R.P.S. Dalgleish, ASTC, MIE Aust
Fig. 13.1: The new Parliament House, with the provisional Parliament House which served from 1927 to 1988 in the foreground.
A.E. Taylder, C Eng, MIMechE (UK),
Rod Dalgleish began his career at BHP in 1944, as a Mechanical
Engineering Trainee. He then worked as a cadet with Newcastle
City Council before working on the structural design of Sydney’s
Eastern Suburbs Railway. After a period with the Snowy
Mountains Authority and the Water Conservation and Irrigation
Commission, he joined the National Capital Development
Commission, being involved with the construction of Scrivener Dam, the
bridges, Lake Burley Griffin and associated national works, the
gravity main and Corin Dam. He then became Director of
Engineering and Housing, Special National Projects and then Chief
Construction Manager. In 1980 he transferred to the Parliament
House Construction Authority where he was the Project Manager
Tony Ewart Taylder commenced his career as an apprentice with
Rolls Royce Ltd aero engine division in England, then trained as a
pilot with the RAF. Following World War II he worked with the
National Coal Board and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy
Authority. Arriving in Australia in 1966, Tony has worked with
the NSW Public Works, GEC Projects Division and on such
projects as Mt Isa mines, Westmead Hospital and Australia’s new
WITH Federal Parliament the reason for Canberra’s
existence, the continued assertion was made that the
Parliamentary building should be the city’s pre-eminent
structure. This aim for pre-eminence, coupled with the
extended vacillation on the selection of a site, had a major
influence on the engineering considerations and the
solutions incorporated in the development.
Walter Burley Griffin’s 1912 plan for Canberra located
the Parliament House on Camp Hill, a substantial rise on
the land axis of the Parliamentary Triangle, some 600
metres north of its apex.
The apex of the Triangle was referred to as Kurrajong
Hill in earlier documents and more recently has been
known as Capital Hill. Griffin’s intent for Capital Hill was
for a people’s building in a garden setting. It was to be in an
extensive hill park environment:
“for popular reception and ceremonial, or housing archives
and commemorating Australia’s achievements rather than
for deliberation or counsel”.
Once it had accepted the City Plan the Government was
intent on establishing Parliament in Canberra as early as
possible. In 1914, with a view to securing the services of an
Architect, it invited submissions for the Parliament building
design through an international competition.
Fig. 13.2: Layout of the main elements of the new Parliament
The building was to be located on Camp Hill and the
design was to provide for staging which would allow the
immediate housing of the initial necessary functions, in a
form which would later become an integral part of the final
The competition was withdrawn after the start of World
War I and when it was reconsidered in 1916 it was
The need to accommodate the Parliament in Canberra
re-emerged after the war. By 1921 thoughts were turning
towards a temporary arrangement with the permanent
building being deferred for many years. The decisions of
1921 and 1922, to establish a provisional building, were to
have profound effects on a wide range of uses effecting the
subsequent planning and, hence, engineering in the Camp
Hill/Capital Hill area.
The site finally selected for the Provisional House was to
the north and immediately in front of the Camp Hill site
identified by Griffin (and part of the approved City Plan)
for the permanent Parliament building.
“The building on this site would enjoy similar central
relationship to Canberra as would the permanent building have had”
“after use by Parliament the building might be conveniently
used as departmental offices”.
There was strong opposition to the proposal and vigorous
debate. Burley Griffin himself claimed it:
“would be like filling the front yard full of out houses”.
He rightly predicted that it would be a continued default
on the approved Plan which would preclude the later
construction of the permanent building on Camp Hill.
Other views were that the temporary building should be
placed in a position from which it must, of necessity, be
removed. While this approach may have given some comfort
to much of the opposition to the provisional site, there
was also a feeling that sentimental and historic interests
would cause the temporary building to remain for all
As is history, the Provisional House was placed below
Camp Hill, in the knowledge that this left both Camp and
Kurrajong Hills free for later consideration for the
permanent building. This temporary building, completed in
1927, progressively became a symbol to Australia,
developing its own identity and character.
Selection of the Site
By the mid 1950s, the temporary building was under great
stress to meet the present-day needs. Also emerging were
pressures for a more co-ordinated and energetic
development of Canberra as the National Capital. In view of the
Government’s concerns and the September 1955 Report of
the Senate Select Committee, Sir William Holford was
engaged to provide ‘Observations of the Future Development
From the Holford Reports (1957) came recommendations to:
construct Lake Burley Griffin in its present form
locate the permanent Parliament House on the lake
shore, rather than Camp or Capital Hills, and
to improve the city traffic circulations, to meet modem
Following the Holford Reports and the establishment of
the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC)
in 1958, planning and development of the Parliamentary
Triangle for the next 10 years was on the basis of an
approved lakeside Parliament House site.
The removal of the Knoll in preparation for the lakeside
site (Figure 13.3), general upgrading of Parkes Place,
construction of the National Library, development of the High
Court and associated access proceeded to approved
programmes on this basis. This, however, left the question of
what to do with Capital and Camp Hills.
In 1963 the Government agreed in principle to establish
a National Centre on Capital Hill, the first building to be
the National Gallery. The concept at this stage was
basically consistent with the Burley Griffin concept. In
October 1967 Cabinet gave approval to proceed with the
design and construction of the National Gallery and an
architect was selected for the project through a
Meanwhile traffic to the newly emerging Woden area
required dramatic adaptation of the Griffin plan at the apex
of the Parliamentary Triangle. This led to the construction
of the Capital Hill ringroad. The Capital Hill site became
an isolated small hill about 30 metres high inside a 640
metre diameter arterial ring road. While this proposal was
consistent with a National Centre it was inhibiting for a
building complex such as Parliament House.
Paradoxically, proposals were developed around this
time for a full size replica of Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour
to be placed on Capital Hill to commemorate the Cook
bicentenary. Concurrently, planning continued for
Parliament House to be sited on the lake edge in Parkes Place and
for it to be partly surrounded by a moat. Incongruous as this
may seem, the logic was that the Endeavour was to be part of
the Maritime Wing of the Museum Section of the National
Centre; Parliament House would incorporate a ceremonial
access by barge along Lake Burley Griffin from
In August-October 1968 renewed debate in Parliament
led to planning for the Parliamentary Triangle being
thrown, once again, into confusion. The lakeside site was
ultimately rejected and alternate sites were to be
investigated by a Joint Standing Committee.
In May 1969, following these investigations, the Senate
voted for Capital Hill and the House of Representatives
favoured Camp Hill. The Government decided on Camp
Hill. Once again planning in the Parliamentary Triangle
was revised and further works committed on the basis of the
This decision did not, however, resolve the question and
after a further report, in August 1974, a Joint Sitting of both
Houses of Parliament finally resolved the site. This time it
was to be on Capital Hill.
This decision allowed the development of the
Parliamentary Triangle, and particularly for the new Parliament
House, to proceed more confidently. The site selection,
however, raised a range of design problems for the
engineering, as well as those foreshadowed in the reports to
Parliament for the architectural and planning aspects.
Without detracting from the imaginative solution developed
by Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp, the Architect for the
new Parliament House, future generations may debate
whether this decision may have downgraded the Griffin
concept. It certainly led to the fragmentation of the
National Centre, with components scattered throughout
Canberra, and saw the total removal of Camp Hill.
Fig. 13.3: Longitundinal section of Land Axis, showing original landform and grading at 1988.
DECISION TO PROCEED
By the 1970s the Provisional House was completely
inadequate for the needs of contemporary government,
despite having been extended to more than twice its
In August 1975 the 29th Parliament established a Joint
Standing Committee (JSC) to act on its behalf on all matters
concerned with the planning, design and construction of
the new Parliament House. It provided NCDC with
functional information for incorporation into user requirements
which would be the basis for NCDC’s planning, design and
construction of the project.
The first report of the JSC, dated 30 March 1977,
favoured a two-stage development and concluded that it
was both feasible and practical for the first stage to be
completed by January 1988, in time for Australia’s
bicentenary. After further work on requirements for the brief,
the proposal was consolidated to a single-stage
development, with provision for future extensions.
The JSC’s third report to Parliament, in May 1978,
stressed that for the 1988 date to be achieved the
Government had to be committed to proceeding with the project
by November that year. This report also recommended on
the method for selecting the Architect.
Debate on the merits of the new House vis-a-vis yet
further extension to the Provisional House, continued
throughout 1978. Finally a Cabinet Ad Hoc Committee
was appointed to review the brief requirements and to
consider whether a decision really needed to be made by
Subsequent meetings of the Government and Opposition
Executives supported, in principle, the construction of the
new House and on 22 November 1978, Prime Minister
Malcolm Fraser announced that the new House would
proceed, at a cost of $151 million (May 1978 prices).
“because of the tight time frame for the project and economic
conditions at the time”
decided to establish the Parliament House Construction
Authority (PHCA) under the chairmanship of Sir Bernard
Callinan. PHCA, under the PHCA Act 1979, was to design
and construct the new building. It was to work in close
liaison with, and use the resources of, NCDC and the then
Department of Housing and Construction (DH&C).
The NCDC compiled the comprehensive user requirements
and developed documentation for the competition to
select the Architect. This was followed by a number of
studies including engineering and specialist services. These
reports formed part of the ultimate briefing of the selected
The project Architect was to be selected through a two-
stage competition, with PHCA member Sir John Overall
(the former Commissioner of NCDC) Chairman of the
Panel of Assessors.
On 5 April 1979 Parliament cleared the first-stage
competition documents and Australian registered architects
were invited to register for the competition. When
registrations closed on 31 May 1979, 961 applications had been
Stage I documents, requiring an initial concept for the
building, were issued and 329 entries were received by the
31 August 1979 closing date. From these entries the
Assessors selected ten: five finalists to be engaged for the second
stage and five prizewinners whose work was recognised but
who would proceed no further in the competition.
