The first phase of the Australian Museum’s transformation – known as Project Discover is now open to the public.

In its most extensive renovation in decades, Australia’s first museum, originally founded in 1827, has redeveloped it’s public and exhibition spaces. This includes adding more than 3,000sqm of new public space, repurposed from back-of-house areas.

“Project Discover has transformed Australia’s first museum with its world-class natural history and cultural collection of more than 21million objects and specimens into a museum for the 21st century and beyond and our partnership with ADP Consulting has been key in the preservation of our exhibits and artefacts and the spaces we have created,” said Kim McKay AO, Director & CEO at the Australian Museum.

“This will be our third project working with the museum and one of the most exciting ones to date’, said Gavin White, Director at ADP Consulting. ‘The redeveloped areas will bring new breath taking experiences to tourists and the people of NSW at an unparalleled level. What has been exhilarating for our team is engineering such an iconic heritage building which was never intended for modern-day, cutting-edge technology. On a personal level, it’s been a real privilege to be part of a team creating an environment that will safeguard the historic treasures of Australian Museum and future touring exhibitions.”

Due to the significant scope of works, the Museum closed its doors to the public for the entire renovation, with staff remaining in the building due to the highly sensitive collections and exhibitions.

With numerous considerations around a project as complex as this, significant specialist requirements have been incorporated into the design from an early stage as well as careful consideration of specialist environmental conditions which have been applied to multiple areas and systems throughout the museum.

With a budget of $57.5 million, including $50.5 million funding from the NSW Government, Project Discover will facilitate the first stage of the AM’s transformation.

The transformation has delivered a new flexible touring exhibition hall across two levels to allow for one major exhibition or two exhibitions to be held simultaneously. There is an impressive new central staircase with stunning views to St Mary’s Cathedral with new escalators for seamless circulation between the Grand Hall, known as Hintze Hall, and the new Touring Exhibition Hall below. The redevelopment will also significantly improve the visitor experience with the creation of new education facilities, a new museum shop, a second café, expanded members’ lounge, cloaking and amenities.

An important part of the Australian Museum has been reducing its environmental footprint and it is now Carbon Neutral and has recycled and reused over 90% of the building materials from the project. The AM is the first natural history museum to be Climate Active Carbon Neutral certified.

Some key engineering design solutions included:

  • Humidity-controlled air handling units with N+1 redundancy and tight temperature deadband control so environmental conditions are always maintained.
  • Dry pipe, double-knock sprinkler systems to ensure no water is stored above critical exhibitions.
  • Flexibility in the communications, AV, lighting, and security system designs to accommodate a wide range of end-user requirements.

After nearly 10 years at Darling Park, Urbis made the decision to relocate to a more central location in Sydney’s CBD to cater for the next stage of growth for their business.

Leasing two levels of Angel Place that were previously occupied by a law firm, Urbis took a more sustainable approach by utilising many of the previous spaces thus allowing efficient allocation of funds to other areas of the fit-out.

A key aspiration for the client was to drive even greater collaboration within the business and with clients. This was achieved in part through one major change to the previous tenancy; an interconnecting stair designed to open up the spaces and create greater connectivity. The breakout and town hall area was then located directly next to the stairs further capitalising on the open area.

With ceilings removed to expose services, the breakout area was designed with an industrial feel, so ductwork and lighting design became crucial to the impact of the space. This proved challenging as the mechanical services had to account for those large town hall meetings where the population requires significantly more outside air and larger ac units.

The existing floorplate was opened up from multiple small offices to a more common open plan arrangement, with small meeting rooms retained and revised with new audio-visual equipment and pendant lighting. Collaboration and project spaces were created, with a large AV wall installed behind the interconnecting stair to showcase the results of these sessions. This first-of-its-kind interactive wall is equipped with motion sensors and provides a sense of ever-changing movement in the space.

A large external deck was refreshed with lighting integrated into new seating and decking, a design that wrapped indoors into the breakout space providing more collaborative areas for staff.  The additional travel distance introduced fire engineered solutions and required close review of the stair pressurisation system due to the additional exit doors into the fire stairs, a problem overcome with careful design of relief air pathways and diffusers that still met the architectural aesthetic.

To encourage and allow for more flexibility, 20 collaboration spaces, breakout spaces, an indoor space with tiered seating for presentations and events, an outdoor terrace, and 200 workstations over 2 levels, connected via an inter-tenancy staircase were thoughtfully mapped into the design.

