Adelaide University Hub

Site Supervision & Investigation, Structural Design, Technical Services
The building was a new hub facility for the University of Adelaide in South Australia. The project was developed in conjunction with Hassell Architects.

The Hub was part of the main thoroughfare for the students in to the University and housed restaurant services, access to library and relaxation/social areas.  Dr Nicholas Mills worked with KBR Adelaide to develop and deliver this project.

The project consisted of developing a new two storey hub on top of the existing 4 storey RC framing.


Due to the nature of the structure, an earthquake assessment of the existing four storey building was required together with the lateral influence from earthquake of the two storey building built on top.  The existing RC frame was built before the introduction of the Australian Earthquake standards.  The building had not been designed for earthquake loading.   The structural interface between the new building (2 storey hub) and the existing 4 storey existing building under had to be developed.  A full assessment of the structural impact of the new two storey building on the existing RC Columns, walls and foundations had to be assessed.


Again computer modelling of the existing building was developed to assess the structural adequacy of the existing 4 storey building for vertical and earthquake loading was undertaken.  Remediation of the existing building were discussed with the building owners following the assessment for earthquake.

Solutions were developed to build a two storey steel framed structure with opening glazing and ETFE roofing, plus intermediate mezzanine floor on to the existing RC Columns of the lower 4 storey structure.  Some structural modification of the existing structure was required and the upper 2 storey structure required a number of design iteration to achieve the client requirements.


The documented design was constructed with superintendence oversight by KBR and Dr Mills.  The project was delivered to the required documentation with all calculations signed off by the Auditor.  Many of the structural elements were working to nearly full loading capacity.  The result is a fantastic building utilized by the students providing a great space for work and leisure.