The finalists were: Bickerdike Allen Partner (London),
Denton Corker Marshall Pty Limited (Melbourne),
Edwards Madigan Torzillo Briggs International (North
Sydney), Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp (New York) and
Christopher Waite (British Columbia).
They were brought to Canberra for two weeks in
November 1979 and were briefed on the operations of
Parliament, the planning of Canberra and the proposed
management of the project.
They then had six months in which to develop a much
more detailed submission, including models. These
submissions were of necessity still only in the concept stage.
The Assessors reassembled on 9 June 1980 and after a
week were firm in their views on the submissions. Over the
next week they sought advice from many government
specialists and consultants on the workability of the designs.
On 26 June 1979 PHCA announced the competition
winner was the firm of Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp (MGT),
with Richard Thorp the nominated architect.
SELECTION OF CONSULTANTS
In parallel with the architectural competition, PHCA
considered options for implementing the work. The NCDC,
in submissions to the Authority, favoured a project
management/construction management approach, rather than
lump-sum contracting. PHCA decided to seek the views of
industry and through nationwide advertising invited
submissions which described procedures the respondent felt
would best meet the time and cost targets and which also
detailed the respondent’s experience, qualification,
organisation and personnel able to be involved in the project.
Sixty-four replies were received. They were from a broad
range of individuals, associations and groups in the design
and construction industry. They represented an extensive
range of backgrounds and experiences.
The submissions were reviewed and analysed by a panel
comprising senior officers of NCDC and DH&C. There
was almost total agreement in the submissions on the need
for a project management type arrangement but there was
considerable variation in the advice about the relationship
and responsibilities between the Architect, Project
Manager and Construction Manager.
The submission of the Association of Consulting
Engineers Australia best summed up the theme common to most
of the submissions and reflected the earlier advice from
“The Association is of the opinion that the public interest
will be best served in respect to cost, quality, time and
opportunity for participation by the following means:
Project management by either an ‘inhouse’ project
management group of personnel employed by or
seconded to the Authority or by commissioning an
independent professional practice for the purpose.
Design, documentation and technical construction
phase services by the competition-winning architect
and various specialist architects, engineers, designers
and other experts. They would provide services in
accordance with briefs by the Project Manager who
would also monitor and co-ordinate them.
Construction by various contracts as determined and
programmed by the project manager and let by competitive
public and selected tendering procedures.
Supervision, contract administration, site co-ordination,
industrial relations and construction site services
by a Construction Management Division of the Project
Manager or by a separate independent Construction
Manager to be briefed and monitored by the Project
None of the parties described above, except the contractors,
should have any commercial interests which may in any way
affect their independence in serving the Authority.”
All respondents accepted that the conventional system of
sequential design, documentation and construction
through a lump sum tender was inappropriate and impractical
for the extent of work to be carried out in the required
The review panel reported to PHCA in September 1979,
opting for a project management system. It recommended
PHCA, as a matter of urgency, appoint an Executive
Officer and a Project Manager.
Immediately after the appointment of these officers
PHCA procure the services of a Construction Manager,
Project Planner and Cost Planner.
The report detailed the responsibility of various positions
and consultants, as well as suitable firms which could be
interviewed for the consultancies. The DH&C and NCDC
would provide resources, advice and service as required.
The Authority accepted the recommendations and
quickly appointed its Chief Executive (Gordon Peatey) and
Project Manager (Rod Dalgleish). Interim agreements were
made with a Construction Manager, Project Planner and
Cost Planner. This enabled advice to be given to the
Assessors on constructability, materials, program and costing of
the Stage II competition entries and to quickly establish a
realistic budget following announcements of the
competition winner. It also allowed preplanning of work to get
Advice from this group was incorporated into the
Authority’s July 1980 Report to Government, resulting in
Parliament giving the project approval to proceed in August
1980, with a revised budget of $220 million (May 1978
prices). This budget was for building only and did not
include fitout and furnishing which is normally undertaken
by Government services departments.
Following Government approval, the Architect (and his
nominated design consultants), the Construction Manager,
Project Planner and Cost Planner, were briefed and
engaged for work on the project. Engagement of other
specialist consultants was made as required as the work
proceeded. At the end of this Chapter there is a full list of
PHCA, in undertaking the project management role in-
house, was intent on keeping the Authority to a small,
efficient, expert but flexible management organisation
using agents or consultants for the professional services,
with construction being undertaken through publicly
The project consultants were developed into a closeknit
multidisciplinary team. The Project Manager, while
providing leadership and direction, worked within the project
team at peer-level to maintain a high level of interaction,
informal communication and co-operation. Active
encouragement was given to the particular abilities and flair of the
various parties, to cross-fertilisation of ideas and
contribution to the team effort, while working within accepted
parameters of performance, time and cost.
To ensure this profitable interaction, the briefs of the
major consultants were circulated to the other main team
members. This ensured there were no gaps or overlaps and
that the various phases of the work were fully integrated.
Any concerns raised by the various teams’ members were
resolved at this stage so that there was full agreement and
acceptance of the requirements by all team members before
contractual agreements were formalised.
While above 75 per cent of the project contained a
predominantly engineering discipline, the work was
essentially of a multidisciplinary nature. It involved a broad
range of consultants and required free interaction between
all parties, including the user, to ensure a balanced, high
quality functional product within the Architect’s design
The Architect (MGT) fulfilled the normal design role
through to the tender stage. The Architect engaged his own
design consultants and co-ordinated their work within the
overall framework of the approved design. Construction
services were, however, adjusted to that of ensuring the
integrity of the design and to provide professional advice
and service to other team members.
The Construction Manager was a joint venture between
two leading construction firms, Concrete Constructions
and John Holland. Known as Concrete Holland Joint
Venture (CHJV) they were engaged as a consultant rather than
a builder or contractor. In this role they were better able to
function as an equal within the project team, providing
building advice and service to the design agents, with
responsibility to PHCA. The Construction Manager
assembled the tender documentation, assessed and recommended
on the tenders and supervised construction as
‘Superintendent’ for the contracts awarded by PHCA. The
Construction Manager also provided, on PHCA’s behalf, the
necessary establishment and common facilities such as site
security and cleaning, workmen’s mess and toilet facilities,
hoisting, water supply, access and the like. The items of
establishment were provided through tendered contracts
but the Construction Manager, although a builder, was not
permitted to tender for any of these works.
The Project Planner (McLachlan Group) provided advice
and service to PHCA on the development review and
reporting on project programs at various levels; to the
Architect on design activities; and to the Construction
Manager on the detailed construction and integration, with
the information supply from the Architect and other
agents. Advice was also given on establishing PHCA’s
computer system and on cost control services in the latter stages
of the project.
The Cost Planner (Rawlinson & Roberts) developed and
controlled the cost plan for the project, providing advice
and service to the PHCA, Architect, Construction Manager
and Project Planner. This was a cost engineering-type role,
rather than the separate quantity surveying service provided
directly to the architect.
The PHCA required all major consultants to be located
and work in Canberra. Endeavour House, in nearby
Manuka, was taken over for the design groups while
management, planning and construction were located on the
A broad range of consultants was used to provide advice
and service, and sometimes physical work, on security,
building, weather and waterproofing, fire services, wind,
sound, vision, communication systems, graphics, furniture
and the like. The list of consultants at the end of this chapter
shows the range of disciplines used and places the engineering
advice received into the context of the whole project.
Fig. 13.4: The diagrams above, showing the relationship of the building concept to the Land Axis, are from Parliament House
Competition Stage 2 entry No 177 by architects Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp. The Land Axis is shown in the picture below,
looking across the new Parliament House to Lake Burley Griffin, Anzac Parade and Mount Ainslie.
Artwork and furniture were provided through a similar
arrangement by PHCA’s External Relations/Co-ordination
Group, using extensions to existing consultancies or
under new agreements where that was more appropriate.
MGT’s design concept incorporated many of the visual
objectives of the Griffin Plan for Capital Hill. It was an
ingenious solution successfully arranging the planning,
architectural and function requirements of a very large
building on an extremely difficult site, while in appearance
remaining consistent with Griffin’s intent.
The concept was simple in that:
the land axis was the key element in the composition
the two chambers were located symmetrically on either
side of the land axis on a cross axis through the central
support areas and offices were positioned around each of
ceremonial, public, common areas, committee rooms
were located along the land axis.
The plan effectively devolved into three, perhaps four,
the Central Zone along the land axis, which
incorporated public areas, restaurants and common
facilities to the north of the central hall; and
incorporated Cabinet and Committee rooms, Executive
area and Library to the south.
House of Representatives Zone to the east.
Senate Zone to the west.
The planned layout maintained clarity of function and
grouping for easy comprehension of the concept’s essential
The Central Zone is contained within two large curved
walls. It is grass-covered, which gives the effect of retaining
the hill and providing an approximation to a people’s
building in a garden setting, as envisaged by Griffin.
The office wings are kept to two and three-storey height
so that the building is sensitively adjusted to the terrain,
rather than imposing upon it.
The two Chambers and associated offices are located on
the transverse axis, forming a logical progression from the
Representatives and Senate entrances through the Presiding
Officer’s suites, vestibules, lobby areas and Chambers to the
Members’ Hall of the central zone.
Identification and reinforcement of the apex of the
Parliamentary Triangle was essential for the concept to succeed
within the city plan. This was achieved with the Flagmast,
ethereal in appearance, through fine design and choice of
material, surmounted by a continuously flown national
Provision for future growth was identified in the
arrangement of the office layouts, while additional space was
incorporated in the more rigid central spine, which could
not be readily enlarged later.
