Fabric Structures

Project name: AIA Pedestrian Plaza Walkway Canopies Stage 1
Material used: Serge Ferrari 702s2
Fabric Supplied By: Serge Ferrari,
Components Supplied By: Ullrich Aluminium, Steel Masters

What did the client request?

The purpose of the project was to provide a great ‘pedestrian experience’ by providing a covered walkway from the airport terminal to the car parking area located north of Ray Emery Drive. This is happening because the main car park is being shutdown in order to build a multi story car park. It also had to provide a seamless transition to the rental vehicle pick up and drop off areas north of Ray Emery Drive.

What is unique or complex about the project?

This project was unique/complex because of the huge amount of services that run under the ground at the airport. These are major services that essentially run the airport so can’t be moved, therefore the design/engineering often had to work around or over the services, this meant their needed to be a huge amount of collaboration with both Beca (Civil Designers) and Fulton Hogan (Civil Contractors). The project also had to be delivered at a fast pace which meant both steel and PVC was fabricated off the 3D model so everything had to be correct to enable this to happen successfully.

There were also many other trades that had to be coordinated with like Wayfinding, Lighting and communications. This meant many team meetings involving up to 20 people a number of times a week, which resulted in a huge amount of communication and engineering changes required by our 2 x third party engineering companies.

What were the results of the project?

The project exceeded the clients needs by providing an attractive walkway to the car parks north of Ray Emery Drive, it also provides a seamless transition for customers picking up there rental vehicles. We delivered the project over two lockdowns, which meant the termination of the original contract at March 2020, with the site getting locked down, then getting contracted again to finish stage 1 in January 2021 (enduring another lockdown over this period). This involved a huge amount of coordination and trust with AIA in a hugely disruptive period to work with them directly to get the project back on track post Covid lockdowns. This met the clients needs, building a strong rapport directly with the AIA team, resulting in their continued business at the airport.

Is there any other relevant information?

From an engineering perspective, because of the huge amount of services under the ground, we first had to work with Beca to confirm the ‘most likely’ column set-out, then get our engineers to complete their engineering off this geometry (as opposed to putting a design together with uniform column spacings). This was a huge job in itself given the 300M of fabric structures. Our foundation engineer also had to end up designing 5 x different foundation options, giving Fulton Hogan options on site should they find services in the wrong place (which they did on a number of occasions).

From a management perspective, because of the size of the project and the speed at which it originally had to be delivered (pre Covid), we had to get some of the PVC panels fabricated in the Phillippines, which added another layer to the management and communication required.

Also, because the first contract was terminated over the first March 2020 lockdown, the original AIA team no longer worked there, meaning we had to manage and effectively educate a new team on what had gone on before and the reasons for certain decision at the time, which again added more work to the already large project.