Photo acknowledgement: Trevor Mein
Barwon Water head office, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Designed by GHDWoodhead, the Barwon Water head office in Geelong, Victoria, has been named Australia's best commercial building, receiving the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture from the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA).
The project also received AIA's inaugural National Sustainability Award for the adaptive reuse of two existing 1970s buildings that retained the energy embodied in the concrete structure, while creating a contemporary workplace and a landmark for Geelong's central business district.
The energy-efficient facility is wrapped in a distinctive high-performance façade that is inspired by the city's industrial history.
According to the jury citation, the project created a workplace that "feels vibrant and domestic" while the façade "gives the building an overall sense of purpose – one that aligns with the qualities of a public authority dedicated to providing one of the most fundamental services."
The citation also said the design "sets an excellent precedent for re-using the aged, underperforming building stock located in regional centres throughout Australia."
This level of recognition highlights the value of GHDWoodhead’s integrated design offering, which combines architecture with engineering and other services to help clients realise complex projects.
Photo credit: Trevor Mein
Bayou d’Inde remediation, Louisiana, USA
A unique underwater installation of articulated concrete block mat, and the application of a sand-water slurry were implemented to remediate industrial contamination in Bayou d’Inde, a major tributary of the Calcasieu River located in southern Louisiana.
Numerous contaminants - mainly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - had accumulated over decades of industrialisation in in two distinct areas. To address these environmental impacts in tidally influenced bodies of water required innovative thinking, considerable planning, and precise control at the field level.
In the first area, contaminated sediments were covered and isolated with an impermeable concrete blanket. Over 39,400 square yards of articulated concrete block mat were installed over 2200 linear feet of bayou, with a unique design where the panels were zippered and overlapped to create a continuous bank-to-bank cover.
In the second area, over 21,000 tonnes of sand were pumped into 15.8 acres of fringe marshes, areas that are tidally influenced with varying water levels up to 1 foot. A land-based, logic-controlled slurry system was used to create a sand-water slurry, which was applied in a controlled manner using sprayer barges. The sand cover will mix with existing sediments over the next 30+ years, leading to natural attenuation and protecting wildlife.
Expansion of Lithium Carbonate Plant, Argentina
At an altitude of 4000 m above sea level in the Jujuy province of Argentina, the Sales de Jujuy S.A. plant at Salar de Olaroz produces lithium carbonate for export to global markets.
Demand continues to grow for this valuable resource, which is used for making batteries as well as ceramics, glass and chemicals manufacturing.
At Salar de Olaroz, lithium brine is extracted from underground bore wells, fed into evaporation ponds, where brine is concentrated until reaching a desired level of lithium. Then, concentrated brine is sent to the chemical plant where it is filtered and dried, resulting in lithium carbonate.
GHD’s role includes:
- Test works to establish design and technological assessment parameter for different processing plant components, with the participation of different equipment vendors and manufacturers
- Detailed engineering design drawing on a variety of disciplines
- Early design and procurement of long lead items.
Hespeler trunk sanitary sewer line, Ontario, Canada
City of Cambridge
GHD helped the City of Cambridge in Ontario, Canada to implement an innovative trenchless technology solution for the 45-years-old Hespeler trunk sanitary sewer line, which serves more than 35,000 residents.
After assessing the sewer and reviewing potential options, our team identified cured-in-place pipe as the preferred methodology for rehabilitating the 2 km long, 600 mm and 675 mm diameter trunk sewer. This involves installing a soft, resin-soaked, sock-like liner within the existing sewer using high-pressure air.
This solution saved approximately CAD1 million compared to traditional replacement methods, which would have entailed significant costs and approvals challenges, including the need to clear-cut surrounding forestry within an environmentally sensitive area.
Following the feasibility report, GHD developed the detailed design and tender documentation, and secured the necessary approvals. We also provided contract administration and site inspection services.
Holman Highway 68 Roundabout, California, USA
City of Monterey, Pebble Beach Company, Caltrans, the Transportation Agency of Monterey County, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, County of Monterey, City of Pacific Grove, the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
The Holman Highway 68 roundabout project implemented a multi-lane, sustainable, low-maintenance, user-friendly roundabout to relieve congestion along Holman Highway, one of the Monterey Peninsula’s main transportation corridors. The project replaced a signalised intersection joining the Highway 1 on- and off-ramps to Highway 68 and the famous 17-Mile Drive, which previously caused commuter frustration, increased air pollution, and restricted access to the local hospital, compelling impatient drivers to invent detours through adjacent residential neighbourhoods.
