Lessons in Collaboration

In our continuing exploration of offsite manufacture from around the world we take a look at the construction of an innovative learning centre at Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne.

Roy Hoult AM, a respected member of the local school community and former President of the Caulfield Grammarians' Association, the new Roy Hoult Centre at the Caulfield campus of Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne is a learning hub designed to inspire and develop technological and scientific innovation. The centre is fitted out with working science laboratories, presentation spaces and collaborative learning areas to promote skills that can be applied to higher learning or within the workforce.

Designed by Hayball, the Roy Hoult Centre is the fourth collaborative project with Prebuilt for Caulfield Grammar, with Hayball novated to Prebuilt under a design and construct contract. The project follows an initial rollout of three new state-of-the-art education spaces designed by Hayball and built by Prebuilt for Caulfield Grammar, collectively known as the Learning Project, which has since gathered worldwide recognition and design accolades.

With the centre nominated to be located in a small, unused parcel of land on the Caulfield Campus, bordered by a driveway used by staff and parents, a key challenge lay in completing the build without disrupting the teaching program. Prebuilt Managing Director Rob Colquhoun observes that by designing and constructing entire building elements offsite, the company was able to produce high-quality education facilities with minimal disruption to students, along with unprecedented sustainability benefits.

Significantly, the design brought with it some exacting constraints. "Hayball designed the building as an important 'bookend' to the school's frontage to Glen Eira road," says Rob Colquhoun. "As such the scale and quality requirements were much larger and more complex than any typical two storey modular school building that had been produced utilising a full height perforated screen to deliver an imposing elevation presented fresh challenges for the screen manufacturing industry. The scale of the internal voided space leading towards the large clerestory roof chambers essentially required that the building utilised three levels of modular structure.

"The design also had to address the connection to the existing middle school building with matching floor levels so that the new lift in the Roy Hoult building could then be used to access the entire middle school complex, built many years ago. Another challenge was the presence of an overland flood path that runs right under the building, requiring that clear span footings be installed at over one metre above ground."

To read the full article, go to Offsite Hub issue 19

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