The building has four front entrances: the main entrance
to the north, Executive to the south, House of Representatives
to the east and Senate to the west. Without a ‘back
door’ the receipt of goods and despatch of waste occurs at
basement level through a series of service tunnels to an
external loading dock remote from the building complex.
Access to the loading dock is independent of the main
The winning design, although conventional in
technology and materials was different in that it required such a
high quality finish to be achieved across a broad range of
activities. Particular attention was necessary to raise the
normally accepted standards of the building industry to
those demanded by the design concept. The achievement of
this through the materials used, trades, workmanship and
construction techniques was a continuing theme throughout
The PHCA Act required the design to be cleared through
Parliament at nominated stages. Aspects of particular
interest to Parliamentarians and those with visual impact or
affecting the Chambers, were cleared through the JSC.
Detailed design was reviewed at working level by the
user departments (and within the project team) and was
approved within PHCA before being documented for tender
. These reviews were undertaken at concept, pencil and
Approval within PHCA was by the Project Manager
where consistent with earlier approvals or through the
Design Subcommittee to the Authority for items of
significance, those nominated by the Authority or requiring
further submission to the JSC. Professor Len Stevens (Dean
of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of
Melbourne), although not a PHCA member, was co-opted to
this subcommittee to provide independent high level
It is pertinent to note that throughout the extensive
review process during the competition assessments,
schematic and developed design phases and tender
documentation, the concept stood up extremely well. It required
minimal, insignificant adaptation.
As an indication of size, scale and diversity, the building
provides a working environment for 224 politicians and
some 3,000 staff, facilities for visiting Heads of State and
VIPs as well as annual access to more than one million
members of the public.
There are 19 Committee rooms and a large suite of
Cabinet rooms as well as the two Parliamentary Chambers,
a major Library complex, Theatre, Post Office and shops.
Dining facilities range from silver service to cafeteria, catering
for about 8,000 meals per day.
For control of the design process, the building complex
was subdivided into 25 zones allowing convenient
identification of the various parts. Separate design teams developed
documentation for logical grouping of zones, allowing a
number of areas to advance concurrently. For consistency in
design approach across the project, separate co-ordination
groups established design continuity and ensured that this
was applied logically by each design team. The zoning was
also used in the cost planning, programming, commitment,
construction and commissioning of the work.
The design brief required the use of conventional tried
technology and materials consistent with the capabilities of
the local industry.
Reinforced concrete was selected as the main structural
Concrete is well suited to architectural solutions, being
flexible and adaptable.
Attachment of non-structural components, particularly
external wall panels, is greatly simplified.
here was greater potential for economy and rapid
construction with a technology common to the ACT industry
and capable of pump placement which would relieve pressures on crane hoisting.
It was more adaptable to ‘fast track’ documentation
through minimising the need for shop drawings in the
fabrication phase which are normally required in large
numbers with other methods.
It is inherently fire resistant.
Foundations for the building are on sound rock, mainly
Black Mountain sandstone. Some bored piling to rock was
used on the western side where the building bench was
The majority of the structure is of traditional reinforced
concrete footing, column and floor construction. Post
tensioning was used to provide additional stiffness in long-span
situations and in localised areas to ensure waterproofing in
the water retaining elements. Plate web steel girders were
used at roof level to provide long clear spans for the Great
Hall, the upper floor in this area is suspended from these
girders by a series of concrete-encased hangers. Structural
steel is also used in the roofing of the Senate and House of
Design was in accordance with the Australian Standard
(Loading) Codes with earthquake allowance at Category 1,
due to the long life expectancy of the building. The
structural design was undertaken by Irwin, Johnston & Partners,
which was led and managed at partner level by John
A waffle pan system was adopted for the floor construction
to provide appropriate effective depth for structural
rigidity and to allow greater clear spans between
columns. This system minimised slab weight with the
effect of a two-way beam system, yet allowed the use of a
simple, quickly erected flat slab formwork technique. It
also resulted in a more uniform soffit for underfloor
servicing runs for the complex mechanical and electrical service
Stiffening near the columns to allow for greater shear
was achieved by infilling selected waffle pans. Variability in
span was achieved by increasing rib widths between the
waffle pans, thickening top slabs and local prestressing
where spans greatly exceeded the basic grid dimension.
Fig. 13.5: Waffle slab soffit showing infill at columns. The
curved beam is the support for the forecourt pool and
Fig. 13.6: Waffle pan formwork and steel reinforcement.
Fig. 13.7: Granite-faced curved wall with the Members’ office wing to
the left and flagmast erection scaffolding in the background.
The waffle system was chosen after detailed evaluation of
the structural, building and economic characteristics of a
range of fully detailed floor systems. Re-evaluation early in
the project development, after feedback from the tendering
and construction work on site verified this choice.
The curved walls are constructed with a hollow webbed
core containing services, lifts and stairwells. These walls
together with the sloping ramps from each corner of the
central spine, contained lateral movement and provided
long-term stability for the facade and stone cladding.
The unusual horizontal extent of the individual buildings
required effective permanent jointing. This jointing
on sliding bearings or split column details was provided at
50 to 75 metre centres.
Insitu band beam arrangements, using techniques and
layouts common for economic carparking construction,
were adopted for the underground carparking structures to
the east, south and west of the building. The western carpark,
built in a former gully, is subject to substantial unbalanced
ground pressures. These are resisted by large prestressed
buttresses at close centres, forming a buttress retaining
wall on the eastern face.
Cracking of concrete structures had been the bane of
building construction in the ACT. This was due to a
number of factors previously recognised and to a large extent
corrected on buildings such as the High Court of Australia
and the Australian National Gallery. With these buildings
batching was carried out on site with the full process,
including materials, under the supervision of the Design
Because of the proposed offsite concrete production for
the new Parliament House, extensive work was undertaken
on concrete technology. Specialist consultants were engaged
by the Structural Engineer to report on the status of
the materials, concrete batching facilities and practices in
the region and to advise on procedures to remedy deficiencies.
The design and specifications gave particular attention
Infill joints throughout the floor and wall systems at
about 25 metre centres, to allow shrinkage movements
to be stabilised before they were infilled 90 days
Upgrading the performance of the readimixed concrete
industry to Standards Association of Australia codes and
Careful selection and close monitoring of the aggregate
source and handling methods. The majority of aggregate
sources within the ACT have, to some extent,
minor fracturing and sulphate problems. Performance of
aggregates even from the same quarry varied extensively
and continual review was essential to ensure materials of
quality suitable for a building with a 200-year life.
The formwork preparation, reinforcement location and
concrete placement. Here the Structural Engineer’s role
included full quality assurance arrangements and advice
to the Construction Manager, to ensure standards were
The external wall cladding is granite on the curved
central spine. Grit blasted, sandblasted or phosphoric acid
etched precast concrete is applied on the office wings,
Chambers and Executive areas. Stainless steel was used for
attachment angles and bolts, to guarantee long life.
The proposed external cladding and window
arrangements for all areas were developed and tested under extreme
weather and pressure conditions on a specially constructed
prototype with the assistance of CSIRO’s technical
building service and its specialised equipment.
Fig. 13.8: Stainless steel flagmast and supporting legs.
The flagmast structure was intended as a sculpture of
symbolic significance, in identifying the cardinal point of
Griffin’s Parliamentary Triangle, as well as within the
totality of the ingenious building concept of Romaldo
Giurgola. It towers 75 metres above Parliament and is
constructed entirely of stainless steel plate, with a linished
finish, providing a changing appearance in the varying
patterns of light and weather. The flagmast structure won
the Construction Category Award at the 1989 BHP Steel
The flagmast is supported by a structural tower joining
the four slender triangular shaped legs sloping from the top
of the curved walls. The flag is flown permanently with the
night-time lighting source located in the top of the four
tower legs. Maintenance access is via a hoist running on the
south-east supporting leg. The flag was originally flown
using a series of lines from winches recessed in the top of the
eastern curved wall but it was revised in early operation.
Control is now from the lower webb cluster of the
supporting structural tower, with access via the maintenance
Waterproofing, particularly of the roofs, has presented
serious problems for some major buildings in the harsh,
variable Canberra climate. Normal considerations were
compounded on Parliament House where the central spine
was to be covered by lawn-watered grass and the building
has extensive basement and carpark areas below a
wellwatered, landscaped garden setting.
While the central roof of necessity had to be concrete to
support the earth covering, PHCA asked the Architect to
give consideration to metal roofing as an option for the
offices and Chambers. After considerable investigation
concrete was chosen and detailed work then concentrated
on achieving effective waterproofing, appropriate roof
slopes and effective drainage.
Industry responses to the required membrane system
varied and, in spite of in-depth work earlier by CSIRO,
reflected the uncertain state of this art in Australia. A major
concern was the industry’s separation of the supplier from
the installer, which compromised guarantees and
responsibilities coupled with a low level of expertise and care in
A number of effective modern systems were available;
however, most offered an unprotected single membrane
type with little history of performance and with long-term
Following protracted investigations and debate, a system
using well tried conventional materials with a long proven
track record, carefully laid and well protected was
proposed. The Authority asked the designers to obtain a second
opinion and Mr Robert Moore of ARMM Consultants,
New Jersey, provided this service. The CSIRO was also
invaluable in its high-level advice and assistance.
An IRMA, or Inverted Roof Membrane Assembly
system, was adopted for the project. This consists of a
fourlayered (ply) high-shear bituminous felt membrane system,
progressively built-up on the roofing slab. The membrane
is covered for protection with a durable sheeting (Barrister
board) followed by rigid waterproof polystyrene insulation
topped with a filter fabric. Washed river gravel was placed
as surface cover to hold and protect the system over the
office areas whilst 0.7 metres of filter and top soil or paving
was placed over the membrance on the central spine.