GHD provided project management, traffic operations/analysis, and specialty engineering design. Multiple staging and contingency plans were required to mitigate traffic congestion and confusion, while simultaneously maintaining access for residents and emergency services. The design was optimised to minimise harm to the coastal habitat and preserve over 400 Monterey pine trees, protecting the scenic character of the area. The final roundabout solution had significantly fewer impacts and was less than half the cost of a previously planned project.
Novaliches - Balara Aqueduct 4, Manila, Philippines
NovaBala Joint Venture Corporation (NBJVC)
One of the largest water supply infrastructure projects undertaken by Manila Water, a new tunnel aqueduct is being constructed, traversing one of the world’s most densely populated cities.
The Novaliches to Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) will enable Manila Water to secure water supplies for Metro Manila and also progressively rehabilitate its three existing aqueducts between La Mesa Dam and its Balara Water Treatment Plant.
NBAQ4 will convey 1000 ML/d of water to Balara Treatment Plants 1 and 2 from the La Mesa Reservoir. The project entails the construction of a new intake facility at La Mesa Reservoir, a 7.3 km long by 3.1 m diameter tunnel, a 30 m above-ground outlet tower as well a mini-hydro power plant, access bridge and road and downstream ancillary pipework and civil roads. The tunnel will be constructed using a TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine), which is the first time Manila Water has used such technology in its history.
GHD was engaged by construction contractor NBJVC, an international consortium of companies (Chunwo, CMC Ravenna, First Balfour), to develop the tender detail design and is currently involved in the early stages of construction as NBJVC’s technical advisor.
Once constructed, the project will provide drinking water to approximately 7 million people within Metro Manila.
Pesticide Container Management project, Pacific Islands
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Program
This is the third award GHD has received for this project; it also won the 2018 Western Australia Australian Institute of Project Management Award and the 2018 National Australian Institute of Project Management Award.
GHD was engaged by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Program to improve the management of used pesticide containers in the region in alignment with the UN Millennium Development Goals. In many Pacific Island countries, used pesticide containers are reused for water storage or burned, posing high risks for human health and the environment.
The project team conducted baseline surveys of pesticide container management in 14 Pacific Island countries, and developed an integrated waste management strategy for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, including a legislative review.
A particular complex aspect of the project was the need to consider sustainable changes to waste management practices within the constraints of small island countries. Having identified a preferred waste management model, GHD recommended that the model be trialled in one country, refined and then expanded across the Pacific region.
“We’re extremely proud to win this third award for our management of this important environmental project in the Pacific region,” says Daniel Todd, GHD’s Technical Director – Environment, Queensland. “Once again this represents a very strong endorsement of the robust project management skills we can bring to international development assistance work, including our ability to successfully coordinate the efforts of team members across multiple countries.”
Saipan dump regulatory closure / Eloy S. Inos peace park, Northern Mariana Islands, USA
Office of the Governor/Capital Improvements Program
Saipan, the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands and a US commonwealth in the Western Pacific, closed the Puerto Rico dump in 2003. At the time, the dump had grown to a 90-foot-high mound with an estimated 1.75 million cubic yards of waste, and required remediation to comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act under the US Environmental Protection Agency.
GHD’s Saipan office oversaw the engineering and construction management that went into transforming the landfill into a park with walking paths and lookouts for visitors to enjoy sunsets over the Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean. The USD27.2 million project included the installation of a thick liner system and extensive stormwater drainage and tribar revetment protection system to drastically reduce the amount of contaminated water entering the lagoon and protect the slopes from erosion.
Features that collect and safely vent landfill gas were also designed and installed. The closure is now fully in compliance with USEPA’s requirements.
State Highway 1 Ellerslie Acoustic Barrier, Auckland, New Zealand
NZ Transport Agency
The Ellerslie acoustic barrier project was initiated by the local community and the New Zealand Transport Agency to mitigate the noise and air pollution effects of more than 100,000 vehicles travelling on this section of State Highway 1.
GHD designed nearly 1 km of acoustic barriers, made up of 233, 3-metre-high panels, sitting on a fibre-reinforced concrete footing, which varies in dimension to fit the narrow corridor.
The core design philosophy was to create a continuous wall with consistent elements, instead of discrete post and panels that usually make up noise walls.
The result is a seamless piece of infrastructure that responds to the overall road corridor, complementing road structures and landscape. The design is inspired by the history of early Maori settlers, who used ‘waka’ canoes as their main form of transportation. The noise panels incorporate Maori decorative elements symbolising spiritual warning and protection developed by Maori artist and designer Johnson Witehira.
