Sustainable Industries Education Centre – Tonsley TAFE

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GHD was engaged by the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) to provide civil, structural and traffic engineering services for the AUD110 million Sustainable Industries Education Centre – Tonsley Tafe – in collaboration with MPH Architects as the Lead Professional Consultant.

This landmark adaptive re-use project comprised the construction of a “building within a building” – the conversion of a dilapidated automotive factory into a modern and vibrant teaching facility. It required the commitment and collaboration of all involved to realise this striking transformation.

One of the main challenges involved working around the existing industrial structure, which was both sprawling and complex. GHD completed a detailed site survey and developed a three dimensional REVIT model which was then used by MPH Architects as the base model to document the new building.

Landmark adaptive reuse project boost education outcomes

The 31,500 sqm facility boasts four levels of lecture and tutorial rooms, student areas, staff accommodation, training areas, workshops and amenities. The facility also includes a two way post tensioned flat slab, reinforced concrete column and shear wall construction. This is the largest adaptive reuse project undertaken in South Australia. The project was completed on program and within budget.

Constructing a “building within a building” included:

  • Five level simulated construction site of 3750 sqm
  • 10,000 sqm of new façades
  • 13,500 sqm of new suspended concrete floorspace

Our team worked in collaboration with the primary contractor Lend Lease (formerly Baulderstone) throughout all phases of the design and construction of this landmark adaptive re-use project. These collaborative relationships extended to multiple sub-contractors and technical specialists with whom we workshopped design and constructability solutions and managed interfaces of technical matters to successfully deliver this complex facility.

The construction of a physical model and three dimensional computer modelling and analysis were used to design the spectacular column free cantilevered staircases that sail out into the atriums and form focal point of this project.

The outcomes of our work enabled DPTI to facilitate greater understanding by DPTI of the project at every step of the way. It also set a benchmark for teaching facilities that are aligned with student needs, provide sustainability benefits and minimise waste.

Photo courtesy of David Sievers

Design Documentation


Precise and accurate drafting is essential for the development cycle of any project. With drafting teams around the globe, you can rely on us to provide modern, economical designs for your project.

We recognise the importance of incorporating constructability, simplicity and technical excellence in your designs. Maintaining control and development of all computer aided design and drafting (CADD) activities is an integral part of our business in providing services to you.

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We have a strong reputation, a record of accomplishment in providing world-leading technical support and advice for all areas of structural design and assessment.

Demand for GHD’s services continues to grow as the company completes and advises on a number of significant structural projects for some of the world’s tallest buildings, inlcuding Al-Bidaa Tower, Dubai Tower and the Doha Convention Center and Tower in the United Arab Emirates.

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Transportation Planning & Traffic Engineering


GHD brings a fresh approach to integrated transport with an innovative, dynamic, highly motivated and enthusiastic team of traffic engineers and transport planners who harness a great depth of industry experience and knowledge.

Whether you require high level policy and strategic advice at the beginning of a project or detailed engineering advice at the design stage, you will benefit from the commitment and dedication of our people. We pride ourselves on staying informed of the latest industry thinking and trends through regular involvement in industry bodies, conferences and seminars.

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