Unilodge Gray Street

SYNERGY CONSTRUCT undertook the design and construct of this major building project in the heart of of Adelaide’s west end and were responsible for coordinating and integrating the total fit out, including pod bathrooms, beds and furniture.

SYNERGY CONSTRUCT was awarded in the South Australian 2020 AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards – Residential Construction – $50 million plus category for the work completed on Unilodge Grey Street project. Additionally Project Manager Heath Price was awarded a Building Professional of the Year award for his leadership on the project.

  • 17 Floors
  • 772 Beds
  • 1764 m2 greenwall

An iconic student accommodation building in the city’s west, featuring the largest green wall in Australia, measuring at an impressive 1764sqm. With uniquely designed tapering at the top of the building, it offers an elegance amongst the Adelaide city skyline.

One of our most inspiring building projects, you can see the industry expertise throughout this high usage, functional building. Hosting the second most operational beds of any city student accommodation, this building is an essential and attractive offering for students with a total of 772 beds.

Student rooms were constructed utilising innovative solutions, including prefabricated bathroom pods (644 individual units), acoustically engineered vinyl boarding meeting BCA acoustic standards without the need for underlay, and local South Australian prefabricated kitchens (564 units) favoured over cheaper foreign alternatives to support local business and ensure control over quality finish and security of supply. Fitout items such as desks, chairs, beds and robes were procured directly by the client and seamlessly integrated into our fitout program without disruption or delay.

Externally, Brighton Lite precast panels with punch windows and sun shades envelope the building, creating an impressive statement. In order to enhance quality control, meet program deadlines and minimise risks associated with working at heights, all windows, sun shades and green wall framing were pre-installed into the precast panels offsite in a controlled environment. The panels were also treated offsite with a 25-year warranted Nawkaw stain to deliver a lasting premium finish.

For this structural steel framed building, we had our own inhouse drafting team, taking full responsibility for structural detailing of precast, formwork and structural steel as an integrated set of documents. We also adopted an innovative construction sequence which saw us building three levels of steel structure at a time, pouring the top level of the three-level strike and then infilling lower levels. This allowed us to speed up the sequence of the steel structure and cores to meet the tight program.

Site possession until handover was only 19 months and was achieved after having endured significant unforeseen delays including remediation of contaminated soil to a depth of 1.5 metres across the whole site and having to swap out tower cranes after height limit restrictions were revised downwards. This then required a redesign of the upper level cores from in situ to precast concrete and revised the construction sequence due to having to leave a cut-out in the upper levels to allow for crane movement. These events contributed two months of lost time to the program.

The green wall was a late design change from the original curtain wall in order to secure planning approval. This addition of precast panels, green wall frame and planter boxes added significant external load onto the structure which had to be re-engineered at the eleventh hour. Further, our local electrical subcontractor only completed 10% of their work before experiencing financial failure, so we directly engaged their employees and self-performed the electrical package, honouring their subcontract agreements for materials and engaged another third-party contractor to provide supplementary labour.

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