Smart City Framework, Victoria, Australia
Glenelg Shire Council
Glenelg Shire in far south-western Victoria, covers a large area around Portland, which is home to Victoria’s second-largest export port built on forestry, aluminium, agriculture and aquaculture.
Like many regional communities Glenelg Shire has challenges around the cost of service delivery, employment growth, retaining young adults and communications infrastructure. Glenelg Shire Council is very progressive and fully recognises the potential of smart technology to help the community achieve three key attributes of liveability, workability and sustainability.
GHD was appointed to prepare a smart city framework, roadmap and governance process. We engaged widely across the community to identify initiatives that are tailored to the region. Our client was particularly pleased with the time our team spent in the community and our open and friendly, collaborative working style. We have since introduced a potential partner who may be willing to fund one of the identified smart technology trials which would enable the Council’s limited available funds to be leveraged further.
Tourian FEED, Teesside, UK
Tourian Renewables Limited (TRL)
GHD has completed the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for an innovative project in Teesside, UK, that will make valuable products such as fuels, oils or chemicals from waste plastic.
The project, developed to date by Tourian Renewables Limited (TRL), targets end of life plastics that have no further useful recycling value and will contribute to the goal of reducing the amount of plastic currently being disposed of in landfill sites.
Local GHD experience in supercritical steam and combustion systems, as well as electrical, civil and mechanical engineering expertise, was coupled with process plant design knowledge from GHD’s oil and gas team in Australia.
The project team deployed specialist technical process design knowledge alongside multi-disciplinary engineering capability to develop a robust FEED for the new facility.
This pioneering project will be the first of its kind in the UK whist the application of technology to achieve the range of end products from the waste plastics feedstock will be a world-wide first. TRL is asset managed by Armstrong Energy, a leading investor and developer of low carbon and other ‘circular economy’ projects.
Wickenburg Ranch Water Reclamation Facility, Arizona, USA
Wickenburg Ranch community
The 2160 acre Wickenburg Ranch community in Arizona was isolated from the existing water and wastewater infrastructure and needed a robust wastewater treatment system to support its future growth and development. The Town of Wickenburg also wanted a long-term solution that would reduce the amount of groundwater used by golf courses and landscaping for irrigation.
A new 100,000-gallons-per-day (gpd) water reclamation facility has been built to provide Class A+ reclaimed water, reducing the demand on the aquifer by up to 29.2 million gallons annually during Phase 1 operations and by 106.58 million gallons annually during the future Phase 2 expansion.
A high-quality water reclamation system was selected as the wastewater treatment process that provided the most beneficial reuse. Membrane bioreactor technology was chosen as it requires less daily interaction, while also producing consistent and compliant effluent, even under extremely variable loading conditions. Use of design optimisation tools during the master planning efforts resulted in a symmetrical design that promotes ease of operations and maintenance, while providing sufficient space planning for the ultimate facility build-out at 1.2 million gpd.
Water for Women, India, Fiji, Pakistan, Myanmar, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Bhutan, Nepal, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Bangladesh, Cambodia
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
In writing the project description, please cover the following points:
- What were the challenges faced by the client or the issues needing resolving? What solution did we propose and outline the key services delivered?
- How will this project benefit the client, environment or broader community?
- What’s interesting/unique about this project? How have we provided value to the client? Talk about client service excellence, innovation, safety, technical knowhow, on time and on budget etc.
GHD has been engaged by the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as the Fund Coordinator to deliver their flagship WASH program, investing $110.6 million over five years from 2018 to 2022 as part of the Australian Aid program.
Water for Women aims to support improved health, gender equality and wellbeing in Asian and Pacific Communities through socially inclusive and sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects.
The benefits of improved, safe access to WASH are clear. Not only does access to WASH prevent disease and death, it also has profound, lasting socio-economic impacts on a community and its ability to prosper, particularly for women and girls.
Water for Women will partner with 10 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to deliver 19 Projects in 16 Countries in South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific. Over the course of the Fund, Water for Women hopes to support an estimated 2.95 Million people including some of the most marginalised within these communities.
GHD, together with our client and our partners will provide innovative solutions to WASH delivery in the Indo-Pacific region, and contribute to global WASH evidence and research through Water for Women.
Water for Women recognises that gender equality will be advanced through the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6 – the Water Goal. Addressing the Water Goal will see a world where women and girls do not bear the time burden of walking long distances every day to collect water for their families, where fewer babies die as a result of mothers giving birth in unhygienic health care facilities and girls no longer miss school because there are no appropriate menstrual hygiene management services.