Spring 2020

Engaging interviews, behind-the-scenes insights, news, trends and topical features that celebrate places that evolve our landscape, and the people who bring them to life - welcome to Made by FDC.

Cultural precinct
an icon in-the-making.

Six-storeys. 7700 square metres. Eight galleries. Numerous exhibitions. Sydney’s cultural landscape is about to get a whole lot richer.

When the innovative Chau Chak Wing Museum opens its doors on 18th November at the University of Sydney, it will bring together some of the most important collections of art, history and science under the one roof. Encompassing natural history, ethnography, science, visual and decorative arts, historic photography and antiquities, the museum offers free entry to the public, adding significant cultural value to the university and Sydney at large.

Combining the art and artifacts of the Nicholson Museum, Macleay Museum and the University Art Gallery, the new museum contains 2,000 square metres of exhibition space, a 400 square metre temporary exhibition gallery, research and study areas, an auditorium, café, gift shop and a state-of-the-art conservation facility.

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The first seven exhibitions at the museum have been announced, including a permanently displayed ‘mummy room’, featuring the coffins – and mummies – of four people who lived (and died) in Egypt between 1000 BC to AD 100. Indigenous art, Roman antiquities, 19th Century commercial photography, natural history and contemporary art will also feature heavily.

Externally, the museum is a triumph of design and structural engineering – its striking concrete cube structure reaching 14 metres to the South, overlooking the city skyline. The project was described by Chief University Infrastructure Officer, Greg Robinson, as “showcasing some of the finest off form concrete finishes – externally and internally – that we have seen in NSW.”

The project aims to achieve a 100-year design life of the structure, longevity FDC actioned by galvanising the reinforcement – and numerous design initiatives that boost its sustainable credentials. Delivered by FDC alongside Johnson Pilton Walker, Northrop, IGS, NDY and Coffey, it was an incredibly complex project. The building was constructed entirely without plasterboard instead, the majority of in-ceiling services were cast-in with precision into the concrete floor slabs.

On the impact of the museum, donor Dr Chau said, “It is my sincere hope that the Chau Chak Wing Museum not only directly benefits Sydney’s cultural landscape and emerging generations who seek knowledge, but also indirectly encourages others to contribute meaningfully to the enrichment of Australia’s arts and culture.”

Want to learn more about this iconic new building? Visit sydney.edu.au/museum

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Melbourne Jellyfish get an upgrade

Jellyfish are probably not the first things that come to mind when you think of prime real estate, but the jellyfish who inhabit Melbourne Sea Life aquarium’s new $1.5 million Ocean Invaders exhibit probably beg to differ. Since opening to the public in December 2019, thousands of the graceful, gelatinous sea creatures have moved in, and are living their best jellyfish lives.

It’s all thanks to the interactive exhibit, collaboratively delivered by FDC, which features three multi-sensory, interactive zones, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the magical world of jellies like never before. Think: light projections and stunning live displays, cylindrical jellyfish tanks you can crawl through, a spherical globe swarming with species and a Jelly Lab where you can be educated about lifecycle, environmental factors and more.
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Fun fact? Jelly fish aren’t ‘born’ – they’re cultured, says Curator of Sea Life Melbourne, Paul Hale. “We culture them in-house by changing the temperature of the water to give them a summer and a winter. Basically, they reproduce in the tanks, we collect the juveniles, grow them to becomes adults and the adults produce eggs – which go through a seasonal change to become juveniles. It’s a complicated lifecycle. We have about 2000 jellyfish in the exhibit at present, though it does vary. We’re currently working with nine species.”

The tanks the jellyfish are housed in were purpose-built to ensure they felt at home (another fact: jellyfish can’t ‘feel at home’ – they don’t have brains). “In the wild, jellyfish don’t encounter a lot of surfaces – they’re big water swimmers – so the tanks are designed to have a continuous smooth flow in them which allows the jellyfish to stay in the middle of the water column and minimises the amount of time that they touch the sides of the tanks,” explains Paul.

The Ocean Invaders project was a fascinating one for the FDC team in Victoria who had to demolish and build in the middle of a public environment. “There was an existing exhibit which we demolished first before the jellyfish exhibit was constructed. We worked in two phases. The first part of the project was establishing the jellyfish breeding facility and the lab. Phase Two was creating the interactive exhibit, where the jellyfish migrate to,” says FDC Project Manager, Martin Armit.

“Working in a live environment was a challenge since there was always a risk we could harm other species in the aquarium. We had to be conscious of safety every step of the way, making sure we weren’t contaminating the water. All of the materials we used were low VOC – we couldn’t use glues or anything that would potentially contaminate the facility. Coordination with the aquarium was critical, because there were so may moving parts.

