Schiavello Construction was appointed head contractor for the new Commonwealth Parliament Offices in Sydney following a highly competitive tender process.

Spanning three high rise floors, the project scope covered the construction of key areas including various high level conference rooms, two media and press rooms, a new telepresence room, and art initiatives.

The interior, designed by Architectus, sought to take advantage of the qualities of the award-winning office tower, 1 Bligh Street, and provide the ultimate working environment that reflected the nature of Sydney by harnessing local qualities such as natural daylight, coastal form, local materials, and transparency.

One of the key challenges was the need for separation between various occupants and public spaces as well as support and security staff. The team needed to deliver a highly secure and individually suited series of tenancies with complete acoustic separation, high security protection, as well as mechanical, electrical and hydraulic separation. Integrating these requirements seamlessly into the fitout’s architectural features called for a large number of bespoke elements, including over 100 items of joinery, and more than 430 architectural drawings.

Schiavello managed the design process in great detail, spearheading design workshops to ensure each buildability issue was resolved to achieve the highest quality design and application.

Value engineering was an important consideration for the client, and a level of redundancy was factored into the design, enabling the use of the fitout to be easily amended without having to undergo retrofit or refurbishment every time the staff members using the facility changed. Materials and products were also assessed on a whole lifecycle basis to determine the upfront costs as well as maintenance requirement, with a goal of minimising ongoing costs.

The Sydney project afforded Schiavello the opportunity to showcase the company’s deep set of capabilities from construction, to in-house design, engineering and manufacturing. When the team ran into a critical timing challenge securing the architecturally-designed metal pendant lighting required for two conference rooms, Schiavello’s metal fabrication division stepped in as manufacturer. Schiavello also harnessed its joinery expertise to deliver some of the most highly crafted items of furniture, such as the main conference room table. Schiavello Signage developed a detailed, laser cut metallic Australian crest designed by Architectus, and one of the key focal points in the fitout.

The Schiavello NSW Systems team worked closely with the interiors architect to develop the workplace furniture solutions. The open plan work areas, offices, and visitor suites are supported by a combination of Schiavello’s customised Centric and Marina workstations, paired with bespoke joinery developed to optimise aesthetics and functionality to achieve the Architectus vision.

From a sustainability perspective, the fitout creates synergy with 1 Bligh Street, known for world leadership in environmentally sustainable construction. Currently finalising the Green Star submission, the project is targeting a 6 Star Green Star rating.

The project was led by Schiavello Director Bernardo Mulet, Construction Manager Scott Drummond, and Project Managers Andy Leitch and Gisela LaPoint. It was this team’s exceptional level of commitment through the lifetime of the project that earned LaPoint the 2013 National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Award for Excellence in Construction, Refurbishment and Fitout.