An advantage of this type of roofing is that it keeps the
membrane and structure at about the same relatively
constant temperature, minimising differential movement —
something not achieved with the more frequently used
internal insulation. The four-ply high shear system is much
stronger and more reliable than the normally used singleply membrane.
Below ground waterproofing required a continuous
welded bituminous membrane beneath the onground slabs
to replace the normal vapour barrier, and Barrister-board
protected bituminous membrane on the backfilled walls.
The membrane is of high penetration bitumen reinforced
with a spun-bonded polyester mat providing high tensile
strength and puncture resistance.
The provision of engineering services was greatly
influenced by the unique configuration of the buildings,
necessary to fit the landform yet not impinge upon it and to
suit the multifunctional, intermittent peak use of the buildings.
By its very nature, the grouping of two and three-storey
buildings, spread over a large area in a landscape garden
setting required a vastly different approach to the servicing
than is common for normal large office developments of a
medium to high-rise type.
need for a large number of satellite service facilities with
ring interconnections and trunk service runs over vast
distances, rather than functionally placed zone service
long horizontal service runs at basement level on trays
in service tunnels, access corridors and below-ground crawl
spaces, rather than through a neat dedicated service core
with easy vertical installation and access
circulation and transportation requiring a large spread
of individual isolated lifts and hoists rather than centralised
dedicated lift cores
hydraulic pressure zoning of individual buildings on a
hill site requiring different considerations from the
conventional high-rise zoning arrangements
broad landscape setting with individual self-contained
courtyards which introduced urban development type
surface runoff and floodway considerations into the
conventional building roof and basement stormwater disposing
fire evacuation requiring a zoning approach not
common to Australian practice. International standards were
security requirements which were unique and varied
considerably over a number of areas, both within and
outside the building
“no backdoor” approach to the design which required
an elaborate loading dock access tunnel and basement
circulation facilities to cater for the day-to-day servicing of the
The services were supplied and installed to “Good
commercial quality”. Technology was the most up-to-date
available at the time of design. With technology advancing
so quickly, enforcement of cutoff dates for decisions, to
ensure commitment and installation to programme,
required a tight discipline.
While further advances may have occurred by the time of
commissioning, the project is indicative of state-of-the-art
at the time of design. Electronic services were the most
affected by technology change.
The services system evolved in light of the latest energy
conservation techniques and was applied for operations to
be within tight energy budget limitations for most areas of
The main component of the Building Energy
Management System is the computer-based Building Monitoring
System (BMS). This BMS interfaces with the air,
refrigeration, heating, lighting and fire safety systems with a
multiplicity of operational modes, optimising the energy use
related to the internal and external conditions.
Applications available from the system include:
lighting remotely controlled to reduce the intensity
during unoccupied periods or programmed maintenance
and cleaning schedules
air-handling equipment programmed for the latest
possible start-up time compatible with comfort in the
various spaces at nominated occupancy periods. Variations in
occupancy times for the Sitting and Non-sitting periods,
recess periods, public holidays and the like are also
building cooling cycle programmed to select the mix of
outdoor and return air to meet the required cooling load,
thus minimising refrigeration requirements from the
night purging under suitable external conditions to
precool the building overnight using cooler outside air. Under
ideal conditions the fans may be used on full outside air
optimising energy use in production and distribution of
chilled water which ensures that condenser and chilled
water temperatures and flows are best suited to the load
requirements and external ambient conditions
electrical demand and load shedding programmed to
minimise peak demand tariff charges
duty cycling to non-critical equipment items to spread
usage on a rotational basis.
Other energy saving modes were considered but could
not be justified because of the high capital costs and present
or foreseen fuel pricing. They may be reassessed against
changing energy conservation and cost considerations.
thermal storage tanks of about 8 million litres capacity
for hot or cold water. These tanks were to store offpeak
production of chilled or hot water and recovered heat from
the condensing system for use during peak demand periods.
(Space has been allowed in the south-eastern ramp
basement for installation at a later date should this become
solar collectors which would be capable of contributing
low-grade heat to the presently installed system.
Preventive maintenance was deleted from the Building
Monitoring System and is carried out using a Building
Operation and Maintenance System installed by the user.
Heating/Ventilation and Air Conditioning
The air conditioning system is low pressure, variable
volume with hot water reheating coils on each variable air
volume box. Constant volume systems are provided to
certain specialised areas (eg computer rooms). High level
humidity control is provided to both Chambers, the Great
Hall and Members’ Hall but not for individual rooms or
Ventilation only is provided to carparking, loading dock,
substations, plantrooms and the like. These areas use either
mechanical and/or exhaust supply.
The system provides filtered air supply, heated or cooled
to nominated temperature. There are twenty-seven variable
air volume systems and eighteen constant volume systems
plus more than two hundred ventilation/exhaust systems
within the building complex.
Required temperatures are maintained through a
pneumatic control system directly from space thermostats. The
BMS output is integrated with this pneumatic control
system so that it does not obstruct the control system’s
ability to stand alone. Manual temperature adjustment is
also provided in areas such as the Chambers, Great and
Members’ Halls, entry foyer, Prime Minister’s suite and
Cabinet/Committee room areas.
Major air handling units are located in nine basement
plant rooms. Air distribution from these units is through
medium velocity rectangular ducting. Branch ducts are of
low velocity to VAV boxes of low pressure (less than 125Pa).
In the event of fire, the system provides smoke control.
With a fire alarm, all air conditioning and ventilation
equipment servicing the affected area is switched to the
appropriate mode for smoke clearance.
The system is heated and cooled from equipment in the
central plant room, towards the southern end of the
building spine at basement level.
Hot water (at 82°C) is provided by six low temperature
boilers with a total capacity of 12,940 kW. These boilers
are gas fired and provide domestic hot water as well as that
for the building’s heating. Supply and return headers are
sized to allow all boilers to operate simultaneously.
Chilled water (at 6.5°C) is supplied by five chiller units
with a total capacity of 15,000 kW. Provision has been
made for later installation of a further unit of 700 kW. The
chiller cooling towers are located in the landscaped bosque
outside Parliament Drive and well clear of the building, in
order to avoid the winter condensation plume problems of
The power supply system was developed on the basis of
four separate 11 kV routes required by the then ACT
Electricity Authority. These were located near each corner of
the site with the supply to be sourced from Kingston, Lyons
and the city. These separated supplies would ensure
integrity, flexibility and continuity of supply.
At the time of commissioning and occupation, the
permanent supply was from the Kingston substation only, via
two of the four nominated routes. Underground conduits
have been laid for all four routes, each ultimately with
5/7.5 MVA capacity.
Bulk supply by the ACT Electricity and Water Authority
(ACTEW) is via two main high voltage switchboards
located in separately fire rated spaces adjacent to the central
plant room. Each has the latest type circuit breaking
equipment, bus-section isolators and metering.
Internal distribution is initially via three 11 kV ring
mains connecting eleven satellite substations and
sub-distribution switchboards located near the basement fan and
plantrooms. One of these ring mains is for emergency use to
provide for essential loads in case of breakdowns and is
connected to the emergency generators.
All high voltage equipment in the switchboards,
transformers and cabling conforms with that used by ACTEW
for interchangeability and ease of maintenance.
Internal low voltage reticulation is at 415 and 240 volts.
Reticulation is mainly at basement level in wall and ceiling
mounted cable trays with detailed distribution in the ceiling
spaces of the building.
Lighting has been provided generally in accordance with
AS 1680 “Interior Lighting Code”. Lighting loads are
generally 25 watts per square metre, although this was
exceeded in areas of high ceilings, prestige areas and those
with specific television requirements. Lamp and source
types vary over a range of metal halide, tungsten halogen,
and incandescent to meet the architectural requirements in
the major areas. Office lighting is generally single or double
40 watt fluorescent in light/air fittings for suites and
smaller offices or combined with a grid of air-handling
linear slot diffusers in larger areas. Mercury vapour lamps
are provided in the corridors.
To minimise unnecessary energy use, major lighting
subcircuits have controlled switching from the BMS with
emergency over-ride in case of failure. Offices, Members’
suites and detailed areas are further controlled by individual
wall switches, to meet independent needs.
Emergency power supply for essential services is
provided by two 1,000 kVA diesel generators connected to the
bulk supply switchboards. Space has been allocated for a
further two diesel generators should they be required at a
Ten battery inverter systems are provided for the
emergency lighting and the emergency warning and intercom
systems, to cover the assessed mains failure period.
Hydraulics and Fire Services
Water is supplied from connections to two independent
city mains in State Circle. Supply to the building is via a 250
mm diameter ring main at Parliament Drive.
The ring main feeds into three radial mains servicing
potable water, fire hydrant and fire sprinklers. High
capacity fire hydrants are located at strategic intervals around
the ring main. Potable and irrigation water are metered at
the two diagonally opposite points of connection to the
Domestic hot and cold water is connected to some 1,600
faucets throughout the complex. Internal loops are supplied
from the radial mains with pressure boosting if required.
The one hour recovery hot water calorifler system, with
separate pumps circulating closed circuit loops, delivers
water at 50°C. Main kitchen supply is boosted to 82°C.
The flushometer system with break-tanks and separate
pressure pumps services some 1,000 toilet and urinal
installations. This system also charges floor wastes automatically
to eliminate permeating odours.
Independent treated water reticulation systems servicing
a heated swimming pool, spa bath and 18 water features are
also supplied from this system.
Garden and lawn irrigation systems are supplied from the
ring main through backflow preventer valves with
automatic pumping where necessary for rooftop sprinklers.
This automatic irrigation system, using soil moisture
sensors, is operated from 18 computensed control centres
monitored from a central control room.