Credit Images: Raw Life Studios

Situated within the Nepean Hospital health precinct, the state-of-the-art healthcare hub is delivering world-leading care to the Western Sydney community.

The centre features 6,300sqm of space for healthcare service providers, including five theatres, 16 private hospital rooms, day treatment facilities, a radiation therapy linear accelerator and a broad range of diagnostic services.

Consisting of four basement levels and four levels above ground the development also included the construction of two suspended Radiology Bunkers on the ground floor.

ADP have been proactively engaged with the current and future stakeholders to deliver a highly efficient building with the flexibility to cater for both medical and non-medical tenants.

Our team are providing mechanical, electrical, fire, hydraulics, Section J, vertical transportation and ESD services to achieve a target 4.5 Star NABERS Energy Base Building rating.

The award-winning Australian Headquarters, located within Tower 2 of Barangaroo, is a great example of innovative design which delivers flexible and experimental spaces that respond seamlessly to a brands vision.

The entry & lift lobby space is designed to be an activated experience that engages the users through light & sound and aims to transport guests & employees into the Cognizant space. Conceptually the project is a juxtaposition of space and texture, delivering flexible areas which allow occupants to transform and adapt the surrounding environment to suit their needs.

Key features of the fitout include a welcome lounge with open breakout & dining spaces, a large breakout kitchen doubling as a Town Hall presentation space, a client experience centre showcasing Cognizant’s latest technology, and working areas that are flooded with natural light and a calming palette.

The ADP team provided building services, acoustics and sustainability design and the project is expecting to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating and a 5 Star NABERs rating. All furniture, finishes and joinery throughout have been specified and designed with sustainability at the forefront and where possible, the existing base building structure has been retained. Through early collaboration and open communication with the full project team, sustainability was fully embedded into the holistic design philosophy throughout the project resulting in a great outcome.

To avoid compromising the existing HVAC systems and avoid unnecessary demolition, all space planning was completed with considerations to the locations of the existing active and passive chilled beams and ceiling structure. This presented unique opportunities and challenges during the space planning stage and informed the location of all full height-built structures throughout.


With the world’s perception shifting on how we work, where we work and how we live there has been an active drive for asset owners to rethink how they adapt their assets to work for current and future end-users. With the current crisis looking to be around for some time, many have taken the opportunity to rethink their building assets outside of our cities and are responding to longer term preferences for people to stay locally to work, live and play.

Vicinity Centres and Challenger are at the forefront of this shift with plans to offer their customers a new way of local living in Western Sydney as they lodge precinct-sized plans to overhaul its ageing centre in Bankstown.

Bankstown Central is set to deliver a vibrant and sustainable new high amenity mixed-use precinct right in the heart of the Bankstown CBD, with the new precinct comprising new F&B and retail tenancies, 7 levels of PCA-A grade commercial offices, plus health and wellness amenities. Two levels of basement carparking will complement the existing shopping centre and new precinct.

Rooted in Vicinity’s vision for a sustainable development, the new mixed-use precinct will target a 5-star NABERS Energy Base Building Rating, 4.5-star NABERS Water Base Building, 5-star Green Star Design & As-built, and Gold WELL Certification.

Through innovative, environmentally sustainable design a healthy and active environment will be created for occupants whilst minimising any negative environmental impacts associated with its design, construction, and ongoing operation.

Early in the design, ADP’s wholistic approach to services, sustainability, and site infrastructure have identified the key infrastructure challenges. De-risking the project early and providing cost certainty has enabled innovative solutions to be embedded from the concept stage, including a high efficiency central plant, new chamber substation, and flexible F&B provisions to deliver a vibrant new Eat Street food precinct.

“Leveraging ADP’s experience across multiple sectors has been key for us on this project. Their teams’ experience with shopping centres, mixed-use precincts, commercial offices, authority infrastructure, and sustainable ratings them to promote innovative ideas in each discipline and then to use their cross disciplinary teams to quickly review, coordinate, and fine tune the outcomes” says Vicinity’s National Head of Design, David Waldren. “The revitalisation of Bankstown CBD is a very exciting project to be part of as it is very much designed with the community at its core” added ADP Director Gavin White.

Bankstown Central will be the start of Vicinity Centre’s 30-year vision to provide a hub for up to 8,400 workers, 3,500 residents and 1,800 students to the western suburbs of Sydney.

The Lower North Shore’s most sought-after address ‘The Landmark’, is the perfect launch pad to Sydney Harbour and beyond. It has set a new benchmark as one of the tallest residential towers in Sydney.

