Five things you may not know about the Building 4 refurbishment
Unless you work in Building 4, you may have little idea about the scope – or the challenges – of the two-year interior upgrade project, impacting five floors and dozens of science spaces.
From dust issues to discovering decades-old features, the project has produced its fair share of problems, solutions and revelations, some of which are shared here.
1. Dealing with disruption
Disruption from construction works is annoying at the best of times but for working science labs its impact can be catastrophic. To keep dust under control in construction zones close to labs and other science spaces, the project team installed an inventive product similar to a large Post-It pad, which sits on the floor in dusty areas. Walk across the blue pad and its sticky surface collects dust from shoe soles. Once used, the sticky surface can simply be peeled away to reveal a fresh sheet.
2. Specialist services
Relocating specialist science equipment, such as a freezer that cools to -80°C, takes more than muscle. Power, sensitivity to certain conditions and a host of other factors in addition to weight may have to be considered before relocation can happen. In the case of a piece of laser technology known as the OMX high-resolution microscope, the only person qualified to relocate it to its new space (just metres down the corridor) is based in Seattle and will fly to Sydney to oversee the process.
3. Science connections
The connections between UTS’s two science buildings – 4 and 7 – extend far beyond their physical location side by side, particularly when it comes to their forensic science facilities. Students use the crime scene labs in Building 7 to learn techniques for collecting evidence, before transferring to the new forensic science labs in Building 4 where, under high-intensity lighting and powerful microscopes, the evidence collected next door can be analysed.
4. Recycle and reuse
Building 7’s sustainability features may have earned it a 6 Star Green Star design rating, but Building 4 is also kicking sustainability goals as a result of the refurbishment. Contractor Richard Crookes Constructions has sent more than 80 tonnes of construction waste for recycling during the project, with timber and metal representing around two-thirds of the total. All up, the project is achieving above 90% construction waste recycling, far exceeding its target of 80%.
5. What lies beneath
Constructing new spaces to equal the standard set in Building 7 has meant first stripping out the old, a process which has at times exposed the ‘bones’ of the original building, including services, construction slabs and timber features thought to be around 60 years old. The original infrastructure of the building, however, remains substantially intact and will continue to serve our science teachers, researchers and students well into the future.
For information on major campus developments, their timelines and impacts, staff can visit Staff Connect.