This year's excursion for students and departmental staff from The University of Melbourne (UoM) was to New Charsfield apartments in St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, a project that comprises a 4-level basement car park, with 18 levels above ground.
Geotech is engaged as the specialist subcontractor by Hamilton Marino Builders for the design & construction of the retention works (D-wall and temporary ground anchors) and the main CFA foundation piles. On the day of the excursion the Stage 1 D-walls & anchoring were complete and the excavation had been advanced to approximately 6m below original ground level. From this level the students were able to observe the Stage 2 D-wall guide walls and panels under construction.
General Manager Nic Morgan's presentation to the students described the design complexities and geotechnical conditions of the site, and construction techniques required to undertake the works. Some of the D&C issues included:
- Existing basements to adjoining sites
- Permissible width of D-wall for spatial requirements of carpark
- Groundwater levels and drainage of lower levels
- Internal foundation piles: founding criteria, working platform and access for very large plant
- Proximity to the heritage-listed mansion.
Nic was ably assisted by one of our recent graduate engineers in Daniel Popec (who had experienced our Balwyn excursion as a UoM undergraduate in 2015).
UoM was very happy with the excursion and received a lot of positive feedback from both students and colleagues alike.
Geotech's close association with UoM goes back some 30-odd years, the last decade of which has taken the form of annual excursions to various Geotech construction sites for students completing their "Geotechnical Engineering" subject. Recent excursions include field trips to Coventry Street Apartments in South Melbourne, Botanica Apartments in Balwyn, The Icon Apartments in St Kilda, the new Royal Children's Hospital in Parkville and the Moonee Ponds Central shopping centre (examples of basement works), and to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Flemington Racecourse (tunnelling works).
We look forward to next year’s excursion, where students can make the connection between the 'theory' they learn in class and 'real world' practice.