An integrated fire protection and life safety plan was
developed especially for the building configuration, based on
ACT, Australian and International Standards and the
requirements of the Commonwealth Fire Board. The
building construction achieves at least Type 2 as defined by
the ACT Building Manual.
Emergency egress uses both fire stair exits to grade and
horizontal exits to refuge areas. The horizontal exit areas
(adjacent sections of the building complex) have two-hour
fire separation and are smoke protected areas with separate
access to grade.
Control of the fire protection system effectively divides
the building into four separate regions, each with its own
valve station and separate sprinkler water supply coming
directly from the external hydraulic service ring main. The
building is fully sprinklered except for telephone and
electrical equipment rooms.
Each control room contains that region’s main fire
indicator board, fire fan control panel, control valves and main
and standby booster pumps for the various sprinkler
systems. Each fire indicator board automatically identifies
the source and transmits alarms to the Fire Brigade.
Smoke detection systems of various types are provided in
electronic rooms, Members’ Halls, Chambers and Library
areas and are wired directly to the indicator boards for the
Photo-optical-type smoke detectors are provided within
the Air Handling System and these are wired to separate
sub-fire indicator boards located adjacent to the main mechanical
switchboard in each plant room. The sub-boards are
wired back to their respective main fire indicator boards.
Superimposed on the fire considerations are the conflicting
requirements for security. The building’s security
system monitors all fire alarms which are displayed on its
screen. Egress doors for fire affected zones with
electromechanical locks are security released and affected zones are
alerted for maintenance of security functions. The system
has inbuilt fail-safe provisions to ensure life safety.
Lifts and Hoists
While the two/three-storey nature of the project, with
generously sized stairways, would normally minimise the
need for vertical transportation, extensive use of lifts was
necessary. Reasons included:
Fig. 13.9: Document movement system car.
basement delivery and distribution of inwards goods
requiring hoisting to individual areas, including library,
post office and printing offices
centralised basement kitchens with need for accompanied
distribution to satellite kitchens and serving areas
providing access for disabled and elderly people
accessing the basement, parking areas and roof increased
travel above the three-storey walk-up situation
controlling access to restricted areas.
Though their main use is for goods transportation, all but
one of the 42 lifts are classified passenger lifts under the
Australian Lift Code. A few lifts are conveniently grouped
in pairs for kitchen service to the Great Hall, dining rooms,
cafeterias and refreshment rooms. One dedicated goods lift
is provided towards the southern end of the central spine
where it can service the furniture store, committee rooms,
Lift motor rooms are located in the basement adjacent to
the lift shaft to avoid the normal above roof protrusions.
The lifts have variable voltage AC drive. Passenger lifts
travel at about one metre per second while the goods lift
speed is 0.75 metres per second.
Movement of documents around such a dispersed building
requires special arrangements. Two types of Document
Movement Systems were installed.
The Tracked Container Sysem (TCS) moves
documents, mail, books, reports, etc between 32 stations
throughout the building. The document containers of
525 mm x 400 mm x 130 mm are mounted on selfpropelled
trolleys which run on tracks with automatic
switching to required destinations.
Travel speed varies with track configuration but
gives an average transit time of five minutes and maximum
of twelve minutes between any two stations.
Container loads are up to 10 kg. The system capacity
can be increased when necessary by adding passing
loops, track duplication and additional container units.
As well, dedicated systems are provided to move
documents to both Chambers and for Library use. To
minimise movement of attendants in the Chambers a
dedicated document transfer system is provided
between the sub-table office station behind the Presiding
Officer’s chair and the Attendant’s table at the
other end of the Chamber. Quick connection from the
second-floor library to the Information and Newspaper
Reading Room on the ground floor is essential and this
connection, with a travel time of about one minute, is
separately tracked in the same shaft and ceiling space as
the overall building system.
The Pneumatic Tube System gives high frequency and
rapid transfer of small documents for Hansard-type
purposes. This system links Hansard, both Chambers,
Record and Research and the Executive area. The
system, serving eight stations in all, is via an 85 mm
diameter PVC tube conduit.
The original pneumatic tube link between the Old
Parliament House and the Government Printing Office
in Kingston has been extended to an interchange
point with the internal system at Hansard in the new
A conveyor belt link is provided for inwards goods from the
scanning/despatch point in the Loading Dock to the goods
receiving area in the basement below the east wing. This
800 mm wide conveyor carries items up to 25 kg each,
moving about 2 metres per second. The belt runs in a tunnel
beside a narrow carriageway capable of carrying small
vehicles and forklift units.
Every week an estimated 25 tonnes of waste leaves the
building, with about 16 tonnes of it being paper suitable for
General office waste is disposed of down five vertical
gravity chute units with access from each floor. The chutes
terminate in basement waste collection rooms where the
material is shredded to uniform size then transported to the
loading dock by an automatically operated vacuum tube
system. The waste is cyclone separated, compacted and
baled at the Loading Dock for despatch.
Classified waste is shredded at source and transferred
under security to the Department of Defence’s Russell
Kitchen waste from an average 8,000 meals prepared
each day comprises:
soft food waste (up to 500 kg daily) which is mulched in
37 garbage grinders and disposed of through the sewerage
hard materials (such as bones) which are broken down
by compactors and held in refrigerated storage until they
are despatched via the Loading Dock.
The user requirements were developed in an environment
of escalating international terrorism and followed Australia’s
first real experience with terrorism, the Sydney Hilton
bombing. Whereas in the early 1950s one could enter
any section of the Parliament House uninhibited or
checked, by the late 1970s many restrictions were in
In this changing environment, the new building had to
satisfy the conflicting philosophies of open access and
satisfactory levels of physical protection. The fundamental
principles taken into account were:
There is an undeniable right for people in a democratic
society to observe their Parliament at work.
It is in the essential interests of all Australians that the
democratically elected Members of Parliament are able to
meet freely and without fear for their personal safety.
The operations of the Parliament and Executive
Government are not hindered or jeopardised by the actions
of unauthorised people.
The safety of local and overseas dignitaries and
internationally protected people visiting the Parliament House
The fabric of the building, classified material, and items
of national, historic and Parliamentary significance are
protected against theft, vandalism and acts of espionage.
The design of the new Parliament House endeavours to
satisfy those principles by differentiating between the levels
of security required in various parts of the building and by
providing separate circulation patterns within and to these
A prime objective was to achieve the appropriate level of
security commensurate with the perceived level of threat,
in a cost-effective manner. It was necessary to combine
building design with technology in order to contain the
high annual operating costs associated with a large
The consistent aim was to achieve a range of options
based on a low-key, unobtrusive approach with provision
for adequate and proper control in areas of special need and
provision for a higher level of control at times of increased
threat. Security, while being effective, had to give an
impression of freedom of movement within the various
precincts, particularly in the public areas of the building.
Responsibility for security in the Parliamentary precincts
rests with the Presiding Officers, under the authority
delegated by their respective Houses.
In turn the Security Controller is responsible to the
Presiding Officers for maintaining security policy,
administering security arrangements and co-ordinating
protective services. The latter services are provided by the
Parliamentary Security Force (PSF) and the Australian
Protective Service (APS).
The PSF is responsible for the interior public areas of the
Parliament House and for entry to non-public areas of the
building. APS is responsible for external security, security
of the Executive Government (Ministerial Wing) area and
assists, when requested, the PSF with law enforcement
within the Parliamentary area.
There are two separate levels of security:
The Public Circulation System covers the Foyer, Great
Hall, public facilities, visitors galleries in the Chambers and
Members’ Hall Gallery, with tourists and casual visitors
entering through security controlled check points.
The General Circulation System covers those areas of the
building restricted to Parliamentarians and passholders.
A third level, separating the Executive (Ministerial
Wing) can be activated readily if required.
Public and general areas security is controlled from an
operations room in the northern basement, while that for
the Ministerial Wing is controlled from an operations room
in the southern basement.
Each control room manages security using a computerbased
Central Supervisory System linking four satellite
stations, a closed circuit television system, a dedicated
intercom system and a two-way radio system. About 2,000
devices are connected to the Parliamentary Security System
and 400 devices are connected to the Ministerial Wing
Each system can control and monitor doorlocks and door
status, receive duress alarm signals, control the closed
circuit television system, monitor fire, security and other
alarm signals, and advise on action required in response to
any alarm. The system can unlock selected locked fire
The security forces also respond to fire alarms. In
response to any alarm condition, the security system will
display alarm type, location, routes, access details, special
precautions, together with detail and overall floor plans on
a coloured dynamic graphics display. The operator can
quickly assess the situation and initiate action.
The Parliamentary System controls the emergency
warning and intercom system, commanding it to issue an
alert tone in any one or more of the 49 fire zones, in
response to a fire alarm in that zone.
A summary of the overall fire situation is presented on a
fire mimic high resolution colour VDU display to keep the
building fire warden or Fire Brigade Chief informed of any
The microprocessor-based Closed Circuit Television
System has about 180 monochrome cameras, either fixed or
pan-tilt-zoom, controllable from either Security
Operations Centre, satellite stations, or by the security system.
Cameras are solid state or tube type to suit the particular
The output of any CCTV camera can be relayed to any
screen connected to the system. The security and CCTV
systems can be manually operated from any one of the four
satellite stations in the event of loss of central control.
Every entrance to the building has a baggage and goods
x-ray screening device and walk-through metal detectors.
Fig. 13.10: Great Hall roof beam being hoisted into position.
Sound and Vision System
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was the agent
responsible to PHCA for designing and installing the
sound, vision, paging and public address systems for the
The sophisticated PA system incorporates 12,500 speakers
throughout the building and is able to carry the Division
Bells, emergency warning signals, the paging service and a
localised tourist function.
