WSP Adelaide Office

After the merger of WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff, WSP needed a new space to accommodate around 90 employees in Adelaide. The new office exemplifies Australia’s reputation for agile office design.


Location

  • Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Sector

Service

  • Program and Project Management
  • Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing
  • (View all)

Project Status

  • Completed in 2016

Architect



A Successful Activity Based Working Office

The 1,100m2 new office layout has been designed around flexibility and productivity. It features purpose-built table layouts, a large staff breakout area, collaborative working spaces, two quiet spaces and three quiet conversation points. The workstations were selected to combine both organic and linear layouts, to provide flexibility in reshaping the configuration in the event of changes, and create a greater sense of creativity in the space. The workstations are fitted with plug and play docking stations to enable an agile environment for staff, encouraging people to work with, and around, others.

The project was delivered in a truly collaborative managing contractor delivery model. We played a lead role in project managing the fit-out with the design team, and the project included a programme of internal change management for our staff. The design intention was to minimise the working zone around the core and perimeters to improve movement and access, and encourage informal meetings. Materials such as carpet tiles, vinyl flooring and plywood were sustainably sourced.

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The original building’s HVAC design which dated back to the mid 1960’s was based on induction style ‘skin cooling’ built into window sills below what used to be a smaller glazing system, with an induction internal zone system to traditional air diffusers. Our replacement for this design was made possible thanks to modifications that were made to the building.

The building owner replaced the façade on our fit-out level to provide floor to ceiling glazing and increase light and external views. A high level of natural light, along with motion sensors and highly efficient LED lighting, contributes to low energy consumption.

To complement the new high-performance facade and replace the original perimeter, we designed an active chilled beam system (which also uses an induction process). Removing the ceiling made it possible to elevate the chilled beams and this, combined with the open ceiling, creates a greater sense of openness.

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Building services were designed in BIM for clash detection and BIM also provided the mechanism to carefully co-ordinate and align services that were part of the design aesthetic. The internal areas maintain the original variable volume system with new swirl air diffusers.

To cater for the high-load areas, a number of elevated loft meeting pods are served by a Variable Refrigerant Flow System (VRF) that complements the chilled beams in our larger presentation/meeting rooms. The pod air conditioning units are under the raised floor, while the larger rooms utilise a more traditional above ceiling arrangement.

With the design completed a year ago, we have noticed that the changes have had a positive effect on our employees. The greater flexibility has improved productivity and the promotion of informal meetings has enhanced the office culture. Our large breakout area has enabled us to host successful events contributing to business development.