“It was a big job, but it came together beautifully. We built all the walls, the huge floors, we had some structural work to do as well, because there was a void in the floor that required structural steel – and the walls went on top of that. We ran all the services, from the tanks to the electricity to the special water for the jellyfish,” he said. “Sea Life Aquarium is such an iconic place in Melbourne. To have worked on such an innovative project, that people will be talking about and enjoying for years to come, is incredible.”

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A conversation could change a life

If you work in the construction industry, you’re probably well-versed in safety procedures. When your day job consists of dealing with heavy machinery, scaffolding and thousands of tonnes of material, it’s not all that surprising that it’s a career that comes with considerable risk. But what may surprise you, is that if you work in construction, the greatest risk to your safety is not physical – but mental.

According to research by Mates in Construction, construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than from a workplace accident, and twice as likely to take their own lives than people in other industries.

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You can wear all the safety gear you like and follow the OHS book to the letter – but what’s the secret to dealing with struggles when they’re a result of the so-called Black Dog?

According to research by Mates in Construction, construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than from a workplace accident, and twice as likely to take their own lives than people in other industries. You can wear all the safety gear you like and follow the OHS book to the letter – but what’s the secret to dealing with struggles when they’re a result of the so-called Black Dog?

It all comes down to having a conversation, acknowledging how you’re feeling and getting help. That’s the crux of R U OK Day, of which FDC is a passionate supporter. The national suicide prevention initiative aims to minimise the shame and stigma around mental health, with the message that starting a conversation could save a life.

To support this notion, three people close to the FDC family were generous enough to open up about their own personal stories of mental adversity. FDC Site Manager, Ben Woods, shared the trauma of losing his brother Jase Woods to suicide. Former Commando, Mick Bainbridge, brother of FDC Development Manager Tim Bainbridge, talked honestly about the mental injuries he sustained working in a war zone and Jess Cottle, daughter of FDC Director, Blake Cottle addressed her struggle with mental illness and why she is now a passionate youth mental health advocate. While their stories are vastly different, what they have in common is vulnerability and resilience – having the strength to speak up, seek help and make a difference to others in the process.

To read about Jess, Ben and Mick’s experiences, visit fdcbuilding.com.au/ruok

To learn more about R U OK Day, visit RUOK.org.au. For crisis support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

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The digital evolution

It doesn’t seem so long ago that a cloud was just a fluffy mass of ice crystals, suspended in the sky. Now, there’s nothing fluffy about it. The Cloud is big business, and while it’s still a relatively new journey for Australian enterprises, they’re readily getting on board.

According to findings in the report Australia Data Center Market – Investment Analysis and Growth Opportunities 2020-2025, “more than 90% of SMEs in Australia are expected to operate via the cloud, and over 80% of medium-sized and large data centers will be outsourcing their data centre operations by 2023.”

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In addition, over 80% of Australian businesses plan to invest in big data technology in applications such as financial modeling, security and fraud detection, retail and e-commerce.

In the past five years, the adoption of cloud services by businesses in Australia has resulted in a productivity benefit to the economy of $9.4 billion, according to the Economic Impact of Cloud Services 2019 report by Deloitte[1]. The report found that “78% of users have reported improvement in productivity since using cloud services” – but there are still some hurdles to overcome. The major challenges for companies looking to tap into cloud computing include skills (37%), legacy systems (37%) and cost (35%).

Data centre construction and fitout is a specialist area which will continue to experience significant growth as more businesses join this sophisticated new age of digital technology – and FDC is at the forefront. “FDC is playing an active role in the evolution of the digital community with over $2 billion worth of completed data centre work,” says FDC Construction Manager for Data Centres, Mark Tallentire. Thirty-five major data centres have been delivered to date (with more in the pipeline) including the new Hyperscale IC3 facility which significantly expands capacity at the existing Macquarie Park Data Centre Campus in Sydney.

[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/deloitte-au-economics-value-cloud-services-australia-230719.pdf
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Architectural excellence

The people behind the spaces rightly recognised for their architectural masterpieces. Congratulations John Wardle Architects and
Durbach Block Jaggers.
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Phoenix Central Park, in Chippendale, Sydney, was lauded at the 2020 NSW Architecture Awards, winning the most awards ahead of a strong lineup of contenders. It was a stunning result for our client, Judith Neilson, and for designers John Wardle Architects and Durbach Block Jaggers. The $32 million gallery and performance space was a collaboration between FDC, Colliers InternationalTTWDurbach Block Jaggers and John Wardle Architects, and raked in three awards on the night including the NSW Architecture Medallion, the Sir Arthur G. Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture and the John Verge Award for Interior Architecture.

The Abbotsford Convent Magdalen Laundry project recently won the Heritage Architecture Category for Creative Adaptation at the 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards. This nationally significant, state-registered heritage site was the vision of Williams Boag Architects, working in partnership with the Convent’s Executive Team and FDC’s Senior Project Manager, John Lane and his specialist team of delivery experts.

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