Speech reinforcement systems, electronically controlled
to automatically adjust speakers to give the illusion of voice
direction to the person whose microphone is switched on
are provided for the Chambers and main Committee
Time and notification of Divisions in the Chambers is of
prime importance. About 3,000 clocks, controlled by a
Rubidium Standard Master Clock System, and featuring
Division lights have been installed throughout the building.
In recognition of the more-spread nature of the new
House, Division bells ring for four minutes, instead of the
three in the Provisional House. The system is used as a
reference for the television system and for timing speeches
in Chambers, Committee Rooms, etc.
The design and building fabric provided facilities for
television cameras, microphones and associated control
systems in both Chambers and the various Committee
Rooms, allowing ‘instant’ coverage of proceedings in these
areas. The system allows predetermined cameras to home-
in on the speaker (and the Opposition counterpart) within
one second of a microphone being operated.
Camera pickup points installed at prime locations, eg, the
Prime Minister’s and Ministerial offices, forecourt,
theatrette, press conference rooms, allow programme
recording or “live-to-air” on-the-spot interviews. Signals can be
passed to any of the media bureaux within the building.
The final system will allow full-scale television programme
production of network quality with facilities more
extensive than the majority of television stations. A
100channel cable television and FM radio distribution system
already reticulates proceedings to Chambers, Committee
Rooms and ceremonial spaces, “on-air” television and radio
station programmes, “off-air” pre-recorded programmes to
in-house television sets or radio receivers.
To provide for hearing impaired occupants or visitors in
major public areas, induction loop and the newly developed
induction field FM transmitting systems are installed.
In addition, broadband and baseband coaxial type cable
information systems networks have been installed. Provision
and connection to information system equipment
will be by the user, to meet specific and changing
ACCESS, TRAFFIC AND PARKING
The Parliament Buildings are surrounded by a ringroad.
Called Parliament Drive, it serves as a collector/distributor
road, fed at a number of points from the city network, and
provides access to the four main entrances as well as to the
carparks to the north, south, east and west of the building.
This ringroad forms part of the servicing bus route.
Access to the site was initially from Kings, Commonwealth
and Adelaide Avenues, via the land axis from
Queen Victoria Terrace and from State Circle to the east
beneath the bridge on Capital Circle.
There was considerable opposition to the landbridge
connection along the land axis by the Presiding Officers for
the first years of the project. The eventual acceptance of this
connection by the JSC followed the more detailed design of
the forecourt and formal approach to the building, coupled
with updated traffic circulation patterns. This formal
broad, treelined landbridge approach was named Federation
The Adelaide Avenue connection proved to be virtually
unworkable for access to the Lodge, Yarralumla and
Deakin areas. It would have caused serious conflict with
express bus lanes and merging high speed traffic on
Canberra’s busiest arterial, particularly during Royal and State
Melbourne Avenue became a far more promising alternative.
It resolved these traffic concerns, improved circulation
on Parliament Drive and provided more suitable access
from the Executive area to the southern suburbs, as well as
reinforcing the land axis extension with a symmetrical
internal road layout. Again there was stiff opposition
within the Parliamentary Committee on the ACT.
However, it was overcome in consultation with the JSC,
following further development of the original proposal.
The existing eastern connection to the ring road from
State Circle was not ideal because of the gradients and sight
distances. With the main thoroughfare already accepted,
and fully meeting access needs, this then became the
“backdoor” access to the loading dock, for which it was ideally
Visitors to Parliament House are encouraged by the road
layout to approach the building along the land axis, via
Federation Mall. Parking for cars and tourist buses is
provided below the forecourt, with easy access to Federation
Mall. Stairs lead to the forecourt for an approach across the
loosely paved area to the Grand Verandah Entrance.
MGT’s competition submission located much of the
parking underground, although this was not required by
the competition brief. As well as public carparking beneath
the forecourt, the priority parking at the four entrances and
the western structure, built in a large gully, were also
shown as underground.
The brief required parking for 1,900 vehicles, a number
which proved difficult to achieve throughout most of the
design development. Early in the design stage the forecourt
area parking capacity fell considerably short of predicted
capacity. The shortfall was overcome by enlarging the
western structure. At this stage, surface parking still
remained for the south and east of the building.
The original landscape design had the full quota of eight
tennis courts on the western side of the House. However,
the JSC decided there should be more equitable placement
of the courts and half were shifted to the eastern side. To
accommodate these courts the parking spaces were placed
underground and enlarged to meet requirements. The need
to fully meet the parking requirements was confirmed by
updated traffic and parking predictions.
Only the southern parking remained on the surface as
this had been constructed as part of the early landscape and
screen planting and was then used for contractors’ parking.
All the underground parking has been kept clear of
Parliamentary buildings for security reasons, as a result of a car
bombing incident at the House of Commons in March
1979, and for fire safety reasons.
When the building was commissioned there was parking
for 1,940 cars and 12 buses. The bus capacity can readily be
doubled, without additional work.
The project commenced at a time when the building
industry was in recession. This had a bearing on some early
decisions — the low prices tendered for the standard of
work required — and on the union/labour situation as the
Completion by 1988 was always extremely tight. Following
Government approval to proceed there was a need
to quickly establish a workforce on site, obtain necessary
agreement with the unions, excavate the building bench
and prepare the local industry for a project of such size and
complexity. With the lead time required from concept to
detailed construction drawings, short cuts were necessary in
moving the initial work to the field.
While the American-based Architect organised consultants,
established offices in Canberra and finalised the agent
agreements, a separate local engineering consultant was
used to document the site earthworks from the competition
drawings. This allowed the 12-months excavation contract
to be placed in the field quickly, with adjustments necessary
to suit the detailed building design being accommodated
through the schedule of rates contract.
The project was undertaken through publicly tendered
lump sum contracts, wherever practical, although use was
made of schedule of rates and longterm supply contracts
where this was appropriate. Rise and fall was included for
contracts over 12 months duration.
Concrete production was originally to be undertaken
under close supervision on site. However, with the
downturn in the building industry in the early 1980s, most
local batching plants were idle and longterm supply
contracts which spread the work across the industry, were
adopted for employment, cost and industrial reasons. This
offsite production did, however, require a detailed appraisal
of the technology being used within the industry, which
from past experience, contained some questionable aspects.
The spread nature of the building prompted various
options being considered for method of construction.
These ranged from the use of the ramps at each corner of
the building for access to the various levels, to the use of
cranes. The configuration of the building, with its
extensive above and below ground interconnections, limited
access and movement around the site which led to a
combination of crane and pump placement of the structure with
internal and external hoisting for the fitout and finishing.
The large floor heights, spread nature, limitation on access
and rate of construction, required eight tower cranes
supplemented by extensive mobile cranes to maintain
Building construction commenced with the non-critical
underground carparking to the north and west. This
approach was adopted as:
It required minimum distraction of the Architect from
the main design task.
Structural design was relatively straightforward,requiring
minimum User interaction and clearances and was able
to be issued to the field quickly.
The carparks were an ideal base from which to establish
the longer term supply contracts.
It allowed a quick buildup of site workforce and facilities,
finalisation of union site agreements and a buildup of
Being non-critical, the carparks allowed time to solve
difficulties and properly prepare the project organisation
before the more complex design critical main building
elements reached the construction phase.
Resulted in early provision of stable areas of the site
suitable for workers’ carparking, offices, messing and
Construction of the carpark areas started immediately the
foundations were available and proceeded in parallel with
the balance of the bulk earthworks.
Documentation for the project encouraged much of the
work to be undertaken offsite. Many major components,
such as precast facades, structural steel elements, windows,
internal joinery and furniture, as well as major plant and
electronic items, came from interstate.
Spreading the workload throughout Australia had many
advantages for the industry. This was particularly fortunate
for the project when the local industry became heavily
overcommitted midway through the project. Other work
overtaxed the accommodation and resources of the area,
causing severe competition for labour, industrial pressures
and the inevitable increased allowances and less-than-desirable
Two decisions on the structure of the building taken after
the project was underway had major influence on later
Firstly, in 1981, it was decided to reduce the building
height as an architectural and cost saving measure. While
significant savings were made through reduced allowances
for facades, walls and partitioning, the smaller dimensions
between floors created difficulty with installation of
services in the restricted ceiling spaces. This quickly absorbed
and, indeed, exceeded the initial savings.
Secondly, in 1984, the Parliament decided there should
be increased office accommodation for additional Senators
and Members. This decision occurred after many contracts
had been awarded and much of the work was in an advanced
stage of construction. Heavily affected were the services,
with the central energy plant well-advanced and many
major service runs already installed. Hold orders, redesign,
removal or changes to recent and currently installed work
with the usual flow-on effects occurred over a wide range of
The need to reintroduce the Architect to the office
layouts, structure and facades resulted in serious delays as
well as some demolition of work and discarding of facade
panels. Rescheduling and inconvenient delays to other time
critical design works resulted from design teams being redirected
to this work.
Deferment of the office enlargement, for later treatment
as an extension, rather than to change midstream, was
identified as being more cost-effective but was not acceptable
Throughout the construction policy was to keep a clean,
tidy and safe site. The special efforts directed through specification,
education and example toward these separate
although interrelated objectives were effective and well
Fig. 13.11: Great Hall roof beams in position prior to roof placement.
Fig. 13.12: Ceiling services in a first-floor corridor.
Capital Hill in its original state was at elevation RL611.7
metres. The project required the removal of up to 21 metres
from the top of hill, to form the building bench at groundfloor
level. Basements were excavated a further six metres
below most of the building.
The Hill had been subject to extensive investigation
work in a number of progressively more detailed stages,
from Olik’s work in 1958 to the detailed site investigation
by Coffey & Partners in 1979. Geological notes on the
excavation were made by the Bureau of Mineral Resources
during the course of the works.