The 43-storey residential tower, comprising 429 studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments and “sky homes” with three or four bedrooms, will include a communal area on the ground floor, where access to a pool, spa and fitness facilities will be offered. The 3 levels above ground floor will accommodate commercial office space, while the basement car park will provide parking for residents and visitors alike.

A key aspect of the project was the council-owned Friedlander Place, connecting Pacific Highway through to Nicholson Street, with landscaped amenities and play areas, providing easy access through to a future bus interchange planned by Lane Cove Council. The area is lit with feature lights that blend into the building and help make this a statement piece of the area, with potential to integrate into and expand the Vivid festival up past North Sydney.

Along with public amenity, the building boasts many residential facilities including bookable entertaining spaces, cinema rooms, library, music room, a children’s play area, gym, swimming pool, yoga studio, and virtual golf rooms. All apartments can upgrade to smart control technology with dimmable lighting, tablet or phone-controlled switching and HVAC, and live data on energy usage.

Another challenge was the reticulation of the mechanical services for the retail and commercial provisions, which was achieved by the team through careful coordination with the architect.

Established in 1827, the Australian Museum (AM) is the country’s first public museum, with more than 100 scientists, but with only a fraction of the floor space of similar institutions around Australia and in the region.

The AM’s Master Plan is a game-changer for New South Wales and Sydney.  Bringing new experiences, digital engagement, and community participation to Sydney at an unparalleled level, the AM will redefine the role of a museum and deliver significant benefits to the State and people of NSW.

The Australian Museum (AM) will become a global landmark sought out by an increasing number of tourists and regularly visited by locals who want to discover the latest adventures and cultural experiences this extraordinary museum has to offer.

The AM’s world-class extensive collections and highly regarded on-site scientific research are undervalued due to the outdated and inaccessible infrastructure, lack of a suitable touring exhibition hall, lack of education STEM learning spaces and poor visitor circulation.

ADP had a critical role advising the Australian Museum of key opportunities for the reconfiguration of existing facilities and the construction of new facilities to meet the Vision of the museum.  As part of our remit we developed the competition brief from a services perspective as well as assessing the competition submissions.

On government approval, the masterplan is slated to start in 2020 and open in 2024.

Australian Catholic University (ACU), together with Blacktown Regional Council are delivering a new University Campus that will sit in the heart of the local community of greater western NSW. The project includes the fit-out of 6,000 sqm across 4 floors of a 5- storey existing building in close proximity to Blacktown Train and bus stations.

With a whole of building upgrade, the infrastructure requirements to re-purpose the existing commercial office into learning and teaching spaces is key. The building will require an additional ventilation and cooling plant and vertical transportation refurbishment.

An existing B grade commercial building will be converted to hold a mixture of sim wards, lab spaces, lecture and university student support facilities.

With the ACU’s ambition of opening their new Blacktown Campus as early as possible, the design and construction programme is sequenced such that construction staging, consideration of early identification of long lead time items and the consideration that the final stages of the upgrade will happen under a live teaching environment, requiring the project team to carry out extensive and intensive collaboration sessions.

As the campus is planned to operate from 22 Main Street for at least 5 years it is essential that good quality fixtures and fittings are provided whilst demonstrating good value for money. The spaces are to be secure, welcoming, inclusive, sustainable, and flexible.

Continuing to grow its presence in the national and international academic community, Western Sydney University (WSU) has delivered benchmark teaching facilities for specialist disciplines within the Schools of Humanities and Communications Arts, and Computing Engineering and Mathematics.

The new facilities at the Parramatta South Campus replace existing cellular classrooms and traditional lecture spaces with flexible teaching spaces, dedicated studios and laboratories, such as engineering practical Labs, design studios, electrical labs, electronic lab and materials testing, mechanical and mechatronic labs and collaborative workspaces.

ADP provided electrical, fire, hydraulics, audio visual and specialist lighting.

The project involves the adaptive reuse of WSU’s Westmead Campus – Building J -the site of the former St Vincent’s Boys Home.

The heritage building is now the home to WSU’s NICM Health Research Institute. Stage 1 of the project is now complete and incorporates clinic rooms, dispensaries, and associated staff support areas.

The design for Stage 2 is currently underway and will include a range of laboratories and facilities.

ADP have proactively engaged with WSU and their internal stakeholders to ensure the design has delivered on all key university policy and guideline requirements. For example, through early engagement ADP were able to address key university energy efficiency and future maintenance requirements and coordinate the establishment of a new high efficiency central thermal plant.