opportunity for engagement with local business and the community: providing meeting places/laboratories and workrooms/shared and open creative and innovative spaces for professionals and students to interact; a forum for public and intellectual discourse; and increasing community access to the Northern Territory’s university.
Why is a City Campus needed when we already have the Waterfront and Casuarina campuses?
Many of the facilities at Casuarina need upgrading or are reaching end of building lifecycle; the Waterfront campus is already at capacity. To meet demand, and maintain competitiveness, expansion and renewal is required.
The Education and Community Precinct will accommodate, the NT Library, extensive teaching and learning and library spaces, office space for academics, professional staff and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students, recreational spaces for students, an art gallery and event spaces. The Precinct will also accommodate a café and pop-up food and beverage outlets in the external forecourt.
As a result of the establishment of the Education and Community Precinct, CDU has also undertaken a parallel masterplanning project for its Greater Darwin campuses: Casuarina, Palmerston and the Waterfront.
While plans are still being finalised, it is expected that Casuarina campus will become a focus for science, health, advanced manufacturing, technology and industry and will look to partner with business and industry and NGOs to create a hub for innovation.