Essentially, three rock formations made up the site.
These were Black Mountain sandstone, State Circle shale
and Camp Hill sandstone. The Black Mountain sandstone
occupied most of the central section and the core of the
Numerous faults, of various types and differing displacements,
crossed the site. The faults generally contained fractured
material but in some places were clean cut. There was
an angular unconformity between the Camp Hill sandstone
and the underlying Black Mountain sandstone. Efforts to
preserve and expose sections of this older formation where
it overlayed the more recent, were not practical because of
the location and level, as it related to the building and
The strike and dip of the bedding, coupled with the
fractured nature of the hard rock, caused considerable over
break on detailed excavation. It was also necessary to
remove large volumes of potentially unstable rock by battering
on some high vertical excavation faces and to design
support for others.
The ability to excavate by mechanical earthmoving
equipment proved to be far less extensive than anticipated
in the Black Mountain sandstone, with only two-three
metres depth being achieved in spite of the extensive
fracturing. Much of the excavation required large-scale drilling
and blasting, which considerably altered the balance of the
The level of the building bench was raised 1.5 metres
from the original design submission early in the excavation
stage, to reduce the quantity of the more costly hard rock
excavation and to provide a more even balance of cut to
The hard rock blasting required close control because of
the closeness of residential and Embassy areas. Oddly, the
main effect from the blasting occurred because of particular
atmospheric conditions with low cloud cover rather than
by transfer through the ground. Charges and firing took
account of these conditions as they became apparent.
An extensive public awareness exercise was undertaken
and properties within a substantial radius of the hill were
surveyed and photographed prior to and following blasting.
This data was used as a basis for compensation claims. There
were a number of claims which, except for the isolated
extreme, were settled quickly and satisfactorily.
On the positive side, the hard but fractured Black Mountain
sandstone was suitable for crushing and reuse as open
granular backfill between the structure and the excavation.
This resulted in a substantial saving as it had been expected
that commercially available porous backfill quarried elsewhere
would have to be brought to the site for this purpose.
The excavated material was mainly redistributed around
the site. What material was not used on site was used to lift
industrial land above the Jerrabomberra floodplain in the
Fyshwick area and for the approaches to the Dairy Flat and
Canberra Avenue bridges.
With reinforced concrete the main element in the building
structure, a substantial amount of effort was applied to
improving the concrete practices in Canberra. Detailed
specialist reports identified serious shortfalls and for the
design to be effectively implemented the appropriate concrete
technology had to be followed from design through
to construction, and in a consistent manner.
In the construction phase particular attention was directed towards:
upgrading the ready mixed industry to code and
careful selection and strict control of aggregate source,
cleanliness and handling
specification of cement type and chemical composition
and use of nominated air entraining agents to achieve a
targeted entrain air content of 4.5 per cent.
specification of extensive trial mix procedures,including
pumping trials using nominated large capacity pumping
equipment and detailed submission of production
procedures at all stages of manufacture, delivery and
nomination of responsible technical representatives and]
attendance at fortnightly co-ordination meetings chaired
by the Structural Consultant, with approved concrete
technology specialists representing the supply consortium
production at all times being rigorously restricted to
approved computer and test-evaluated mix design. Control
of water content with consequences upon workability, ease
of pumping and shrinkage was a top priority. Strict control
and union supported penalty conditions were applied to all
delivery drivers, in respect of delivered water content
sound placement, effective curing and protective membranes.
Thermal blankets were used to overcome severe
frost or winter conditions and hot dry evaporative summer
education, advice to and quality control of the concrete
The office precast cladding, produced offsite and interstate,
required low slump concrete with accurately controlled
water/cement ratio and air entrainment. Galvanised
reinforcement was used to enhance durability.
The Structural Consultant’s engagement included total
quality assurance responsibilities. His team was
supplemented with a fulltime experienced concrete technologist
who had continuous access to all offsite production and
Water stops were used at major joints in the roof slab to
minimise free water penetration during the construction
phase before the permanent roof, tanking and membrane
Apart from the tight time frame and the special attention
given to the reinforced concrete components to raise
performance and ensure required tolerances and finish,
construction work was quite conventional.
The low-rise spread nature of the building provided its own
challenges in the service reticulation. Experience had
shown that dedicated, easily accessible service tunnels were
necessary to ensure efficient installation, operation and
maintenance of services, as well as to readily accommodate
future upgrading, augmentation and change in technology.
The nature of the building dictated that the goods access,
waste disposal and basic internal transportation also occur at
basement level. Therefore this required a system of
interconnecting movement tunnels and corridors.
While the Construction Manager vigorously sought separate
dedicated service tunnels, based upon experience at
Westmead Hospital and Geelong Animal Health Laboratory,
the Service Design Agent, Architect and Cost
Planner felt that both the service reticulation and internal
basement access requirements should be combined for the
most economic solution. This was achievable as the large
basement height allowed substantial ceiling space for the
corridor service runs. Only minor lengths of dedicated service
tunnels seemed to have been needed.
The space available for services in the access corridors at
first appeared generous. The decision, however, required a
high level of co-ordination for services installation. It
necessitated working in confined spaces at ceiling level,
requiring tight programming of access to work areas,
which resulted in severe conflict at cross-connections in
interconnecting corridors and reduced flexibility for future
change or augmentation.
As work progressed, inevitably the decision to combine
services into the same corridors was questioned. In retrospect
a more extensive use of dedicated service tunnels,
particularly in the areas of concentrated service, would have
Crawl space was provided beneath the building where
there were no basements and where future service
adjustments or upgrading with new technology was likely.
Packaging, tendering, installation and supervision of
services basically followed the zoning used in the design,
programming, costing and control of the project. This zoning
provided appropriate sized packages of work while
allowing flexibility in the grouping of zones containing
similar work for tendering purposes. Of necessity, there
were also a number of services, stretching across large areas
of the project, which in themselves were complete entities
requiring treatment on a global basis.
The four basic building services, HVAC (heating,
ventilation and air conditioning), power/lighting, hydraulics
and fire protection fitted well into the zoning system. The
global packaging was used with HV ring mains, document
movement systems, waste disposal, communication and
audio visual systems, which threaded throughout the kilometres
of corridors and required close co-ordination with
the basic building services in the limited space available.
Tender documents were prepared by the Construction
Manager, based on the formally approved designs and using
conditions of contract consistent with Commonwealth
Government and PHCA policy. Standardisation of documents
was essential, particularly for co-ordination of works
with other contractors, for industrial matters and for the
site conditions and facilities. The documentation was reviewed
for gaps, overlaps, special conditions, form of contract
etc before being approved by PHCA for tendering.
Tenders, following assessment by the Construction
Manager and Design Agent, were recommended to PHCA
for award of contract. The user was involved in the
Authority’s review processes on the more important equipment
items, to make sure that they met operational and maintenance
The contract documents were specific in their requirement
for services co-ordination, provision of shop
drawings, contractors’ responsibility in the joint drafting of
co-ordinated service drawings, commissioning and handover
of works and the provision of ‘as constructed’
drawings. The HVAC contractor took the lead in the
development of the combined building service drawings
which were co-ordinated over light tables.
The extent and complexity of the services co-ordination
was foreseen at the start of the project and the feasibility of
using computer-aided design (CAD) was considered. The
Architect had initially favoured the use of CAD for the
building design, finishing and fitout but retreated from it
because of the cost of equipment, the learning time for staff
and the reluctance of the user to accept the documentation
in this form. Consideration was also given to using a commercial
firm to provide a computer-aided services co-ordination
drafting service. A number of contractors were keen
to proceed this way but with commercial software for the
HVAC (the lead service) unavailable by the cut-off dates
and with the expressed wishes of the user for conventionally
drafted records, PHCA was forced to proceed using
light table co-ordination techniques.
This manual co-ordination, although a lengthy and
tedious task, was a well worthwhile effort as service clashes
experienced in the field were minimised and where they did
occur were readily overcome.
By completion of the work both computer programmes
and technology were becoming available in a form which
would have eliminated the majority of manual co-ordination
and possibly have overcome the many conflicts in
the search for scarce services space.
Commissioning and handover of the complex involved
considerations not normally encountered in the floor-byfloor
occupation of conventional high rise office development.
For Parliament to move from the Provisional House
required that all services and support facilities move to the
new building at the same time. To achieve this the transfer
of staff and backup facilities was arranged during the
Winter Parliamentary Recess, so that the complex was up
and running for the August 1988 Budget Session.
Much had to be done to ensure the move took place with
the building providing an acceptable environment. Major
equipment had to be run in, commissioned, adjusted and
handed over before the movement date.
The PHCA Act made no provision for the running in,
operation and maintenance of the facilities—handover of
the individual components was required at practical completion
of the contracts. To overcome this omission,
arrangements were made at the start of the project for the
user to build up an establishment consistent with the programmed
progressive handover of the works. The indicative
programme for this activity was provided to the user in
The intention was to have skilled people available to
work with the contractors on all major plant items during
final installation, testing and commissioning so that they
would be completely familiar with equipment and have it
properly functioning by the time of occupation.
Major service contracts included the pricing of a separate
schedule covering an operation and maintenance service to
be provided by the contractor. This schedule was available
to be taken up by the user/owner under separate contracts if
While the early indicative handover programmes were
somewhat optimistic, for a variety of reasons, the user
seemed to have underestimated the size and complexity of
the operation and maintenance task. This resulted in a
slower than necessary buildup of establishment staffing,
resulting in many of the contractors being required to operate
equipment well past their contract completion dates.
Services, plant rooms, parking areas etc were progressively
handed over from 1986, while the building structure
handover started in January 1988.
Quality and high standard of finish was a major feature of
the design. While established technology and materials
were required, these were used to fine tolerances and
intricate detail to achieve a consistently high standard on a
structure required to last two hundred years.
Achievement of quality and standard of workmanship
was the responsibility of each contractor. Although the
Superintendent was responsible for ensuring that the
contractor met his obligations, quantum and time were an
integral part of the contract and even with the best will by
all, the ever-present conflict between time, cost and quality
continued to emerge.
The rate of progress required close attention by the
Superintendent and frequently inhibited standing back and
spending time analysing problem areas. Contractors also
tended to fall back on what they regarded as an industry or
‘Canberra practice’ which was not what was specified or
required by the contract and which did not, in many cases,
meet codes or Australian Standards.
With construction occurring concurrently across a number
of zones and with considerable off-site work spread
through Australia, the maintenance of a consistent overall
approach to testing, quality, and quick resolution of
problems was imperative. Advance warning of problem areas
and the dissemination of solutions to all affected zones of
the work was essential, especially where a number of
contractors were undertaking similar or inter-related work.
To meet the pressing and foreseen needs in a positive
way, the establishment of a Quality Assurance Group
(QAG) was examined in late 1982. Although construction
was then still in the initial stages, the group was established
mid-1983, tobe operational before the more detailed works
As there were no Australian experience, codes or standards
covering such activities, procedures were adapted
from the Canadian Standards Association Special Publication
Z299.0—1979. Procedures did, however, exclude
design aspects because of the special competition base and
Parliamentary approval of the design.
The Architect and Design Agents provided advice and
service to the QAG, whose role include ensuring prompt
technical resolution of problems as well as the overview and
analysis of control, testing and inspection.
The group proved to be extremely effective and resulted
in a consistently high quality product throughout. Perhaps
more importantly, the project resulted in a better trained
construction workforce and improved standards of workmanship
across a whole range of building activities in Canberra
and perhaps Australia.
The cost of the new Parliament House project was, in
round figures, 1.1 billion dollars.
Costs for major Government projects had received critical
exposure over many years, largely because of the
methods used in authorisation and budgeting. These
methods were quite different from those used for private
developments or general overseas practice.
Public sector finance departments require that all estimates
and predictions be in “present day costs” and that no
allowances be made for escalation, rise and fall or contingencies,
these being covered by adjustments to authorisation
and budgets as they occur.
While this presents no problems in comprehension for
relatively short-term projects, the media and public’s
perception is severely stretched on long-duration projects,
particularly when a budget is established prior to concept and
additions and changes are made during the course of the
work. The new Parliament House project was no
The initial estimate of $151 million was developed in
1977 before the user requirements were fully established
and without a design concept. This figure was for building
only. It did not include furniture or any of the detailed
equipment normally installed by the owner, user or
Commonwealth services departments. The competition to
select an Architect, launched in 1978, was based on that
During the competition, an indicative costing of the brief
was independently undertaken by a leading firm of quantity
surveyors. This assumed a hypothetical arrangement for a
national building to high standard office quality, applying
realistic efficiency factors of usable to gross floor areas
consistent with circulation movements. An order of cost
slightly above $200 million emerged. This indicative costing
could not be given exposure, even within the project
team, as the competition had not closed.
The competition entries all, predictably, ranged around
the $151 million mark. The winning design (number 177)
was for a gross budget of $156,417,000.
Once the competition winner was announced, the full
documentation was made available to the project team
which undertook a preliminary analysis of the cost and
assessed it between $230 million and $240 million. The
project Cost Planner believed that the figure should be
higher, while the Architect’s Quantity Surveyor
maintained that a figure around $185 million was
When the Architect arrived in Australia, intense detailed
discussions were held over a concentrated period to
determine the precise design intent for the various components
of the building, the materials used and the quality and
finishes to be applied and to place a realistic costing on the
The figure reached included allowances for contingencies,
industrial action, and miscellaneous adjustments inevitable
in the detailing of the design. These allowances
were removed from the costing as directed and a project
budget of $220 million emerged. This figure was the basis
of the Parliamentary Approval for the project and became
the Approved Budget.
The costing was based at “May 1978” prices for
comparison with the competition budget and all subsequent
reporting on the Approved Building Budget was to this
Costs were controlled to a comprehensive cost plan,
detailing the various items and trades for each of the 25
zones of the building. This control covered all
preliminaries and establishment, as well as the building design and
included allowances for variations to awarded contracts.
Control of contracts was in accordance with the conditions
of contract and was exercised by the Superintendent, with
the assistance of the Cost Planner and later from the Cost
||building budget (may '78) $M
||NBI Approved additions (accumulated) $M
||Escalation (accumulated) $M
||Industrial insolvencies & Cumulative exchange rate $M
||Project Budget $M
Fig. 13.13: Tabulated movements in approved budget.
Additional user requirements to provide, for
example, dining facilities and relocate security areas.
Additional user requirements for southern security.
Additional funds to enlarge the capacity of Eastern Car Park and place it underground.
Increase in funds to add extensions to both House of Representatives and Senate wings following increases in the
number of Members/Senators.
Increase following overall budget review based on a report by an Interdepartmental Committee, comprising $62M of
additional requirements and $87M which would normally come from contingency allowances but which were
excluded from the original budgets.
Net reductions of $12 million following assessment of budget and Government budget decision to reduce costs.
Additional $5 million for landscaping.
Increase of $7 million associated with the costs of reinstating some works deleted or deferred in 1986.
Increase of $1 million for two additional Ministers’ suites and further reinstatement of deleted works.
Increase of $1 million for third additional Minister’s suite and cost of decision not to continue using rainforest
The main impact on cost increases was escalation with
the Building Construction Cost Index escalating from 100
at May 1978 to 354.60 at completion. Increases to the
approved budget for uncommitted work were approved in
line with increases in the index. Escalation to committed
works was in accordance with the Rise and Fall clauses of
the particular contracts.
Other major factors influencing cost was additional
Additions approved by the Government, such as increased
number of members’ suites, enlarging and
placing carparking underground, etc.
Non-building items, such as furniture, art-works,
security devices, telephones, 11 kV supply and the like.
When introduced in 1981, the estimated cost of these
non-building items was $82 million.
Industrial action, insolvencies and exchange rate
fluctuations also considerably affected the costs.
The detailed break-up of these various costs is shown in
the tabulation (Fig. 13.13) and graph (Fig. 13.14).
OCCUPATION OF BUILDING
The building and fitout was progressively handed over to
the Joint House Department from January 1988.
Formal opening of the Building by HRH Queen Elizabeth
II occurred on the 9 May 1988. Occupation and transfer
of facilities from the Provisional Parliament House
occurred over the Winter Parliamentary Recess to be avail
for the first session of Parliament in the Budget Session
of August 1988.
Major consultants who worked on the project were:
Architects—Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects;
Fig. 13.14: Project cost — graph showing movements in approved budget.
Fig. 13.15: HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Prime Minister,
Mr. R.J. Hawke, enter the foyer of the new Parliament
House after its formal opening on 9 May
Interior Design—Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects;
Structural Engineer—Irwin Johnston & Partners;
Associated Consulting Engineers for the Parliament House (ACEPH)_Joseph R. Loring and
Associates, Norman Disney & Young, W.E. Bassett & Partners Pty
Ltd, Leadingham Hensby Oxley & Partners;
Peter G. Rolland & Associates;
Quantity Surveyor—Donald Cant,
Watts, Hawes & Lee Pry Ltd;
Civil Engineers— Maunsell &
Construction Manager—Concrete Holland Joint Venture;
Project Planner—McLachlan Group Pty Ltd;
Cost Planner—Rawlinson Roberts & Associates;
Cost Advice—McLachlan Group Pry
Ltd, Rawlinson Roberts & Associates, Cost and Data Support
Services Pry Ltd;
Sound and Vision—Australian Broadcasting
Security—Department of Housing and
Construction/Department of Administrative Services;
Window & facade
weather testing—CSIRO (Csironet);
Acoustics and Vibration
Engineers—Louis A. Challis and Associates Pry Ltd;
ustralian Mineral Development Laboratories (AMDEL);
Earthworks,—Scott & Furphy Engineers Pty Ltd;
Services—Commercial Kitchen Consultants Pry Ltd;
Lighting—George Sexton Associates, GEC/Philips
Opera House Lighting Co Pry Ltd;
Keeler Hardware Pty Ltd;
Life Safety— Rolf Jensen & Associates
Water Feature—Robert Woodward, Peter Rolland &
Rooflng_ARMM Consultants Inc, CSIRO, Flag Hoisting—
Alan Payne & Partners Pry Ltd;
Flagmast Access—Johns Perry
Geotechnical—Coffey & Partners Pry Ltd;
Technology—Bemac Laboratories Pry Ltd;
Steel Pre-order—Johns Perry Ltd;
Metlab Mapel Pry Ltd;
Flagmast Elastic Stability—Professor P. Grundy,
Professor L.C. Schmidt;
Operations & Maintenance Manuals—Australian
Industrial Publications Ply Ltd;
Contractual Consultants—Bill Guy &
Partners, Construction Contract Services;
Government Solicitor, Morris Fletcher & Cross.
The authors express their appreciation to the Parliament House
Construction Authority, for the use of files, reference materials,
reports and diagrams, and to the Library of the National Capital
Special thanks also go to Mr John Fowler, Director of Irwin
Johnston & Partners Engineers Pty Ltd for review and technical
comment on the text, and to the partners of Mitchell/Giurgola &
Thorp Architects for their comments and the use of diagrams from
their competition winning documentation.
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plans relating to proposed erection of Provisional Parliament
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Parliament House Construction Authority — miscellaneous
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